Cannabidiol, which usually goes by the nickname CBD, has infiltrated just about every industry on the planet. It’s a hemp-based form of alternative medicine that has been linked to recovery and mental health in many studies and societal claims.

One popular claim is that the best CBD oil helps with sports recovery. When a person gets injured, has sore muscles, or needs a mental pick-me-up, CBD could be a very useful substance. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that CBD can help with sports recovery.

Most Sports Leagues Don’t Ban CBD 

CBD is a unique cannabis product because it does not have any psychoactive properties. Unlike marijuana, CBD does not contain THC, the psychoactive component derived from hemp that delivers a high.

In fact, there’s no research to indicate that CBD alters your mental state in any way, other than perhaps minimizing some anxiety and depression, no different than other anti-anxiety and depression medications. Prescription drugs to treat mental health are not banned by sporting groups, so most sporting groups also found it prudent to allow the use of CBD for those using it to medically help them.

CBD is also not illegal if purchased correctly. You can find a CBD oil online shop that will have everything you need, and as long as the THC content is less than 0.3 percent, it’s legal to purchase it throughout the U.S. This makes it widely accessible, and many athletes are now using CBD to help with their recovery.

Many athletes who use CBD for recovery are very well known. Nate Diaz, Mike Tyson, Megan Rapinoe, Anthony and Sergio Pettis, Derrick Morgan, Eugene Monroe, Rob Gronkowski, and many, many more have adopted the use of CBD for treating injuries or aches and pains after an event.

Any athlete using CBD should always check that their league does not ban CBD. The World Anti-Doping Agency has removed CBD from their list of prohibited substances, but each league has its own bylaws, and you don’t want to be disqualified for using CBD if it’s still banned.

CBD May Reduce Inflammation 

There’s a growing body of research to indicate CBD reduces inflammation. It’s believed to target the body’s immune response center, the endocannabinoid. Inflammation is a natural immune response to an injury or strain on the body’s muscles and tendons. It’s designed to protect the body from being hurt more, but it also slows down recovery.

CBD could be linked to reducing inflammation as it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of cannabinoids that send messages and endocannabinoids that receive them. Increasing the number of cannabinoids in your body through CBD could help to balance out messages being sent and received, minimizing inflammatory responses.

CBD May Relieve Pain 

For the same reasons that CBD seems to decrease inflammation, it’s believed that CBD also decreases pain. Many athletes report using CBD to soothe pain and burning after an injury or for sore muscles. You can often find CBD as a capsule or drink additive supplement to aid muscle recovery.

The most compelling evidence that CBD helps inflammation and pain comes from those with rheumatoid arthritis. This condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints is often treated by those with the disease, and the reports are in high favor of using CBD to treat the problem.

CBD May Treat Anxiety 

Being an athlete is about much more than physical ability and good hand-eye-coordination. There’s also a great deal of mental strength needed, and it’s not always easy to muster the courage and conviction to perform well.

Many athletes have heavy pressure applied to their performance. It might come from loved ones, adoring fans, or even their own brains. When you’re held to such a high standard, it can be nerve wracking every time you perform because you don’t want to make a mistake.

This type of performance anxiety may be easily treated with CBD. CBD for the treatment of anxiety is the most common use of the substance, and anecdotal research can’t speak loudly enough about how well it works.

It’s so effective at treating anxiety that more than half of CBD users with anxiety report throwing out their prescription anxiety medications because they felt the CBD was as effective or more effective than their current anti-anxiety prescriptions.

Athletes who deal with anxiety after an event (or before if your league allows it) could greatly benefit from the use of CBD. It calms the mind and body, giving you the presence of mind needed to perform as necessary or to mentally and emotionally decompress after an intense workout or match.

CBD May Boost Sleep 

When it comes to recovery, there’s no better bodily function than sleep. A good night’s rest gives your body the time and opportunity it needs to heal muscle tears and reduce inflammation. However, many athletes struggle to sleep after a difficult workout, either because the pain and inflammation is great or there are mental or emotional disturbances keeping them awake.

If you’re struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get at least the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep needed nightly, CBD might be able to help. It’s used often as a sleep aid by those suffering from insomnia or other sleep problems.

It’s believed that CBD’s effect on sleep is primarily owed to the other things it does for the body, including relieving pain and fighting anxiety. These are two primary factors that prevent sleep from a physically tired body, and it can potentially remove some of those sleep barriers to encourage a full night’s rest.

CBD May Help with Substance Abuse  

Drug abuse is very common in athletes. It’s believed that about 52 percent of professional football players are using opioids and 93 percent of college athletes are using alcohol with a binge drinking problem four times larger than the national average.

The use of opioids for painkillers is the largest problem in substance abuse among athletes. Athletes participating in high-injury sports were 50 percent more likely to use opioids in nonmedical settings than those who did not participate in sports. Addiction rates are high, and it’s an epidemic that’s leading to overdoses and other severe consequences.

It’s believed that CBD can help in addiction recovery settings. Not only can it be used to treat pain from an injury, potentially replacing opioid use altogether, but it might also be used to reduce cravings for the drug.

Some addiction recovery centers use CBD as the substance of choice to help wean patients off of their chosen drug during detox. Thereafter, it’s used to help cravings and treat symptoms of withdrawal.

Further research is required to prove CBD is effective in all of these cases, but there are thousands of stories in which patients struggling with sports recovery use CBD as a highly effective tool for treating their injuries and getting back in the game.