American footbal player holding a ball

Athletes have a short active life, and serious injuries are their worst nightmare. Medical treatments are at the forefront, but too many sportsmen and women don’t want to have surgery or are afraid of taking painkillers. Here is where CBD could be an ally for professional athletes due to its therapeutic benefits on pain management, sleep aid, and relaxation. NBA Warriors guard Klay Thompson and soccer player Alex Morgan have tried CBD, and they agree with its benefits.

CBD as a Suggested Recovery Treatment

CBD is well-known among users to have anti-inflammatory effects. Studies confirm it. The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics indicated in 2018 that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, and after cannabidiol treatment, inflammation may decrease. It also boosts the immune system to help speed up and intensify the muscle recovery process and acts as a pain reliever to reduce muscle pain.

Athletes also are discovering CBD as an alternative treatment for their injuries. “Whether it’s winding down after a game, working through muscle pain, or recovering from an injury, CBD is a natural one-stop-shop that allows me to prioritize my physical and mental health,” Klay Thompson—who suffered an Achilles tendon injury in June 2019—recently said. The US Anti Doping Agency (USDA) permits pure CBD isolate, making it legal in competition. 

Klay is not the only professional athlete to use CBD. Soccer player Alex Morgan uses it in her daily life. “The CBD tincture is an important recovery process for me after practice and games. I find it works best when I use it during my nightly routine for bed”, she said during the Just Live Presentation, the CBD brand where she, Thompson, and other athletes are investors. 

CBD could also be an alternative treatment for those athletes who take strong medications to control pain. These drugs can often be addictive, creating more problems than solutions.

The NFL Looks for Alternative Treatment to Opioids

The National Football League (NFL) recently requested several medical institutions to study CBD as an alternative treatment to pain relievers and other opioids. The league’s Pain Management Committee claimed they want to improve player’s health and commissioned research to understand potential alternative therapies. According to an NFL press release: “The issue has become even more urgent as states continue to legalize the use of medical marijuana, and as the abuse of opioids originally prescribed for pain relief has become a national crisis.” 

The NFL’s interest in CBD runs deep. In 2014, a group of former players, including Hall of Famer Richard Dent, went on trial against the league. They accused the NFL of instructing team doctors to give unprescribed drugs and painkillers to its players without warning them of harmful side effects. They said it happened for at least 43 years (1969-2012). Some former players argued that they were addicted to opioids when they retired, and the addiction started during their sports life. The case was dismissed, but in February 2021, a California court gave the green light to resume the trial.

CBD has multiple benefits and could be used for adults looking for an alternative therapy for both hard and soft injuries. Professional athletes know how it works and are using it. If you’re one of these athletes, remember to consult your doctor before taking any CBD product.