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Is CBD for Athletes Legal? Exploring the Benefits and Legal Status


As the world of sports and wellness intersect, athletes are continually seeking natural alternatives to support their physical and mental well-being. One such alternative gaining popularity is cannabidiol (CBD). However, questions arise regarding its legal status in the realm of athletic competition. In this article, we will explore the legality of CBD for athletes, its potential benefits, and provide examples of famous athletes who have embraced CBD in their routines.

Is CBD Legal for Athletes?

CBD is derived from hemp plants and typically contains minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound associated with marijuana. The legal status of CBD varies across different countries and athletic governing bodies. In general, CBD extracted from hemp is considered legal in many places, provided it contains less than 0.3% THC.

For example, in the United States, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its prohibited substances list in 2018. This change allows athletes to incorporate CBD into their training and recovery regimens without fear of disqualification.

Benefits of CBD for Athletes

Supports Recovery and Pain Management: Intense physical activity can result in muscle soreness, inflammation, and discomfort. CBD has shown potential as a natural anti-inflammatory agent and analgesic, helping athletes manage post-workout recovery and alleviate pain.

Promotes Relaxation and Sleep: Quality sleep is crucial for athletic performance and overall well-being. CBD may assist athletes in achieving better sleep by reducing anxiety, calming the mind, and promoting relaxation, leading to improved recovery and focus.

Manages Stress and Anxiety: Athletes often face immense pressure and high-stress situations. CBD has been reported to have anxiolytic properties, potentially reducing stress and anxiety levels, allowing athletes to perform at their best under demanding conditions.

Famous Athletes Embracing CBD

  1. Megan Rapinoe: The renowned US soccer star Megan Rapinoe has openly endorsed CBD and its potential benefits. As an advocate for natural wellness, she incorporates CBD products into her recovery routine to enhance her performance and overall well-being.
  2. Brooke Ence: There are also a number of CrossFitters who have embraced the CBD trend. Amateur and professional CrossFit athletes alike have adopted hemp oil and other CBD products to aid with general wellbeing. Brooke Ence is one elite CrossFit Athlete who has publicly promoted the benefits of CBD for athletes. She said that she’s been taking CBD for quite some time and that it has been very valuable for her training and for her life in general. Other professional CrossFitters, including five times Games athlete Noah Ohlsen and four times Games athlete Alex Anderson have shared how they noticed significant improvements in their lives since adopting CBD.
  3. Nate Diaz: Nate Diaz, a prominent professional mixed martial artist, has been vocal about his use of CBD. Diaz uses CBD to support his recovery from intense training and believes it plays a vital role in maintaining his physical and mental health.
  4. Bubba Watson: Bubba Watson, a professional golfer, has publicly discussed his experience with CBD. He credits CBD for aiding his recovery, managing discomfort, and enhancing his focus during competitions.


CBD’s legal status for athletes varies across jurisdictions, but its potential benefits have gained attention in the athletic community. With its reported ability to support recovery, alleviate pain, promote relaxation, and manage stress, CBD has found its place in the routines of famous athletes such as Megan Rapinoe, Nate Diaz, and Bubba Watson.

Always ensure compliance with the regulations of the specific athletic governing body in which you compete. As CBD continues to gain recognition for its potential benefits, it’s important to stay informed about the evolving legal landscape.

Remember, before incorporating CBD into your athletic routine, consult with a healthcare professional familiar with your specific needs and any potential drug interactions.

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Remember, always prioritize your health, consult with professionals, and stay informed about the rules and regulations of your sport. Embrace the potential benefits of CBD as you strive for greatness in your athletic pursuits.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary or wellness regimen.


  1. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) – 2018 Prohibited List: URL: []
  2. Megan Rapinoe shares why she uses CBD to help with recovery: URL: []
  3. Nate Diaz talks about CBD: URL: []
  4. Golfer Bubba Watson says CBD product helped extend his career: URL: []

Please note that the URLs provided are examples and may not be the most current or up-to-date sources at the time of reading this article. It’s always advisable to verify and use the latest information from reputable sources.