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What is the best CBD to take for post workout pain?



Gym: A woman sits in gym leggings on a wooden floor surrounded by weights

CBD may not be the first thing you think of when packing your bag for the gym, but studies show it might be handy for those post-gym pains.

When we use new muscles at the gym or during a workout, our bodies can sometimes feel sore for a day or two afterwards. High-intensity or fast-paced exercises can cause tiny tears in the muscle fibres. The body reacts by creating inflammation which can lead to delayed soreness in the muscles.

A study on rats from 2016 revealed that daily doses of CBD may help to decrease joint pain and inflammation in rats with arthritis.

Here are some of the best ways to incorporate CBD into your gym routine


There are a lot of CBD beverages on the market from water to energy drinks. It can be a slow-release dose of CBD that can help to keep inflammation at bay while you work out.

Any CBD that is ingested as food or drink has to travel through the digestive system to be broken down and absorbed. This is referred to as the first pass system. Sadly this means that the CBD is broken down which can lead to lower levels being absorbed.

It’s easy to make your own CBD drink by adding water-soluble CBD to your normal workout water. An oil-based CBD may let the CBD float on the surface but if it is water-soluble then it can be mixed in.

Gym: An advert for CBD oil. A bottle with an orange label next to a woman with a toned stomach

Protein powder

There are some companies offering CBD protein powders. Protein powders are a popular nutritional supplement that can be added to water or smoothies. They help to build muscle, repair tissues, produce enzymes and hormones. It can also help with weight loss and muscle toning.

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There are several types of powders that contain soy, hemp, casein, whey and pea. Hemp is an excellent choice for anyone following a vegan diet. It is also rich in essential fatty acids.


A patch can provide a slow release of CBD throughout a workout. It can also be placed directly on top of the sore point on the body. Any CBD taken orally has to pass through the digestive system first before it can be absorbed into the blood however patches allow more of it to pass through quickly as it bypasses the first pass system.

They can also be worn for days providing comfortable relief that isn’t reliant on someone taking a dose every day. One downside to the patches is that the adhesive can sometimes be an irritant to people with allergies to glue.


It’s always a great idea to have a balm or cream on hand for application straight after hitting the showers. Topicals are great for massaging into the skin when pain develops after a workout.

Much the same as patches, they can be applied directly to the source of the pain. There are also a lot of different formulas to choose from including lotions, creams, balms, serums or oils. Sometimes topicals can include other ingredients which are great for inflammation such as rosemary or chamomile.

Use with: It’s important to always combine CBD for muscle pain with other treatments if needed. Massage, reflexology or even a doctor visit if the pain persists are always a good idea. 

Read more: Does THC or CBD have an effect on our workout routines?

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Pro-skateboarder owned performance brand, Just Live to launch CBD sparkling water

A professional skateboarder and multiple X Games gold medalist Paul Rodriguez co-founded the brand with NBA, motocross and pro-soccer players.



Pro - skateboarding: A man on a skateboard jumps into the air

Just Live an athlete owned performance CBD brand has partnered with wellness company, Vertical Wellness and canafarma to release a line of sparkling water.

A professional skateboarder and multiple X Games gold medalist Paul Rodriguez co-founded the brand with professional soccer player and World Cup winner, Alex Morgan. They were joined by NBA Championship winner Klay Thompson and motocross competitor Travis Pastrana.

The CBD infused sparkling waters will include flavours such as meyer lemon, cranberry raspberry, lime with mint, clementine, mixed berry and grapefruit. Each drink will contain 25 mg of CBD and are THC and alcohol-free. The launch in late 2021 will focus on six different U.S. markets, with national expansion estimated for 2022.

Smoke Wallin, the CEO of Vertical Wellness said: “There’s no brand out there with this kind of athletic support. I couldn’t be more excited to be introducing Just Live CBD Sparkling Waters with our national distributors to our major retailers and hospitality partners in select markets.”

Pro-skateboarder: A black banner advertising sports CBD oil

Professional skateboarder injury recovery

All of the athletes involved in Just Live have their own CBD experience. Motocross, soccer, basketball and skateboarding can cause a range of injuries especially as an athlete’s career progresses.

Skateboarding in particular can cause high impact blows to the body. While it can cause cuts or scrapes, the most common skateboarding injuries are fractures, especially the wrists. Paul Rodriguez has won countless major professional skateboarding events such as the 2014 X-Games where he took gold in the street event. His first major injury occurred while skating a stair set where his right leg went the opposite way from his body leaving him with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), torn right and left meniscus and a tear in his MCL.

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Following surgery, he chose to replace opioids with CBD before incorporating it into his daily routine as well as professional skateboarding training.

Co-founder Alex Morgan is known for being one of the youngest members of the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team. She won a Gold Olympic Medal against Japan in the Summer Games in 2012 and co-captained the U.S team to victory in the FIFA World Cup 2019.

In a statement on the Just Live site, she says she uses CBD to unwind and also to help with shoulder pain. “I have a convincing experience when I sprained my shoulder and had a match 3 days later. I’ve used CBD on muscle aches and pains ever since. I also have a hard time winding down after a game, and have found that I am able to go to sleep earlier after a game and feel more rested when I have a CBD capsule or tincture following the match.”

Read more: Jay- Z launches new CBD and TCH wellness range

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Case Studies

CBD brand created by a Welsh athlete releases report on potential health benefits of CBD

The Healthcare Technology Centre (HTC) partners with Welsh brand Hemp Heroes to discover the potential health benefits of CBD products. 



Welsh: A cbd oil bottle containing yellow oil has a dropper being placed into it

The Healthcare Technology Centre (HTC) partners with Welsh brand Hemp Heros to discover the potential health benefits of CBD products.

The Welsh HTC led by Swansea University Medical School collaborated with Swansea and Ireland based company, Hemp Heros. Hemp Heros was co-founded by  David Hartigan and martial arts athlete John Philips.

The report was the result of several months of research into the benefits of CBD- based products on a range of conditions. These included epilepsy, side effects of chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis (MS), stress and anxiety.

Speaking with Cannabis Health News, Hemp Heros co-founder David Hartigan explains how an interest in martial arts helped him to meet John and start the company.

Athletes and CBD

David said: “It’s a bit of an interesting story how myself and John met. My background is in business consultancy and I’ve always been into martial arts since I was a kid. John asked my brother who is a musician to do some walkout music for UFC. As John was only newly signed at that time, I wondered if he had anyone to help him with marketing and sponsors. I became John’s manager.”

He added: “I started looking at CBD companies because athletes were starting to use it. I thought there was a huge opportunity to get John sponsored by a company. We did get a few samples from different companies but the quality was hit or miss. Even the instructions when you were trying to read it could be confusing.”

John’s first experience with CBD was not actually on himself but his dog, Alfie. When he became ill, John began treating him with CBD after realising that Tramadol was not working. The vet had exhausted all options for treatment but CBD helped him to recover.

David said: “I have an uncle who is a powerlifter and he has a couple of Irish records. He has a number of injuries he started taking CBD for pain and inflammation. At one stage, he couldn’t even change the gear stick in his car but he has much better mobility and pain management now. So between my story, John’s and the lack of transparency in the industry in the market, we decided to try an investigation.”

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David spent six to eight months researching the whole industry speaking to anyone he could about hemp or CBD. He also joined the board for the Irish Hemp Cooperative. They spent months researching everything before finding a supplier to get them started. The brand has now grown from three or four products to over twenty including a successful pet range.

Hemp heros: A man wearing a black t-shirt stands next to a dog

Welsh university study

The brand partnered with Swansea University and are part of the accelerator programme there. They had planned to participate in studies on CBD but unfortunately, COVID hit just as they began to start the studies. The Welsh Accelerate programme aims to create lasting economic value by helping innovators in Wales to translate their ideas into solutions, enabling them to be adopted in health and care.

David explained: “Dr Daniel Rees, who is one of the researchers at Swansea University reached out to us. He had seen our products around the place and wanted to know if we would be interested to do some studies in the life sciences department.”

“The whole idea of the Accelerator programme is to identify potential services or products that can have a positive impact on people’s lives. It improves the lives of the end-user. Dan highlighted that very little research was done on CBD in this context. We are passionate about transparency so we really wanted to push the research. However just as we had hoped to start lab tests, COVID hit.”

The COVID situation didn’t force a complete shutdown but changed the direction of the study for the researchers. As the colleges were closed, there were no ways of getting anyone into a lab for testing so David and the team decided to go down the road of research producing a report on the effectiveness of CBD. The initial study paves the way for future research activities around four key pillars: pain, sleep, anxiety, and recovery.

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Lab study to research reports

“What we did was change gears so instead of a lab-based study, we are going to do a more research-based one. We researched the case studies for CBD and hemp-based products along with the history behind them. We looked at different cannabinoids like CBD or CBDA, different terpenes and then unique extraction methods. We went into deep dives on what studies were there for cancer, sleep, inflammation, pain and took them as different pillars. This is what our report contains.”

He added: “We wanted to show some form of evidence for how CBD could possibly work for Parkinson’s by looking at the findings, how the studies are performed? What is the wider picture for sleep or inflammation? This could give us a foundation to build on.”

The next step

Hemp Heros started to submit an application called Smart Partnership to the University for the management side. This would allow them to secure funding to get an associate who would work between the Welsh brand and the university.

“It gives the company the tools and techniques to use these findings and apply them so you can continue your work. We have all of this anecdotal evidence on why people use our products but then the smart partnership would allow us to do a deeper dive and validate what our understandings are.”

He explained: “We have set out three pillars essentially. Sleep is one that we want to investigate and they have a sleep lab there. We want to start out with something quite simple like 20 participants with sleep issues and give them a protocol. They log everything then they take a set dose of our product for a week to see what the impact is. The next step would be to go into the sleep lab to actually monitor what someone’s sleep pattern is, how quickly it works and what the effects are.”

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Welsh: A man walking a dog on a lead across a beach

As well as the studies and research they have conducted, the brand is still planning to work with different athletes.

“Should athletes be using prescription pain medications to help with their pain to get through the day? They could have a more natural alternative with no side effects. Your body is already built for cannabinoids, not really for painkillers. That’s why a lot of people have issues with their kidneys when they are on painkillers for so long because they are trying to process everything.”

David is also involved in the advocacy side. He believes that Ireland needs to match the European level to make sure it isn’t left behind. He sits on the Irish Hemp Cooperative Board who are trying to change the laws.

“There are a couple of TDS (Ministers) who said that they would be interested in the sports angle. We aren’t looking for full-blown cannabis legal for everyone but we actually want to just look at hemp and the production because you can get a license but then technically what you grow is illegal. There is a massive gap in the law where the two laws don’t match and we don’t match at the European level. We need to make sure we are on par with our international counterparts.”

Read more: Pain, anxiety and sleep are the most common reasons people use CBD

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WADA to review cannabis ban after Sha’ Carri Richardson forced to miss Tokyo Olympics

The ban will remain in place during the review which is set to take place in 2022.



The decision to review cannabis follows American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson being forced to miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the substance.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is to review if cannabis should remain a banned substance for athletes. It comes after the American sprinter was forced to miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for THC.

Cannabis is currently a prohibited substance in competitions and the ban will remain in place for 2022 according to WADA.

An advisory group for WADA will start a scientific review next year. While Richardson’s case was not mentioned in particular, WADA said the decision to review its place on the list of banned substances came from a number of requests from stakeholders. The list of prohibited substances for 2023 will be finalised next autumn.


Richardson: An advert for Impact CBD

WADA ban

The news comes just under three months since Richardson was banned from running at the Olympics earlier this year. She said she had used cannabis after hearing from a reporter that her biological mother had passed away less than a week before she began the Olympic trials.

Her trial results were disqualified after she tested positive for THC. Prior to that, she has been seen as a top contender after winning her 100m test race with a time of 10.86 seconds. She was given a three-month sanction which was reduced to one after Richardson agreed to attend a counselling programme. Although her 30-day suspension technically ended during the Tokyo games, US Athletics chose not to include her in the team.

The decision to ban her from competing in Tokyo was met with widespread criticism and calls for a review of anti-doping rules. Cannabis remains been banned by WADA despite its legal status in 18 states across America. This includes Oregon where Richardson said she consumed cannabis.

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Banned substances

WADA banned cannabis in 2004 when they first drafted the list of prohibited substances. The items must meet two of three criteria in order to be banned.

1: They harm the health of the athlete

2: They are performance-enhancing

3: They are against the spirit of sport

Sha’ Carri Richardson is not the only athlete to experience a ban. Michael Phelps was banned from competition for three months in 2009 and subsequently lost his Kellogg’s sponsorship after photos of him smoking cannabis were revealed online.

Read more: Hawaii bans some hemp-extract products including CBD edibles

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Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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