Why are athletes vaping CBD for improved performance and muscle mass?

Research indicates that cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has many therapeutic and holistic health benefits.  It acts as a natural inflammatory, boosts metabolism, helps manage stress, and even promotes a good night’s sleep.  As both hemp-based and cannabis-based brands become more legally available throughout the United States, even professional athletes are turning to CBD to achieve improved performance, stamina, and recovery times after strenuous workouts.

The human body already produces two primary cannabidiols - anandamide and 2-AG - but where CBD oils differ is that they also contain key vitamins, minerals, and amino acids which expedite the recovery process.  In turn, many professional athletes, bodybuilders, and even everyday gym rats rely on CBD to build more muscle mass and build it faster.  It is also proven to enhance the productivity of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating nearly every major function of the human body including cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, digestive, and neurological systems.  

  • Derrick Morgan: Professional football player

Derrick Morgan is a former linebacker for the professional football team, the Tennessee Titans.  Linebackers do much of the blocking and tackling on the defensive line.   Unfortunately, their bodies are consistently taking a beating which leaves these professional athletes more prone to body aches, pains, strains, and sprains.  Professional football players are also well known to have a higher prevalence for concussions, head traumas, and brain injuries. 

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In a July 2016 interview with The Denver Post, Morgan went public about his affection for CBD oils.  “After researching, finding out more and more about it, I realized this is something guys should know about,” Derrick stated. “You don’t have to take it, but you should at least know about it if it’s going to help you protect your brain and protect your body.”


  • Kerri Walsh Jennings: Olympic athlete, beach volleyball

A common assumption among sports enthusiasts is that dedicated athletes like Jennings who spend day-in and day-out running, jumping, and pounding volleyballs into the heads of their opponents probably sleep like proverbial babies when their heads finally hit the pillow at night. 

Not true, says Kerri in an interview with CBDMD“As a mother, I'm a big fan of sleep. Implementing (CBD) into my routine has improved my sleep, and I definitely see a change in my overall well-being.”


  • Gabby Douglas: Olympic athlete, gymnastics

For any aspiring athlete, making it all the way to the Olympic Games is hugely impressive. But winning not one but two gold medals is almost impossible.  At the young age of only sixteen, Gabby Douglas won a gold medal for achieving the highest combined score for all four events in the women’s gymnastics category in the 2012 games.  Her second gold medal was achieved when she and her teammates won the team event.  

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Most gymnasts like Ms. Douglas undergo a great deal of physical strain throughout their entire lives. Tossing their bodies around like a rag doll during floor exercise competitions usually involves numerous bad falls, sprained ankles, and muscle sprains over the course of their years-long training schedule.  Then there’s the vaulting, the balance beam, and the uneven parallel bars performances.  According to Ms. Douglas, CBD helps her with pain management and accelerated recovery times.

“My experiences in using CBD have led me to believe that I could have been more pain free throughout my gymnastics career if CBD had been allowed,” Douglas stated during a 2019 interview with Business Insider.  “I am glad that athletes across all Olympic sports will now have the opportunity to use these products and hopefully experience their benefits.”


These are just a few of the world class competitive athletes who are strong advocates of cannabidiol.  Others include UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis who once claimed, “CBD has become an integral part of my training and post-fight regimen helping my body’s natural healing process.”

And former offensive tackle of the Baltimore Ravens, Eugene Monroe, began using hemp-based CBD to create a transdermal ointment for injured or overworked joints during football season.  Rather than relying on over-the-counter or prescription medications that can be dangerous or highly addictive, more and more athletes are turning to CBD for its ease-of-use and portability.

Related Article:  Vaping CBD: How to determine the proper dosage

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