Why are Professional Athletes Using CBD Products?

If you watch sports and follow the lives of athletes off the field or court, then you have undoubtedly seen one of your favorite stars either taking a Cannabidiol (CBD) supplement at some point or espousing their love for such products. However, if you aren’t familiar with CBD, then you may not understand why these high-level performers are all focusing so much attention on a derivative of the Cannabis plant, something that has only become legal in the last few years.

Why are basketball players chowing down on CBD gummies? Why are so many MMA fighters vaping CBD after their fights? Why is my favorite NFL player investing so much in a new Cannabidiol company? These are all questions we get here at on a near-daily basis.

To help you understand this phenomenon, we will highlight some athletes who have come out in the last couple of years to support CBD and why they feel these supplements benefit them in their chosen field.

UFC Fighters and CBD

Back in 2016, when CBD was still a relatively unknown substance in the mainstream sports world, Nate Diaz (one of the famous Diaz brothers, who are much beloved in the MMA world) made waves by openly smoking from a CBD vape pen during his post-fight press conference. While his fight with Conner McGregor that night was big news, the fact he was smoking CBD made nearly as many headlines. 

When asked since, Nate has claimed that CBD assists him with post-fight inflammation and post-fight and post-workout recovery. 

Public knowledge about CBD has grown immensely since then, and the use of CBD amongst fighters following their fights is relatively commonplace these days. Fighters are regularly seen talking about CBD and accepting CBD companies as sponsors. For example, another immensely famous fighter who has come out in support of CBD usage is Bas Rutten. Bas Rutten is a former champion and advocated CBD as a much healthier alternative to the opioid painkillers to which he became addicted to at one point.

Since CBD offers anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief – all while not being addictive, many fighters are turning to it to help them relax and recover after training and fights. As a clear sign of mainstream acceptance of CBF by the fighting leagues, UFC FIGHT PASS® associate LFA has recently signed a CBD promotional deal. It isn’t just MMA fighters either; participants in other combat sports, like boxing, are also turning to CBD as a natural method to help them with the concussions, soreness, and inflammation they are prone to suffering from.

CBD and Soccer Players

Megan Rapinoe is perhaps the most famous American soccer player in recent memory, being the captain of the OL Reign and the United States national team. She was also named The Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2019 and helped her team win gold three times on the national stage. So when Megan came out in support of CBD, the league took notice. 

 “I wanted a healthier, more natural option for pain management, sleep aid, relaxation while flying, and general recovery. – Megan Rapinoe

The FIFA rules have only recently allowed CBD to be used openly by players, but since then, more soccer players have come out talking about their CBD usage and how it helps them perform better with a strenuous schedule. For example, legend Carli Lloyd has recently credited CBD for extending her career by helping her heal up more effectively and stay competitive.

Cannabidiol in Other Professional Sports

While the Diaz brothers and Megan Rapinoe are amongst the most high-profile athletes to support CBD usage for sports recovery, they are far from the only ones. Athletes across countless sports have sought out Cannabidiol for help in staying at the top of their game. 


Dominic Day, James Haskell, Ben Franks, and George Kruis, are Rugby players who believed so strongly in CBD products that they created their own brands. 

The NFL:

Terell Davies, Rob Gronkowski, Derrick Morgan, Eugene Monroe, and Marvin Washington are all NFL stars who have come to be big supporters of CBD openly. There are likely a great deal of NFL players who also use CBD products but are less vocal about it.


Lucas Glover, a winner of the 2009 US open, recently opened up about his and other golf players’ usage of CBD. While pain management is less of an issue, he stated that the calming effects of CBD allowed him to concentrate better and relax before and during play.


Hockey stars Riley Cote, Mike Cammalleri, Dale Purinton, and Ryan VandenBussche have all made statements about CBD and how it became a part of their daily routines for recovery and general pain relief.

This was just a small sample of the current and former professional athletes who have turned to CBD to help them with joint pains, inflammation, general wellness, and mental health.

Why Are So Many Athletes Taking Cannabidiol?

As the restrictions against CBD slacken along with the release of more positive research into the compound, we are seeing ever more athletes openly using CBD and touting its benefits. But just why are so many athletes turning to CBD rather than more traditional drugs and treatments?

While we still have to rely on anecdotal evidence for many of the possible uses of CBD, there has been quite a bit of research on the compound completed over the last 5 years or so. Scientists have found evidence that CBD can be used in a number of situations, everything from skin health to getting better sleep. For athletes and their needs, in particular, we have quite a bit of science to draw from.

  • Most athletes seek to use CBD to alleviate inflammation, a common side effect of intense exertion. Too much inflammation has been tied to a number of issues in athletes, and by reducing it, many may find themselves enjoying longer careers than ever.
  • Pain relief is another important benefit that CBD brings athletes. Many sports are very hard on one’s body, and recovery can take a lot of time without help. CBD helps athletes find relief without turning to more unnatural painkillers.
  • Competition and its preparation can cause stress and a lack of sleep. Cbd has been shown to be helpful in stress and anxiety management and allows many athletes to focus and rest around the big day better.

Learn More About the Best CBD Products

It doesn’t matter if you are an MMA star, NFL linebacker, or just someone looking for a little extra comfort and relief throughout the day; the vast array of CBD products on the market right now are well suited to help you live your best life. At, we are dedicated to bringing you the latest news and product reviews to help you make the best choice possible for your needs. Check back often and read through our articles to get great insights on all the CBD products available today.


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