3 Professional Athletes’ Experiences with CBD Topicals

Since the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) landmark announcement that CBD-based pain relievers and supplements would be removed from their list of prohibited substances, CBD pain relief cream has become a key part of the regimens of professional athletes across various leagues.

More than just consumers of CBD oil for pain management, however, many of the athletes that publicly use CBD products are also the chemical compound’s biggest advocates. The following athletes speak openly with the media and news outlets about their experience with CBD topicals and how the cannabis-based pain relief products work to keep their performance up on the field, the ice, or the trail.

Why are so many athletes coming forward to support CBD supplement use now?

In late 2018, WADA quietly removed hemp-derived CBD products from their list of prohibited substances on the heels of the 2018 Farm Bill, which dissociated hemp-derived CBD products from their Schedule 1 prohibited chemical compound cousin, THC.

Unlike THC, CBD has been indicated to afford anxiety-, pain-, and inflammation-reducing effects without inducing a psychoactive reaction in the user. In fact, responsibly-sourced CBD products, as stipulated by the Farm Bill, are sourced only from industrial hemp crops, not marijuana crops, and can contain no more than 0.3% THC by definition.

Why are athletes choosing CBD?

Thanks to this recent change to regulations, CBD products such as CBD pain relief rubs hit the market in 2019. They instantly found a willing consumer base in the professional athlete community, a community of individuals who have to overcome intense pain and inflammation to perform their sport daily.

Why? Because they are a natural alternative to traditional opioid-based solutions to pain relief, muscle recovery, sleep improvement, and inflammation mitigation for professional athletes, including the following.

1. Elite ultra-marathoner Avery Collins

Elite ultra-marathoner Avery Collins is currently among the fastest ultra-marathon runners in the world and an avid CBD supplement consumer and advocate.

The marathoner does not shy away from his support for a cannabis-based solution to the pain and inflammation associated with high-level running, and even sports the moniker RunninHigh on his personal Instagram account. Through social media outlets like these, he openly discusses his incorporation of CBD pain relief creams into both his training and recovery regimens to reduce inflammation and anxiety.

2. Retired NHL enforcer Ryan VandenBussche

Starting with his professional hockey career at the age of 14, retired NHL enforcer Ryan VandenBussche is no stranger to port-induced injuries and pain: Over his career, the athlete suffered dozens of surgeries, various broken bones, and more than 20 concussions.

When asked about his experience with traditional opioid-based pain killers before discovering CBD products, the athlete even confessed that he is surprised to still be alive, considering the addictive nature of most painkillers.

His discovery of CBD oil for pain management and its effects had such an impact on the athlete that he recently bought a 64-acre piece of land in Canada to start a cannabis farm and help others find a more natural route to pain relief.

3. Retired NFL linebacker David Ahrens

Just one of the 136 retired Indianapolis Colts to come forward in a lawsuit against the NFL concerning concussions, retired NFL linebacker David Ahrens discovered CBD in his search for an alternative to the opioids that he used to manage his chronic pain.

The former football player is not one to be outspoken in his critique of the standardized use of painkillers in the NFL and the prioritization of performance over a player’s health.

Today, Ahrens uses CBD to manage his chronic pain side-effect-free, and advocates for the chemical compound as an alternative to pain medications such as codeine and Tylenol.

The final word

As a professional athlete, continued, long-term performance at the highest possible level is the key to a successful career, but the wear and tear of the demands placed on an athlete’s body have led to a harmful culture of opioid-reliance among some of the greatest athletes in the industry.

Though clinical trials concerning the use of CBD pain relief creams are ongoing, CBD products can offer a more natural solution to the pain and inflammation of high-level sports performance.

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