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It is not a surprise that cannabidiol’s popularity among athletes and sportspeople is on the rise. Its hemp content has a number of properties that render it quite effective in recovery and treatment of various conditions that athletes may face. These can include different types of pains, headaches, inflammation, mental depression, anxiety, etc. 

That said, before athletes turn to CBD as a viable recovery option, they may want to know the complete picture of hemp-based CBD. 

Not All Sporting Events Allow the Use of CBD

While the NBA, National Football League, and Major League Baseball have recently allowed the use of cannabidiol by its athletes, not all sporting leagues can claim the same. This can be especially puzzling given that Congress passed a federal law in 2018 allowing the use of CBD products with less than 0.3% of THC.

The ongoing ban on CBD by some sporting leagues is down to the stigma attached to cannabis as well as legacy given that it was once banned by the federal government. Given that CBD is sourced by the cannabis sativa plant, the term ‘cannabis’ in the name of the plant is what adds fuel to the misconception that CBD leads to psychoactive side effects. However, this is not the case. Hemp-based CBD contains less than 0.3% of THC, the main ingredient responsible for the ‘high’ associated with marijuana use. In contrast, cannabis products will have a much higher THC content. 

Some sporting leagues allow CBD use while, at the same time, cannabis is banned. Therefore, knowing the difference between the two and what is allowed and what is not can make or break an athlete’s career. 

Can You Travel with Cannabidiol?

The life of an international athlete involves a lot of traveling. Although international travel is much curtailed during the COVID-19 period, the situation is expected to gradually return to normal as the virus retreats. As they begin to take part in international events once again, athletes need to understand the dos and don’ts of traveling with CBD.

Cannabis laws are constantly changing in a number of countries and can be confusing when looking to travel with CBD products. The first thing is to ensure that cannabidiol is legal in the country in question. If not, travelers are likely to be detained and the CBD products confiscated. 

Most European countries allow the use of CBD products provided they have a maximum of 0.2% THC. Another thing to check is the legalization status of CBD products in the country or countries that travelers will have to pass through.

It is also important to make a note of the amount of CBD travelers may possess in countries where it is legal to do so. The same is the case when it comes to the form of CBD. General over-the-counter forms of CBD will mostly not require any specific paperwork. If not, a doctor’s prescription will most likely be required. 

CBD is Not a Supplement to Boost Performance

CBD is well known as a remedy for pain and inflammation – issues that athletes mostly face after a particularly grueling training session. The hemp component of CBD is largely responsible for these anti-inflammatory properties. 

CBD can also help with a number of other health problems that may positively impact an athlete’s performance on the sports field. Therefore, while an indirect relationship does occur between CBD and performance, it cannot be put in the same category as other performance boosters such as steroids.


CBD products that are derived from Hemp and contain less than the prescribed .3 percent of THC are legal per federal law. However, certain state laws may still deem it illegal.

CBD products that are derived from Marijuana are illegal per federal law but remain legal under the laws of certain states. 

It is advisable to check the appropriate state laws in case of travel. It is important to note that over-the-counter CBD products are not approved by the FDA.

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