Can CBD help athletic performance?

Can CBD help athletic performance?

Can CBD help athletic performance?

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For high-level athletes, and those of us who strive to reach such heights, the search for performance-enhancing substances is eternal and challenging. Supplements have to conform to anti-doping laws, be safe, and preferably natural.

Enter CBD, or cannabidiol. CBD is currently creating ripples among athletes, who claim benefits as varied as accelerated recovery from injury, sounder sleep, and reduced muscle pain.

Although many organizations regard cannabis’ other main cannabinoid, THC, an illicit substance, the World Anti-Doping Agency permits the use of pure CBD isolate. CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-anxiety, and analgesic properties, and could represent a legal, game-changing supplement.

CBD products targeting both recreational and elite athletes, such as cbdMD and fourfivecbd, are already embraced by athletes across diverse codes.

But is the power of CBD just hype? Is there substantial evidence that CBD can offer athletes that elusive edge? Or are these claims simply PR spin for a trending cannabinoid?

What do studies say about CBD?

According to recent research released in 2020, CBD may support athletes in many ways.

Reduced inflammation and pain

A 2020 review published in Sports Medicine analyzed preclinical animal studies and clinical CBD trials in non-athlete populations. The authors found that CBD may promote physiological, biochemical, and psychological effects potentially beneficial to athletes.

One of the key findings of the review is that CBD could help alleviate inflammatory pain associated with tissue damage and neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage or irritation. This could signal an important advantage for endurance athletes: repetitive, long-distance workouts can provoke inflammation and irritation in peripheral nerves.

Protection against gastrointestinal damage

The above Sports Medicine study also found that CBD may protect against gastrointestinal damage. Athletes who regularly engage in strenuous activity can reduce oxygen and nutrient delivery to their gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

GI stress can negatively influence exercise performance and recovery due to nausea, vomiting, and impaired nutritional uptake. Preclinical research has shown that CBD can reduce tissue damage and restore the permeability of the intestine.

Bone health

The above authors additionally provided evidence that CBD may support healthy bone deposition and help heal fractures. Healthy bones are essential for athletes, and bone health is sometimes compromised by traumatic injuries or inadequate energy availability.

Management of sports performance anxiety

CBD may also help athletes manage sports performance anxiety, according to the Sports Medicine review. Anxiety before a competition can cause sleep loss, increase energy expenditure, and impair nutritional intake.

According to the authors of the review, studies in non-athlete human populations have indicated that CBD may relieve anxiety in stressful situations. CBD could even be more effective when teamed with psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapies.

Neuroprotective qualities to protect against brain injury

Another 2020 study, published in Pharmacological Research, also weighed the validity and applicability of existing CBD research for athletes. These authors emerged with similar conclusions but with a slightly different emphasis.

CBD’s neuroprotective properties were singled out for their potential to counteract harm that can occur following a sports-related concussion. These concussions are considered a variation of mild traumatic brain injury and can lead to harmful long-term complications such as neuronal damage.

The authors of the study emphasize recent research in an animal model demonstrating that CBD oil could help treat pain, aggression, and depression linked to mild traumatic brain injury. CBD oil also helped to counteract neuronal damage in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. The cannabinoid additionally inhibits oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, conferring further neuroprotective benefits.

These are promising findings as there are currently no effective pharmacological therapies available to manage mild traumatic brain injury. Repetitive traumatic brain injury, which can be common in contact sports, may also lead to chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Sleep and wake cycles

The 2020 Pharmacological Research study also underlined the sleep-altering potential of CBD. Research in animal models has discovered that CBD may be both a sleep-inducing agent and a wake-promoting agent. This ability to produce opposite effects—known as biphasic effects—depends on the dose being used and seems to work most successfully when the natural sleep-wake rhythm has been disturbed.

Lower doses of CBD seem to promote wakefulness, while higher doses appear to sedate and usher in sleep. Both properties may be beneficial: While the quest for a solid night’s sleep is invaluable before a big game, staying awake could also be performance-enhancing for athletes competing in ultra-marathons or endurance events.

But do any of these advantages come at a cost to performance on the field? Enhanced recovery and sound sleep may sound attractive, but not if they mean compromised balance or coordination.

According to the Sports Medicine study, however, the answer is no. The researchers assessed clinical trials investigating the impact of CBD on cognitive and psychomotor function and found that current data suggests CBD is unlikely to negatively impact either in healthy individuals.

What do experts and athletes say about CBD?

For Dr. Elaine Burns, medical director of Southwest Medical Marijuana Physicians Group and founder of Dr. Burns’ ReLeaf CBD products, CBD holds promise for athletes. Burns cautions nonetheless that current knowledge is limited, because most data is based on animal studies where animals tend to receive high doses of CBD.

“There is much to learn about translating dosing from animals to humans,” she said. That being said, the potential benefits are abundant, especially when it comes to treating and reducing inflammation.

“CBD can help athletes with recovery by reducing inflammation and aiding in muscle relaxation,” said Burns. “It’s an anti-inflammatory that works by reducing pro-inflammatory markers in the body. There’s also research showing that CBD is effective in combating neuroinflammation, making CBD interesting for athletes who play sports like football or boxing where concussions are common.”

For athletes curious to experiment with CBD, Burns advises opting for sublingual tinctures.

“I think drops administered sublingually should be the preferred method. This way CBD gets into your system quicker and has higher bioavailability so that dose can be reduced.”

For Stu Kam, jiu-jitsu athlete and owner of ATH Organics, CBD gummies represent a non-negotiable part of his supplemental regime.

“As a Brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete and competitor, CBD has been a staple in my training regimen to help with my recovery and specifically my rest,” said Kam.

He continued: “Every night I take 25mg of CBD gummies to help me sleep after training. Prior to using CBD, I’d have a hard time falling asleep after training, which ultimately led to poor recovery. Since taking CBD, I’ve noticed a much deeper sleep and the ability to train at my full potential the next day.”

The final word

As is often the case with cannabis research, more data on human populations is needed for more conclusive outcomes. The authors of both the Sports Medicine and Pharmacological Research studies emphasize the preliminary nature of their findings. While the current data is very promising, clinical research in athlete populations will provide more definitive insights into CBD’s utility.

Fortunately, it looks like such research initiatives are already getting underway. In 2019, Aurora Cannabis teamed up with the UFC to develop clinical research on CBD, athlete wellness, and recovery, and other research is sure to come. Expect to see more studies unfolding in this space in the near future.

Botanicals and their Health Benefits

Botanicals and their Health Benefits

Nature is so powerful! Many botanicals have medicinal qualities, providing tailored effects for specific conditions. Here are just some of the ones we use and why.


Now I don’t want to GABA on, but valerian increases Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (aka GABA.)This is a calming neurotransmitter, which explains why valerian has a relaxing effect on the body.

Valerian is particularly useful for sleep disorders such as insomnia and research also suggest it can benefit people with anxiety disorders. That’s why we use valerian alongside CBD in our Pain Sleep formula; to help you get that good night’s sleep you crave.






All of us at one time or another have smelt the lovely aroma of lavender. But this potent little plant not only smells good but does good too. Its commonly used at night-time to promote relaxation and boost a sense of calm. From essential oils to hand creams and tea,it is found in a variety of products.

Our Lavender CBD Muscle & Joint Ointment is great to apply before bed to promote physical recovery while you sleep.






Both the roots and berry of the Ashwagandha plant can be used in medicine. It is also referred to as the Winter Cherry and can be commonly confused with Ginseng. It is believed to reduce inflammation, boost immunity and assist the adrenals.

It is especially useful for those suffering with chronic conditions, as it helps the body recover from stress and tension.We use Ashwagandha in our CBD Pain Awake to provide mental clarity throughout the day.




Purple Passion

Purple Passionflower

Also known as Passiflora Incarnate, the Purple Passionflower is the peacock of the plant world. Not only is this flower beautiful to look at, but it also contains lots of nutrients.

Using the Purple Passionflower could not only help to calm muscle spasms but promote sleep too. Our Unwind Bath Salts take advantage of this, to give you a warm bath with added benefits.





White Willow

White Willow

Also known as Salix Alba, the White Willow has been used for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions. As nature’s precursor to Aspirin, its bark creates a similar substance in the body called salicylic acid.

This soothing botanical is particularly beneficial for conditions such as arthritis and lower back pain. We use White Willow in all our Pain formulas, as it’s healing properties help to combat inflammation.




CBD is fantastic but combined with mother nature’s medicine cabinet – it’s even better! These powerful botanicals each have healing potential. That’s why we include them in our products to target specific ailments and ultimately give you the best results.

See what other botanicals we use and try them out for yourself: Shop Now!






3 Easy Ways to Incorporate CBD into your Self-Care Routine

3 Easy Ways to Incorporate CBD into your Self-Care Routine

As many of you may know, September is self-care month. But what exactly is self-care? Read on to discover what self-care is and how you can easily incorporate CBD into your routine, to give you that extra wellness boost.

What is Self-Care?

We hear the term batted around a lot nowadays with things such as Self-Care Sunday and Wellness Wednesday on social media.But what does it mean?

Self-Care is about prevention- the measures, habits and routines we put in place to avoid mental or physical illness further down the line.

Self-care is not selfish. In fact, it’s the opposite. To look after others, you need to first look after your own health and wellbeing.

Ultimately, self-care is about doing things that your future self will thank you for.

CBD Pure

Mental Self-Care

Sometimes we can have negative thoughts about ourselves that we wouldn’t even imagine saying to someone else. Mental self-care is when we monitor these emotions and try to give our mind a break.

A good way to do this is through meditation; where you let your mind go blank and focus on bodily sensations such as breathing. After you’ve got the hang of it, you should find you have a lot more energy and focus to do things. Meditation isn’t always easy if you are a beginner, as your brain like any other muscle, needs to be trained.

You could try to medicate before you meditate. CBD could help you relax, so it’s easier to switch off those nagging thoughts and to-do lists. Whether you are just starting or a meditation master, CBD could enhance your experience and deepen your self-awareness.

Mental Self Care

Physical Self-Care

People tend to confuse physical self-care with self-maintenance. Self-maintenancerelates more to grooming or daily hygiene. Whereas physical self-care is about preventing health conditions from arising or ultimately improving your physical health.

Yoga can be a great way to strengthen your core and promote muscle mobility. But, even just going out for a walk can help to get your blood flowing and heart pumping. An hour of exercise a day will not only improve your overall fitness, it will do your mental health wonders too.

Physical self-care, so looking after your health, doesn’t have to be complicated. Even simple things like placing your CBD Ointment next to your bed will not only encourage you touse it beforeyousleep.But your future self will appreciate you making their life that little bit easier. After all, there is nothing worse then tucking up into bed and then seeing your CBD on the other side of the room.

Self care

Taking a warm steamy bath is another fantastic way to look after yourself. Not only will it clear your system and relax your muscles, you can also try meditation in the bath too. Light some candles, lock the door and you’ve carved out some time to unwind.

To add a little extra calm, sprinkle in some of our CBD Soaking Salts. Packed with high quality botanicals to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the week.

CBD Soaking Salt

CBD Soaking Salt – Revive

Promotes physical comfort & recovery from exercise

Dr Burns CBD Soaking Salt

CBD Soaking Salt – Unwind


Promotes relaxation & calm

Could Cannabis treat Covid-19?

Could Cannabis treat Covid-19?

Research is coming out that suggests that cannabis could help fight this deadly virus.
As scientists worldwide race to find treatments and ultimately a vaccine for COVID-19, several recent studies found that cannabis might help fight coronavirus.

ACE-2 is a protein that sits on the surface of many human cells. It plays a key role in things such as inflammation, blood pressure and healing. However, the shape of this gene attracts the spiked proteins of the virus and allow it to gain access to the body. As a result, the more ACE-2 the higher the likelihood of the virus entering tissue.

The University of Lethbridge found sativa extracts modified these ACE-2 genes. According to the study, 13 cannabis strains that are particularly high in anti-inflammatory properties, changed ACE-2’sexpression in these vital COVID-19 gateway tissues. While further large-scale validation is needed, the research suggests cannabis could reduce the virus’ transmission by up to 80 percent.

One of the most dangerous symptoms of Covid-19 is lung inflammation, which in the medical world is referred to as ARDS (acuterespiratory distress syndrome.) This occurs when the body’s inflammatory response goes into overdrive and can be deadly.

Another study from Augusta University found cannabismight be able to fight the associated inflammation that occurs in severe cases of Covid-19. During their study, CBD was givento mice with ARDS. Encouragingly, their symptoms were totallyor partially reduced after treatment with CBD.

Our Founder and Medical Director, Dr.Elaine Burns, recently appeared on Good Morning Arizona to discuss this exciting research that has the potential to greatly benefit the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Watch this clip to hear what she had to say.

Could CBD Treat COVID-19?

Could CBD Treat COVID-19?

No matter who you are, where you live or what you do, COVID-19 has disrupted your life. Our collective goal for 2020 is to find a vaccine and treatments for this devastating disease. Scientists worldwide are racing to uncover a solution, and several recent studies found that CBD might be a potential treatment for coronavirus.

Research from the University of Lethbridge suggests that CBD sativa extracts modulate ACE-2 gene expression.  ACE-2 is a protein that sits on the surface of many human cells and is key in things like inflammation, blood pressure and wound healing. The shape of the ACE-2 gene attracts the mace-like spike proteins that project from SARS-CoV-2 and allow the virus to gain access to the body. The more ACE-2 expression, the higher the likelihood of virus entering tissue.

According to the study, 13 of the cannabis strains that are particularly high in anti-inflammatory CBD, modulate ACE-2 gene expression in COVID-19 gateway tissues. While further large-scale validation is needed, the research suggests CBD could potentially reduce the virus by up to 80 percent.

Another study from Augusta University found CBD could help the most severe COVID-19 cases by reducing lung inflammation by mitigating ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), one of the most dangerous symptoms of the disease that occurs when the body’s inflammatory response goes into overdrive.

This over-the-top immune response appears to happen more with SARS-CoV-2 than other viruses.

The study found CBD might be able to fight the pro-inflammatory cytokine production that causes the issue. CBD appears to reduce specific cytokines like interleukin 6, 1b and 17. When CBD was tested on mice with ARDS, their symptoms were totally or partially reduced after treatment with CBD. The mice also showed increases in lymphocyte levels, which are key white blood cells that fight infection.

“While more research is needed to conclusively determine if CBD can help fight COVID-19 the preliminary studies are promising,” said Dr. Elaine Burns, founder of Dr. Burns ReLeaf™ products. “CBD is a strong anti-inflammatory agent so it does make sense that it could help the body naturally fight off coronavirus.”