The cannabis-derived chemical compound is all the rage among athletes looking to manage pain, alleviate stress, and enhance performance. Here’s what you need to know before trying them out yourself.
Andrew Talanksy doesn’t smoke weed. As a professional triathlete, he could be drug-tested at any time, so even if he wanted to touch the stuff, he couldn’t. Still, Talansky’s biggest sponsor, Floyd’s of Leadville, is a cannabis brand: He’s fond of the company’s cannabidiol (CBD) softgels, which he takes to reduce chronic aches and pains, help him sleep, and ease competition-related stress.
Paid endorsers aren’t the only athletes experimenting with CBD as a performance enhancer. After trying CBD in conjunction with its psychoactive relative, THC, trail runner Jake Marty now pops a gummy that contains both substances to deal with “the pain cave,” as he puts it. Recently, he’s noticed more of his friends dabbling with CBD supplements, too: “Some people have it the night before a workout,” he says. “Usually less have it during. And most are stoked to have it after as recovery.”