Best CBD Oil Products for Athletes and Pro Athletes: Boost Athletic Performance and Recovery

Written by 
Sian Ferguson, CBD and Cannabis Writer.
|Check IconMedically reviewed by 
Eloise Theisen, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC.
|Last Updated:
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* Statements regarding CBD products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
* Please advise your physician prior to each use of CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating substance that is extracted from cannabis and hemp plants. It’s quite a popular ingredient in health products, and you’ll find that there are plenty of CBD products specifically for athletes. This is because many athletes use CBD for recovery and performance.

Whether you’re a keen gymmer, a running enthusiast, or a professional athlete, you might enjoy adding CBD to your daily routine. Research suggests that CBD can be used for pain, inflammation, and anxiety, all of which can affect athletes.

For the most part, CBD is not banned by athletic organizations. Back in 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances. However, THC – which is the substance that can make you intoxicated – is banned by most organizations. Full-spectrum CBD products contain a tiny amount of THC, and although it’s unlikely, it’s possible to test positive for THC after using a full-spectrum CBD product.

As always, we advise that you talk to your doctor before using CBD. Professional athletes should also talk to their coaches before using any new health product.

Because there are so many CBD products out there, it can be difficult to figure out which products you should purchase. Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of the best CBD products for athletes.

How we chose

We base our recommendations on the price, lab results, hemp quality, transparency, customer service, brand reputation, and other criteria. We’ve selected these CBD products for athletes from a list of more than 3000 products from over 150 CBD brands.

We use an unbiased ranking system to rate brands and products out of 100 points. Check out this page for more information on how we choose our products.

Our articles are written and reviewed by a team of cannabis journalists and medical practitioners who are experts in CBD.

#1 BestLeafreport’s picks of the Best CBD Oil Products

Our picks

Best Overall — Elixinol

Elixinol Sports Gel
Sports Gel
Overall ScoreProduct Review
96

Quality Assurance40/40
Hemp Quality17/20
Extract Type16/20
Additional ingredients10/10
Price10/10
Price:   $49.99Price CBD/mg:   $0.05Total CBD:   1000 mgPotency:  10 mg/mlExtract Type:  Broad SpectrumAvailable Bottle Sizes:   100 ml

Elixinol’s CBD Sports Gel combines CBD with arnica and capsaicin, which are both used to soothe pain. Elixinol’s products are registered with Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program, which allows the state to regulate hemp products. Their products are also certified by the US Hemp Authority. As an added bonus, all Elixinol products are vegan-friendly.

Quality Assurance

Third-party tests confirm that this product is free of contaminants and contains the advertised amount of broad-spectrum CBD. Their lab reports can be viewed on their website.

Hemp Quality

Elixinol’s CBD is derived from US-grown hemp on a farm that complies with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s organic standards. This product is certified by the US Hemp Authority. Elixinol’s products are also registered with Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program.

Extract Type

This product contains THC-free broad-spectrum CBD.

Additional Ingredients

In addition to CBD, this product contains arnica and capsaicin, which are often used to reduce pain and inflammation. It also contains essential oils, including eucalyptus, grapefruit, peppermint, and chamomile. This sports gel is vegan.

Price

At about $0.06 per milligram of CBD, this sports gel is well-priced for a topical CBD product, especially when you consider the added ingredients.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Certified by the US Hemp Authority
  • Registered with Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program
  • Added arnica, capsaicin, and essential oils
  • Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
  • None

Best Value For Money — CBDfx

CBDfx CBD Gummies with Turmeric & Spirulina 1500mg
CBD Gummies with Turmeric & Spirulina 1500mg
Overall ScoreProduct Review
94

Quality Assurance40/40
Hemp Quality15/20
Extract Type16/20
Additional ingredients10/10
Price10/10
Price:   $49.99Price CBD/mg:   $0.03Total CBD:   1500 mgPotency:  25 mg/mlExtract Type:  Broad Spectrum

At only $0.03 per milligram of CBD, this product is our pick for the best value for money. These THC-free gummies contain added turmeric and spirulina. What’s more is that they’re totally plant-based, making them suitable for vegan athletes.

Quality Assurance

CBDfx products are tested by an independent lab. Their test results are available online.

Hemp Quality

CBDfx uses US-grown hemp. They say their hemp is derived from farms that use organic practices, although they don’t seem to be certified as organic.

Extract Type

This product contains THC-free, broad-spectrum CBD.

Additional Ingredients

Each gummy contains 25mg of turmeric and 10mg of spirulina in addition to 25mg of CBD. This product doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients, making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Spirulina is often called a “superfood” because it’s so nutrient-dense —it contains omega fatty acids, protein, vitamins B1, B2, and B3, copper, and iron. Spirulina also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Price

At just over $0.03 per milligram of CBD, this product is outstanding value for money, especially when you consider the added turmeric and spirulina.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Excellent value-for-money
  • Added turmeric and spirulina
  • Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
  • Not certified by the US Hemp Authority

Best CBD Cream for Athletes — Just Live

Just Live CBD Pain Relief Cream – 750mg
Pain Relief Cream – 750mg
Overall ScoreProduct Review
89

Quality Assurance40/40
Hemp Quality15/20
Extract Type16/20
Additional ingredients10/10
Price8/10
Price:   $69.99Price CBD/mg:   $0.09Total CBD:   750 mgPotency:  15 mg/mlExtract Type:  Broad SpectrumAvailable Bottle Sizes:   50 ml

Just Live is an athlete-founded company that creates quality CBD products for athletes. This THC-free CBD cream is intended to soothe aches and pains. It can be used after a workout or competitive event or to help with an injury.

Quality Assurance

This product has been tested by a third-party lab. Their lab reports can be accessed on their website.

Hemp Quality

Just Live uses non-GMO US-grown hemp.

Extract Type

This product contains THC-free broad-spectrum CBD.

Additional Ingredients

In addition to 1500mg of CBD, Just Live Pain Relief Cream contains arnica, menthol, and camphor, which are often used in pain-relief topicals.

Price

At $99 for a 1500mg, 50ml product, this price is fair. It works out to just less than $0.07 per milligram of CBD, which is great for a CBD topical product.

They have a generous discount program, offering a 20 percent discount to many groups of people, including low-income families, first responders, teachers, medical personnel, students, senior citizens, real estate agents, union members, and more.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Discount program
  • Added arnica, menthol, and camphor
  • Not certified by the US Hemp

Best CBD Tincture for Athletes — Premium Jane 

Premium Jane 5000mg Luxe Lemon-Lime CBD Tincture – 2 oz / 60mL
5000mg Luxe Lemon-Lime CBD Tincture – 2 oz / 60mL
Overall ScoreProduct Review
94

Quality Assurance40/40
Hemp Quality18/20
Extract Type16/20
Additional ingredients7/10
Price10/10
Price:   $275Price CBD/mg:   $0.06Total CBD:   5000 mgPotency:  83.33 mg/mlExtract Type:  Broad SpectrumAvailable Bottle Sizes:   60 ml

This lemon-and-lime flavored tincture is quite potent, containing 5000mg of CBD per 60mg bottle. A THC-free formula, this strong dose is ideal for someone who needs an extra boost – for example, if they’re recovering from a painful injury. Premium Jane suggests using half a dropper per serving, working out to 62.5mg – an impressive dose.

Quality Assurance

Premium Jane products are tested by an independent lab. Their lab reports are available on their website.

Hemp Quality

Premium Jane uses US-grown hemp from Kentucky.

Extract Type

This product contains THC-free broad-spectrum CBD.

Additional Ingredients

In addition to CBD, this product contains a combination of MCT coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and flaxseed oil. Typically, CBD tinctures only use one kind of oil. The flavoring is derived from natural sources.

Price

At $0.055 (five and a half cents) per milligram, this product is great value-for-money.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Good value for money
  • Potent servings
  • Not certified by the US Hemp

Best CBD Softgels for Athletes — Joy Organics

Joy Organics CBD Softgels With Curcumin
CBD Softgels With Curcumin
Overall ScoreProduct Review
83

Quality Assurance34/40
Hemp Quality15/20
Extract Type16/20
Additional ingredients10/10
Price8/10
Price:   $89.95Price CBD/mg:   $0.12Total CBD:   750 mgPotency:  25 mg/mlExtract Type:  Broad Spectrum

These broad-spectrum CBD softgels contain added curcumin. Found in turmeric, curcumin has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making them ideal for athletes.

Quality Assurance

Joy Organics products are tested by an independent lab. Their lab reports are available on their website. In addition to this, Joy Organics is a member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

Hemp Quality

Joy Organics uses US-grown hemp.

Extract Type

This product contains broad-spectrum, THC-free CBD.

Additional Ingredients

These softgels contain curcumin, which is derived from turmeric. They are encased in a gelatin shell, which means they’re not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

Price

At $0.09 per milligram of CBD, these softgels are fairly priced when you consider the added ingredients. Joy Organics also offers subscriptions, in which case you’ll get 20 percent off.

Pros Cons
  • Board member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Added curcumin
  • Subscription program
  • Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

Best CBD Energy Drink for Athletes — Joy Organics 

Joy Organics CBD Energy Drink Mix
CBD Energy Drink Mix
Overall ScoreProduct Review
85

Quality Assurance40/40
Hemp Quality15/20
Extract Type16/20
Additional ingredients10/10
Price4/10
Price:   $19.95Price CBD/mg:   $0.32Total CBD:   62.5 mgPotency:  12.5 mg/mlExtract Type:  Broad SpectrumAvailable Bottle Sizes:   5 ml

Joy Organics offers a CBD energy drink that can be used to make a pre- or post-workout drink. In addition to 12.5mg of CBD per sachet, this product also contains a range of vitamins plus 75mg of caffeine and BCAAs. This workout mix is available in a berry flavor.

Quality Assurance

This product has been tested by an independent lab. The lab reports can be viewed on their website. Joy Organics is a member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

Hemp Quality

Joy Organics uses US-grown hemp.

Extract Type

This product contains broad-spectrum, THC-free CBD.

Additional Ingredients

This energy drink mix contains caffeine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are often used to boost exercise performance and improve muscle growth. The drink mix also contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Price

This product is $15.96 for five sachets, working out to just over $0.25 per milligram of CBD. At first glance, this might seem expensive, but considering that it’s a combination of a workout mix and CBD, it’s fairly priced. Joy Organics also offers subscriptions, in which case you’ll get 20 percent off.

Pros Cons
  • Board member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Subscription program
  • Added BCAAs, caffeine, and vitamins
  • Only one flavor option

Best CBD Body Oil for Athletes — Rebotanicals

RE Botanicals Relief Body Oil – Ginger Lime
Relief Body Oil – Ginger Lime
Overall ScoreProduct Review
96

Quality Assurance40/40
Hemp Quality20/20
Extract Type20/20
Additional ingredients3/10
Price10/10
Price:   $19.99Price CBD/mg:   $0.1Total CBD:   200 mgPotency:  20 mg/mlExtract Type:  Full SpectrumAvailable Bottle Sizes:   10 ml

This body oil is great for a post-workout massage. It has a roller applicator and is pocket-sized, making it great for on-the-go relief. With 500mg of CBD in a 10ml bottle, each application packs quite a punch. This oil also contains turmeric and mandarin essential oils.

Quality Assurance

This product has been tested by a third-party lab. The certificate of analysis is available on their website.

Hemp Quality

This CBD is extracted from US-grown hemp that has been certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Extract Type

This product contains full-spectrum CBD, which means it does contain THC. Because it’s a topical treatment, it’s unlikely that the THC will enter your bloodstream and show up on a blood test, but err on the side of caution if you know you’ll be tested.

Additional Ingredients

This product is coconut-oil based. In addition to CBD, it contains turmeric essential oil and mandarin essential oil. All ingredients, from their hemp extract to their botanical oils, are certified organic.

Price

This works out to around $0.07 per milligram of CBD, which is a fair price for a topical treatment. Rebotanicals also offers a 15 percent discount for senior citizens and retired or active military personnel.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Certified organic by the USDA
  • Added essential oils
  • Good value for money
  • Discount program
  • Contains THC – be wary if you’re drug tested

Best Product With Anti-Pain Ingredients — CBDMD 

cbdMD CBD Topical Lidocaine 4oz Spray - 1500mg - Roll On
CBD Topical Lidocaine 4oz Spray - 1500mg - Roll On
Overall ScoreProduct Review
91

Quality Assurance40/40
Hemp Quality15/20
Extract Type16/20
Additional ingredients10/10
Price10/10
Price:   $99.99Price CBD/mg:   $0.07Total CBD:   1500 mgPotency:  12.5 mg/mlExtract Type:  Broad SpectrumAvailable Bottle Sizes:   120 ml

This topical product combines CBD with lidocaine, a local anesthetic that’s often used to relieve aches and pains. One convenient aspect of CBDMD’s Topical Lidocaine is that it comes in two different containers: you can choose between a roll-on applicator and a spray bottle. It also comes in three different strengths: 500mg, 1500mg, and 3000mg.

Quality Assurance

This product is tested by an independent lab. The lab reports can be found online.

Hemp Quality

CBDMD uses CBD derived from US-grown hemp.

Extract Type

This product uses THC-free broad-spectrum CBD.

Additional Ingredients

In addition to CBD, this product contains lidocaine and aloe vera. Aloe vera is commonly used to soothe skin irritations.

Price

This product ranges between $0.08 and $0.04 per milligram, depending on the potency you choose, making it fair value for money. CBDMD offers a generous discount program for first responders, members of the armed forces, and disabled customers. They also have a subscription service that saves you money.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Discount program
  • Added lidocaine and aloe vera
  • Three potencies available
  • Not certified by the US Hemp Authority

Best Product With Energy-Boosting Ingredients — ReThink CBD 

CBD ReThink ReThink CBD Gummy Drops – Energy & Focus – 1000MG
ReThink CBD Gummy Drops – Energy & Focus – 1000MG
Overall ScoreProduct Review
91

Quality Assurance40/40
Hemp Quality15/20
Extract Type16/20
Additional ingredients10/10
Price10/10
Price:   $69.99Price CBD/mg:   $0.07Total CBD:   1000 mgPotency:  25 mg/mlExtract Type:  Broad SpectrumAvailable Bottle Sizes:   40 ml

These CBD gummies contain added vitamin B12 and caffeine, both of which are known to boost energy. Vitamin B12 is commonly prescribed for fatigue.

Quality Assurance

This product has been tested by a third-party lab. These lab reports are available online.

Hemp Quality

ReThink CBD uses US-grown hemp.

Extract Type

This product contains broad-spectrum, THC-free CBD.

Additional Ingredients

These gummies contain vitamin B12 and caffeine, as well as CBD. Although it does not contain gelatin, it does contain fish-derived omega 3 oil, which means it’s not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The product contains natural flavorings.

Price

At $0.07 per milligram of CBD, this is a fair price. They also offer free shipping on all products and have a subscription program that gives you a discount.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Added vitamin B12 and caffeine
  • Free shipping
  • Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
  • Not certified by the US Hemp Authority

Best Product With Anti-Anxiety Ingredients — Lazarus Naturals

Lazarus Naturals Relaxation Blend 25mg CBD Isolate Capsules
Relaxation Blend 25mg CBD Isolate Capsules
Overall ScoreProduct Review
83

Quality Assurance33/40
Hemp Quality18/20
Extract Type12/20
Additional ingredients10/10
Price10/10
Price:   $10Price CBD/mg:   $0.02Total CBD:   250 mgPotency:  25 mg/mlExtract Type:  Isolate

Lazarus Naturals is a reputable, affordable brand that has a wide range of CBD products. They have a few different CBD capsules and softgels. This particular product, CBD with chamomile, ashwagandha extract, and L-Tryptophan – ingredients meant to boost relaxation, making them ideal for athletes who get pre-competition jitters or who struggle to relax. This capsule is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Quality Assurance

This product has been tested by a third-party lab. The test results are available on the website.

Hemp Quality

Lazarus Naturals uses Oregon-grown hemp. Part of their farmland earned USDA Organic Certification in 2020. Their website states that they’re planning to have all of their products certified organic in 2021.

Extract Type

This product includes CBD isolate.

Additional Ingredients

These capsules contain chamomile, ashwagandha extract, and L-Tryptophan. The capsule shell is made from vegetable cellulose, and it’s vegan-friendly.

Price

The price works out to $0.03 – $0.04 per milligram of CBD, which is very fair. In addition to the good price, Lazarus Naturals offers an assistance program, which gives a generous 60 percent discount to veterans, people on long-term disability, and low-income families.

Pros Cons
  • Partly certified organic by the USDA
  • Comprehensive third-party testing
  • Assistance program
  • Good value for money
  • Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
  • Added ingredients
  • None

How to choose the best CBD for athletes

Before purchasing CBD as an athlete, you should consider a few different factors:

  • Third-party testing: Firstly, you should only ever purchase CBD products that have been tested by an independent lab (also known as a third-party lab). The lab report, also known as a certificate of analysis (COA), will confirm what their product actually contains. You should be able to view the COA on their website.
  • Type of CBD: There are three kinds of CBD: isolate, broad-spectrum, and full spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD contains a small amount of THC, which is banned by certain professional athletic organizations. Although it’s unlikely that THC will show up on a blood test if you use full-spectrum CBD, it is a possibility – so stick with broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate.
  • Added ingredients: Many CBD products contain added ingredients that might be beneficial. Topicals, in particular, contain added ingredients to nourish the skin or soothe pain. This can be a plus, although sometimes a very simple, no-fuss CBD product does the job perfectly well.
  • Plant-based: If you’re vegan or vegetarian, please note that not all CBD products are vegan. While CBD itself is plant-based, some products contain animal derivatives. This is especially true of gummies and softgels, which sometimes include gelatin.
  • Price: CBD is usually taken on a daily basis, so purchase a product that you’ll be able to afford if using it regularly. It might be helpful to calculate the cost per milligram of CBD and compare product prices from there.
  • Dosage: You’ll want a product that makes it easy for you to take the correct dosage. For example, if you’re taking 20mg of CBD per day, you won’t want a 50mg capsule. Remember that your dosage will depend on your individual biology, and it’s best to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it.

Need more information on choosing a CBD product? We’ve compiled a detailed guide which explains how to find a high-quality product that works for you.

Safety and side effects

The available research tells us that CBD is safe for human consumption. However, CBD can have some side effects, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Although not everybody experiences these side effects, it’s important to keep this in mind. If you experience any worrying symptoms, stop using CBD and talk with your medical provider.

Unfortunately, CBD can also interact with certain medications, especially drugs with a “grapefruit warning.” Both CBD and grapefruit affect the liver in such a way that it changes how your body processes certain medications. As a result, using CBD with those medications may cause an interaction.

We suggest talking to a CBD-friendly doctor before using CBD, especially if you’re taking another medication. A doctor will be able to figure out if CBD will be safe for you, and they could guide you on taking the correct dosage.

Legality

The good news is that most CBD products are legal in the United States. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived CBD products throughout the United States. All of the products mentioned above contain 0.3 percent THC or less, which means they are legal to use in every state.

Remember that if you use a full-spectrum product, a drug test may be able to pick up THC in your body. This means that you could test positive for cannabis use if you’re tested at an athletic event, at work, or by the police. If you’re concerned about testing positive for THC, opt for a THC-free product.

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About The Authors
Sian Ferguson
Sian Ferguson
CBD and Cannabis Writer
Sian Ferguson is a freelance health writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been reporting on CBD and cannabis for over five years. In addition to CBD and cannabis, her work also covers mental health, reproductive health, and social justice. She’s a regular writer for Healthline and PsychCentral, and has been published in The Washington Post, Complex, Greatist, HealthyWay, and more. She’s passionate about making empathetic, science-based health information accessible to more people.
Eloise Theisen
Eloise Theisen
RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
Eloise Theisen is a board certified Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner who specializes in cannabis therapy. For over 20 years, Eloise has worked primarily with cancer, dementia and chronic pain patients. In the last 6 years, Eloise has focused her efforts on cannabinoid therapies. Eloise has worked with over 6500 patients to help them effectively treat age-related and chronic illness with cannabis.
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