The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (2023)

CBD oil now appears in everything, from muscle balms to pillow sprays to ice cream. It promises everything from helping us sleep better, to improving our recovery from long runs and easing our aches and pains. And the CBD oil marketing machine is clearly working: according to independent research, between 8 and 11% of the UK population have tried it in the last year.

But what is it, and does it really work for those muscle aches and pains?

What is CBD oil?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of many compounds found within the marijuana plant. Another one of these compounds is THC - tetrahydrocannabinol - and this is the compound that is psychoactive, changing the way your brain works to produce a high. CBD, however, has no psyschoactive effect and - the World Health Organisation agrees - is safe to take.

However, while it may be safe, there’s relatively little information yet about how it works. Graeme Close, Professor of Human Physiology at Liverpool John Moores University, who studies CBD, explains that ‘The scientific literature is a long way behind, because it’s been under prohibition for many years. There is some evidence that it can help with pain management, with anxiety, and with sleep, and obviously those are three really important things from a sports performance perspective,’ says Close. ‘There certainly is a mechanism for all three of them scientifically. It's just that at the moment I would say the research evidence needs to catch up, to explore these claims better.’

How to take CBD oil

As CBD oil is now in everything, you might wonder what's the best way to take it - oil, capsules, balm or spray? As you’d probably expect, the science shows ingesting it is more effective than rubbing it into your skin. ‘If we looked at a sort of hierarchy,’ says Professor Close, ‘well, I would absolutely by no means want to advocate vaping or smoking, but that appears to be the most effective way to get it into the system. Then it’s the drops under the tongue, then tablets. Even less is known about the balms and things.’

And how much is a good dose to take? It's hard to say, because research suggests that CBD may react differently in different people. ‘We know that the European Food Safety Authority have set the safe upper limit at 70 milligrammes a day,’ says Professor Close. ‘But we don't know that's an effective dose. Also, if a label on a bottle states that a CBD oil contains ‘1,000mg of CBD’ that refers to how much is contained in the entire bottle, So what percentage will be in a few drops?’

Is CBD oil safe?

One reason the experts are cautious is also issues around quality control. One recent study tested 25 products and found only three of them had anywhere near the CBD content claimed on the label. Another US study looked at 84 samples and found only 26 contained the amount of CBD claimed. More worryingly, 18 of them contained more THC than they said. CBD products sold in the UK must contain no more than 0.2 per cent THC content, but even that would be more than enough to get you banned as an elite athlete. So anyone wanting to avoid THC must be careful to get CBD from a source that tests each and every batch properly. As Grayson Hart, who set up PureSport CBD, says, ‘All our products are tested by BSCG [The Banned Substances Control Group], which tests for all banned substances and contaminants, and certifies that the product is exactly the strength it claims to be. Unfortunately the CBD world is riddled with brands that don’t take that seriously, and are out to make a quick buck’.

In January 2019 the Novel Foods Act included CBD for the first time. This means that to stay on the market, CBD products had to apply for authorisation. This process is ongoing, and products are allowed to stay on the market until examined, but a large number could well be removed. ‘Hopefully then we will get rid of the cowboys, which will just leave the credible brands on the market,’ says Professor Close.

‘At the moment, you could end up spending a lot of money without really knowing what you are getting, and how to take it. But there are some really credible brands who are funding research and doing their best to answer these questions.’

What are the best CBD oils in 2023?


    KLORIS High Strength CBD Balm

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (1)

    KLORIS High Strength CBD Balm

    Derived from organic hemp plants, this all natural CBD balm is designed to help with pain relief and muscle recovery. It’s free from harmful chemicals and pesticides and infused with a blend of natural ingredients (including shea butter and coconut) oil that work together to provide a soothing, relieving effect. Designed to be applied pre- and post-run, massaged into the skin.

    PureSport 1000mg CBD Oil

    1000mg CBD Oil Tincture – 30ml | Broad Spectrum | 0% THC

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (2)

    1000mg CBD Oil Tincture – 30ml | Broad Spectrum | 0% THC

    (Video) HONEST Review Of Puresport CBD Products For Runners

    Triple third-party lab-tested and THC-free. PureSport products are all tested by the BSCG [The Banned Substances Control Group], which also certifies the strength.

    Trip Double Down CBD Oil Pack

    Double Down CBD Oil Pack

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (3)

    Double Down CBD Oil Pack

    Now 45% Off

    CBD oil is certainly a strong taste, and some may prefer their oils blended with more pleasant flavours. This twin pack comes with Orange Blossom and Wild Mint.

    Nature Can 10% CBD Oil

    Guaranteed THC-free, independently lab-tested and certified, and vegan-friendly. This 10% CBD oil is also made from certified organic hemp, and the carrier oil in the blend is also organic.

    Endoca CBD Oil


    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (5)


    THC-free, lab-tested, and with omega 3 and vitamins D and E. Endoca comes in both strong and medium concentrations, as well as raw and heated formulations (heated, or decarboxylated CBD is usually stronger)

    PureSport 1000mg CBD Oil

    1000mg CBD Oil Tincture – 30ml | Broad Spectrum | 0% THC

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (6)

    (Video) What's all the buzz about CBD oil? | Just The FAQs

    1000mg CBD Oil Tincture – 30ml | Broad Spectrum | 0% THC

    Triple third-party lab-tested and THC-free. PureSport products are all tested by the BSCG [The Banned Substances Control Group], which also certifies the strength.

    Mission C Pre-workout + CBD Oil

    Pre-Workout + CBD Oil

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (7)

    Pre-Workout + CBD Oil

    This CBD oil is infused with Ashwagandha, Citral and Maca Root which claim to boost your energy, increase concentration and reduce inflammation before your run.


    If the taste of CBD is too much for you, there are also many capsules available from the top brands - as with the oil, they come in varying strengths and some have additional vitamins or supplements included. Always check the dose and recommended usage.

    Ultra Pure CBD Advanced Absorption Capsules

    Pureis Ultra Pure CBD Advanced Absorption Capsules - 20mg - 7s

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (8)

    Pureis Ultra Pure CBD Advanced Absorption Capsules - 20mg - 7s

    £15 at Pureis

    (Video) HOW Using CBD & Mushroom supplements can help running recovery & psychology

    Acid-resistant to aid absorption in the stomach, take these high purity 20mg CBD capsules once a day.

    Fourfive CBD Capsules

    cbd CBD Capsules

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (9)

    cbd CBD Capsules

    High purity and THC-free, with exactly 10mg of CBD in each capsule. They are also made free of herbicides and pesticides and are vegan.

    Provacan Premium CBD Soft Gels

    CBD Soft Gels Gold 20mg/capsule, 30 pack

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (10)

    CBD Soft Gels Gold 20mg/capsule, 30 pack

    Provacan are partnered with the leading CBD researchers in Israel and the UK, and even publish the lab reports of their ingredients, so you can be sure of exactly what you are taking.

    (Video) Joe Rogan - The Benefits of CBD


    Does CBD oil work for runners? ›

    Athletes can maximise post-run recovery with the help of CBD. Reduced injury risk – CBD has proven anti-inflammatory effects on your joints. This can reduce pain and lessen the risk of injury and post-run stiffness, which is especially important for runners, who are at greater risk of knee pain and injury.

    Is CBD oil or CBD capsules better? ›

    CBD oil has high bioavailability as most of the therapeutic properties get through to the bloodstream very quickly. A capsule has lower availability as some of the CBD will be lost in the digestive process, therefore less reaches the bloodstream and it takes longer to get there.

    Can I use CBD oil and the balm together? ›

    CBD balm can be used in addition to oral CBD capsules or drops. It can also be used on its own for those who don't like the taste of CBD drops or who find it difficult to swallow capsules.

    What CBD products do athletes use? ›

    Best CBD salves for athletes
    • Charlotte's Web CBDMEDIC Active Sport Pain Relief Stick.
    • CBDistillery CBDol Topical — CBD Balm.
    • Level Select CBD Roll-Ons.
    • Therabody Revive CBD Body Balm.
    • PlusCBD CBD Balm.
    • CBDfx CBD Cream For Muscle & Joint.
    • Aspen Green Pain Relief Body Balm.

    Does CBD improve endurance? ›

    Endurance athletes are known to have outstanding athletic abilities and stamina; adding CBD could up the ante even more. There is a lot to still learn about CBD, but limited studies and anecdotal evidence point in the direction of a benefits all endurance athletes could gain from.

    How much CBD do athletes take? ›

    Many experts suggest about 300 milligrams taken orally, but others have found benefit with as little as 20 milligrams, a relatively common dose in CBD supplements for athletes. It's wise to start with small doses to assess your sensitivity.

    Do CBD balms really work? ›

    Researchers found that CBD can significantly reduce intense pain, sharp pain, itchy sensations, and cold. Other research also suggests that topical CBD may be useful for treating joint and muscle pain associated with other conditions, such as migraine. Topical CBD may also benefit certain skin disorders.

    Where should I apply CBD balm? ›

    Some like to apply it before they work out, as the act of massaging muscles can help to prep and warm up tight limbs. Others may prefer to rub in a scoopful after they've exercised, focusing on clicky joints and the soles of feet – any place they tend to hold tension. CBD balms can also be applied during work.

    What are the side effects of CBD balm? ›

    Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.

    What form of CBD is most effective? ›

    Most Efficient Method of Consumption - Sublingually-administered CBD is the most direct and efficient form of CBD consumption, having the highest and fastest absorption rate of cannabidiol.

    Are CBD pills the same as CBD oil? ›

    CBD pills and oils represent two different ways that people can use CBD. Both formulations may offer different benefits depending on the intended use. For example, people can use oils in a variety of different ways, while pills may offer a more convenient option.

    Which method of CBD is best? ›

    Inhaling your CBD is actually one of the most effective ways to consume! Inhalation fully bypasses first pass metabolism. Your lungs provide direct access to the bloodstream.

    What is better 500 or 1000mg CBD oil? ›

    What's the difference between 500mg and 1000mg of CBD oil? A 1000mg CBD is twice as strong as a 500mg CBD oil, provided the total contents of the bottle is the same. So, expanding on the example above, a 10ml bottle of CBD oil containing 1000mg of CBD would offer 5mg per 0.05ml drop.

    How often should you take CBD oil capsules? ›

    Many manufacturers typically recommend that people take CBD oil once or twice a day. However, this varies according to various factors, which can include: the condition the person is treating. weight.

    How do I choose CBD capsules? ›

    What to Look for in a CBD Capsule
    1. Price.
    2. Potency.
    3. Quality, including whether the capsule is made from all-natural, non-GMO and/or organic ingredients.
    4. Third-party laboratory testing for potency and safety, with COAs easily available on the product website.
    5 days ago

    Can CBD help athletic performance? ›

    CBD has been found to help reduce performance anxiety and stress levels, which could be beneficial for athletes, directly impacting both the physical and mental faculties needed for performance.

    Does CBD hinder athletic performance? ›

    With what we know at this point, CBD offers good potential benefits and few risks. If it improves recovery as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and sleep aid, then it has great potential to improve athletic performance.

    Does CBD affect motor skills? ›

    The key takeaway here is that pure CBD oil is unlikely to have any impact on your motor skills; however, there isn't enough research to say definitively. If you're unsure of whether you should be driving, consult your doctor.

    Is 200 mg CBD per day too much? ›

    Studies show doses up to 1,500 milligrams a day have been well-tolerated, but every person is different. Ingesting too much CBD can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, drowsiness, lightheadedness and general disorientation. While rare, liver damage can also occur.

    Is 40 mg of CBD a day too much? ›

    You can take 40 mg on days when you're in a lot of pain. After a week, you increase it to 45 mg, and after a second week, you use 50 mg. At this point, you might feel that your pain is bearable. It might be wise to keep track of how much CBD you're taking and whether your symptoms are getting better.

    Is 100 mg CBD per day OK? ›

    As with any drug, the appropriate dosage is one that provides a therapeutic effect and is well-tolerated. In clinical studies, researchers have used various oral dosages of CBD, ranging from 100–800 mg per day. Some studies use even higher dosages.

    How long do effects of CBD balm last? ›

    CBD topicals typically take effect within 15 to 20 minutes, and the benefits usually last for up to six hours.

    What is the difference between hemp balm and CBD balm? ›

    Balm vs.

    CBD lotions are produced similarly with the CBD extract from the hemp plant infused into a topical base. The difference is that instead of using a combination of natural wax and fatty oils as a base, they use less oil content and more water and typically only moisturize for a short time.

    What is the difference between CBD oil and balm? ›

    To summarize, CBD oil is a popular ingestible CBD product that is fast-acting and addresses discomfort systemically. CBD balm is a topical CBD product that provides relief exactly where you need it. When used in tandem, these two products make an unstoppable team in the battle against nagging discomfort.

    How many times can you use CBD balm? ›

    CBD Relief Cream can be applied to the five times per day for a maximum of seven consecutive days. People turn to soothing creams to soothe and calm their skin, body, and spirit multiple times per day.

    Should I take CBD balm before or after workout? ›

    The short answer is that CBD oil is effective both before and after workouts. Before your workout, it can help to boost your energy and relax your muscles. Afterward, it can help soothe post-exercise inflammation.

    Does CBD balm absorb into bloodstream? ›

    Conclusion. CBD cream does not get into the bloodstream because they are applied topically. The skin, being the largest organ, is full of endocannabinoid receptors which bind with CBD indirectly to relieve pain and inflammation.

    Does CBD balm raise blood pressure? ›

    In the last few years, CBD has been shown to have a number of health benefits. One such benefit is its ability to reduce blood pressure levels which could be useful for people who suffer from hypertension or high cholesterol and heart disease risks associated with it.

    Does CBD help with arthritis? ›

    Anecdotally, some people with arthritis who have tried CBD report noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement and/or anxiety reduction. However, like any medication for arthritis, some people do not report any symptom improvements when taking CBD.

    Can CBD ointment cause high blood pressure? ›

    For high blood pressure specifically, a 2011 study found that THC alone or in combination with CBD sometimes resulted in an increase in blood pressure, and sometimes in a decrease. Finally, it's crucial to keep in mind that CBD may interact with some medications, including those used for hypertension.

    What drugs should not be taken with CBD? ›

    CBD has been reported to interact with several anticonvulsants, including diazepam, lamotrigine, and phenytoin28,29; sedative drugs including barbiturates such as phenobarbital and hexobarbital30; and narcotics such as codeine and morphine.

    What strength of CBD is best to start with? ›

    Those new to CBD will tend to start with a product that provides less than 10mg per dose. If you prefer to take a capsule, then a typical starting product will provide 6.4mg of a 'high-strength' oil in which CBD is blended with olive and hemp oil.

    Can you take CBD oil and capsules together? ›

    Yes, you can. In fact, we do it all the time at Cannaray HQ, mixing and matching our CBD oils, CBD capsules and CBD gummies to work with our mood. But, to combine different CBD products, you need to keep the amounts you're taking in mind, as we recommend using no more than 70mg of CBD per day.

    Can you buy CBD pills over-the-counter? ›

    Yes. CBD derived from hemp was legalized for commercial use in 2018. However, the FDA does not regulate over-the-counter CBD products, so quality levels vary from brand to brand. Some products you buy may have more or less CBD than what's listed on the label.

    Is over-the-counter CBD the same as medical CBD? ›

    Medical CBD, only available with a prescription, is derived from cannabis, not hemp. Its use and distribution is limited and heavily regulated via the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP) because the THC content of medicinal CBD is higher than in over-the-counter products.

    What form of CBD is best for beginners? ›

    The best CBD for beginners is often the most simple products used twice daily. This is usually a CBD tincture or a CBD capsule. Though the CBD tinctures might be intimidating at first, it's pretty simple. The CBD tinctures allow you full control over exactly how much CBD you take at your morning and evening servings.

    Can you take CBD before running? ›

    Using CBD before your workout can significantly help to lessen the effects of anxiety and reduce blood pressure, allowing you to bring your A-game from the word go.

    Do pro athletes use CBD? ›


    Some of the most famous athletes endorsing CBD are professional golfer Rickie Fowler, NFL player Rob Gronkowski, and MMA fighter Nate Diaz. NBA player Klay Thompson, heavyweight boxer Shannon Briggs, and soccer player Megan Rapinoe are other professional athletes who use CBD in sports.

    Should I take CBD oil before or after workout? ›

    The short answer is that CBD oil is effective both before and after workouts. Before your workout, it can help to boost your energy and relax your muscles. Afterward, it can help soothe post-exercise inflammation.

    When should you avoid CBD? ›

    Absolute contraindications to CBD are allergies to cannabidiol or sesame oil. At first signs of skin, cutaneous irritation, or anaphylactic reaction, the patient should stop using CBD.

    What time of day should you use CBD? ›

    Current evidence does not suggest there is a best time to take CBD. A person may wish to take CBD in the morning if they want to feel more awake and alert or to help manage their anxiety. Throughout the day, a person may wish to use CBD to treat certain epilepsy seizures or migraine.

    Does CBD improve cardio? ›

    CBD does not appear to impair aerobic exercise performance and could, therefore, have utility within the sporting context.

    What are the negative factors of CBD? ›

    Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.

    How much CBD for athletic recovery? ›

    One rule of thumb is 1-6 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight based on pain levels. Another is to start with 5-10mg per day and increase by 5-10mg until you feel relief.

    When should athletes take CBD? ›

    If you're new to CBD, start with a low dose and don't use it before an athletic competition or workout. When you grow comfortable with its effects, you can start to use higher doses and consider taking it before or even during physical activity.

    What athlete was caught with CBD oil? ›

    Brittney Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time Women's National Basketball Association All-Star has been arrested in Russia after customs officials detected cannabis oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow, The New York Times reported.

    Who uses CBD the most? ›

    CBD Usage By Gender

    21% of American men have tried CBD, while just 16% of American women have as well. 10% of men use CBD regularly, while just 4% of women do the same. Interestingly, CBD usage statistics also show that women usually use CBD more for health reasons.

    What is pure sport CBD? ›

    Puresport makes CBD in oils, capsules and topicals (which are to be applied directly to the skin). These natural remedies are helping thousands of happy customers globally to discover the power of natural products to support their whole-body wellness.


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