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

    Now 33% Off

    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

    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

    10% CBD Oil

    The best CBD oils, balms and capsules for runners (4)

    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)

    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

    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.


    What form of CBD is best for athletes? ›

    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.

    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.

    Is CBD better in oil or capsules? ›

    The key advantages to using CBD oil are more controlled dosing and its quick absorption into the body. Taking one dose under the tongue (sublingually) ensures a fast delivery of cannabinoids to the bloodstream via the small blood vessels in the mouth. Typically consumers feel the effects within about 20–30 minutes.

    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.

    How much CBD should an athlete 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.

    What's the most effective type of CBD oil? ›

    Strongest CBD oils and tinctures
    • Best overall: Zatural Full Spectrum CBD Oil Drops. ...
    • Strongest per serving: cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Drops. ...
    • Best for quality: Spruce Lab Grade CBD Oil. ...
    • Best for travel: NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil. ...
    • Best organic option: ...
    • Best environmentally friendly option:
    Jan 27, 2023

    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.

    Is CBD balm the same as CBD oil? ›

    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.

    Can you use CBD balm everyday? ›

    However, it's important to note that – unlike oils and edibles – CBD topicals won't enter your bloodstream. This means you don't need to manage your dosage in the same way – you can use as much as you like as long as you don't exceed 70mg CBD per day.

    What are the cons of CBD capsules? ›

    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 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.
    4 days ago

    What is the best strength to start on CBD oil? ›

    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.

    Do professional athletes take CBD? ›

    Many athletes can benefit from using CBD, such as through better sleep and reduced inflammation. CBD is completely legal and permitted by anti-doping rules. Yet in the past, a number of people have run into trouble when they come to drug-test, as some vendor's CBD contains trace amounts of THC, which is prohibited.

    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.

    Does CBD salve help runner recovery? ›

    Studies have found that topical CBD may be able to significantly reduce inflammation, regulate the perception of pain, and balance cortisol levels. So if you're looking to soothe running soreness to recover faster from workouts, topical CBD balms could be effective.

    Is 20 mg of CBD lots? ›

    CBD Dosage and Use

    The typical dose range for CBD in adults is 15-30 mg daily. With some conditions, such as those involving pain or inflammation, the recommended dose is often higher, but I find it is best-tolerated and most effective for anxiety, sleep, and mood in this moderate range.

    Is 200mg of CBD a 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.

    How do I choose the right CBD product? ›

    When you shop for CBD, remember:
    1. High-quality CBD products are lab tested to verify their safety and purity.
    2. Be aware of how many milligrams of CBD are in each serving of the product.
    3. Buy USDA organic CBD when possible.
    4. Reputable CBD companies sell their products online or in state-licensed dispensaries.
    Jan 19, 2022

    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 much CBD should a beginner start with? ›

    "The best practice and the industry standard for dosing is to guide new CBD users to 'start low and go slow. ' This means starting at a dose of 10mg and slowly titrating up as needed by increasing the dose in 5mg increments every 2 to 3 days," says Capano.

    Does CBD balm raise blood pressure? ›

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound that may help reduce some factors in high blood pressure, such as stress, anxiety, and sleep quality issues.

    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.

    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.

    Where is the best place to use CBD balm? ›

    You can apply CBD balm directly to the area you want to treat, like a sore, stiff muscle or joint. For topically treating a skin condition like acne, eczema, or psoriasis, consider other types of CBD topicals like lotions or creams. Balms have a thick, heavy consistency that may not work as well for skin conditions.

    Is CBD cream or balm better? ›

    Both products can be bought in two different strengths, 500mg or 1000mg. The Deep Relief CBD pain cream targets mainly joint and muscular pain, however, CBD balm is particularly helpful in solely relieving muscular pain. The CBD balm delivers targeted relief to muscles with a powerful formula.

    What is full spectrum CBD balm? ›

    Full-spectrum CBD.

    Full-spectrum CBD contains several components of the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Federally legal full-spectrum products will always have less than 0.3 percent THC.

    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 relax muscles? ›

    One of the biggest benefits of adding CBD oil or balm to your massage is that it can help relax your muscles. CBD has been found to have antispasmodic properties, which can help reduce muscle tension and spasms. By releasing tension in your muscles, CBD oil can make your massage more effective and relaxing.

    Why is CBD balm so expensive? ›

    From hemp growing to extract the final CBD product, the process requires time, labor, chemicals, and machinery. Completing this process is highly expensive and, as those involved in the process must make a profit, results in CBD that is expensive for the consumer.

    Who should not take CBD capsules? ›

    People considering or using CBD products should always consult their doctor before doing so, especially if they are taking other medications or have underlying medical conditions like liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, heart problems, a weakened immune system, or are taking medications that can weaken the immune ...

    What people should not take CBD? ›

    CBD risks. CBD can be harmful to the liver. People with liver impairment should be cautious or avoid it.

    What are the negative uses of CBD? ›

    5-6 The lack of safety standards, accuracy in labeling, and quality control may lead to additional concerns for unintended intoxication, particularly among children. Potential risks and harms associated with CBD use include adverse drug interactions, liver toxicity, and reproductive and developmental effects.

    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.

    How long does it take for CBD capsules to hit? ›

    Because they aren't absorbed directly into the bloodstream the way a CBD oil may be, CBD edibles — whether a CBD gummy or CBD capsule — can take between an hour to two hours to provide any noticeable effects.

    What milligram of CBD is best? ›

    A 2019 study investigating CBD for anxiety found that 300 to 600 milligrams reduced anxiety symptoms. However, that study was limited to 57 adult males. "For generalized anxiety or sleep disorders, 25 to 75 milligrams per day is recommended, while for PTSD, 33 to 50 milligrams per day is recommended.

    What is the fastest way for CBD oil to work? ›

    Sublingual products

    Letting the product absorb under your tongue rather than subjecting it to the digestive tract preserves more of the CBD, and you'll feel results faster. Sublingual products take effect faster than edible products. Choose this route if you're looking for quicker results.

    What happens if CBD oil is too strong? ›

    The general consensus among professionals and even the World Health Organization, is that in even in extremely large doses, CBD is likely to cause extreme drowsiness, lethargy, upset stomach, nausea and diarrhoea and other unpleasant, disorienting side effects, not death.

    What is the difference between 1000 and 2000 CBD oil? ›

    What's the difference between 2000mg, 1000mg and 250mg? All CBD drops are made from high quality full spectrum CBD but the 2000mg is stronger. If you're new to CBD we suggest starting with 250mg and working your way up to 1000mg and then 2000mg.

    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.

    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.

    Can you workout while on CBD? ›

    If you want to use CBD to enhance your workout, reduce stress and improve sleep ahead of an intense session, taking CBD before you work out is the best option. If however, you want to aid and speed up your recovery process, then taking CBD after a workout will better help you achieve the intended results.

    Does CBD help with runners knee? ›

    CBD coupled with stretching, icing, and foam rolling is a common treatment plan for tendonitis injuries about the knee, such as iliotibial band syndrome,” says Charles Bush-Joseph, M.D., a professor of orthopedics at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

    Is it better to 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.

    Should you take CBD in morning or night for anxiety? ›

    There isn't an optimal time of day, such as morning or night, to take CBD oil for anxiety. Rather, the best time to consider taking it is about an hour before any stressful situation you may deal with.

    How can a runner recover faster? ›

    Evidence-Based Ways to Recover After a Run
    1. Rehydrate and Replenish. When you exercise, your body's core temperature increases. ...
    2. Carb Up. Glycogens are stored carbohydrates that are broken down and used as the main source of fuel during a run. ...
    3. Foam Roll. ...
    4. Stretch It Out. ...
    5. Sleep More and Better. ...
    6. Eat a High-Protein Meal.
    May 20, 2022

    What is the best way to reduce inflammation after running? ›

    Recover faster by adding these nutrient-packed foods to your diet
    1. Inflammatory Foods to Avoid. As athletes, the quicker we reduce inflammation, the more consistently we can train. ...
    2. Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Diet. ...
    3. Turmeric. ...
    4. Ginger. ...
    5. Spinach. ...
    6. Tart Cherries or Tart Cherry Juice. ...
    7. Garlic. ...
    8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

    What CBD oil is best for recovery? ›

    The choice is personal but for the purposes of post-workout recovery, topical CBD is great for providing targeted relief, as the effects are more concentrated on the inflamed local tissue.

    Should athletes take CBD? ›

    As an athlete you apply greater stress to your body, leading to pain and inflammation greater than what your endocannabinoid system can handle. Adding exogenous CBD may help this overloaded system get your neurotransmitters back under control and help athletes maintain homeostasis.

    Can professional athletes use CBD oil? ›

    It's important to realize that CBD products may still contain prohibited cannabinoid components, such as THC. Athletes subject to anti-doping rules are strictly liable for any substance found in their blood or urine. As such, there are still risks for athletes when it comes to CBD products.

    Does CBD work for athletes? ›

    The potential benefits of CBD for athletes are vast. CBD has been shown to help with inflammation, pain relief, and even anxiety and depression. This means that CBD could potentially help athletes with a number of issues they face both during and after competition.

    Who should not take CBD supplements? ›

    People considering or using CBD products should always consult their doctor before doing so, especially if they are taking other medications or have underlying medical conditions like liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, heart problems, a weakened immune system, or are taking medications that can weaken the immune ...

    When should you not use 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.

    Is it OK to consume CBD everyday? ›

    Yes , daily use can help, especially if you're taking it for symptoms you experience daily - such as chronic pain, frequent anxiety, or trouble sleeping. For example, CBD can soothe your nervous system, and it's easier to prevent a symptom from escalating than it is to try to manage a severe flare-up.

    Is CBD a performance enhancer? ›

    CBD appears to alter some key physiological and psychological responses to aerobic exercise without impairing performance.

    Do NFL players use CBD? ›

    The NFL prohibits the use of THC and synthetic cannabinoids. If a player consumes CBD hemp oil with a THC level that exceeds 0.3%, they could face disciplinary action. Generally, hemp-derived CBD products should contain only trace amounts of THC.

    What are the benefits of CBD cream for athletes? ›

    CBD creams have shown significant benefits in reducing discomfort, exercise-induced inflammation, and muscle strain for a faster physical recovery. Athletes use CBD creams before, during, and after workouts for consistent physical benefits.

    Does CBD do anything for muscles? ›

    CBD Benefits

    Relaxes muscles, which alleviates muscle tension and spasm. Reduces mild inflammation, preventing damage to surrounding healthy muscle. Supports sleep, which aids muscle fibre regeneration. Helps prevent DOMS and associated pain.


    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

    Last Updated: 26/10/2023

    Views: 5908

    Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

    Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

    Birthday: 1995-01-14

    Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

    Phone: +6812240846623

    Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

    Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

    Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.