How CBD Helps MMA Fighters Heal Injuries and Which One Is Better to Choose

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CBD is becoming prominent in the fighting world. After UFC 202, Nate Diaz was spotted continuously hitting a vape pen after his loss to Connor McGregor. When questioned, he admitted that it was a CBD pen.

The matter was controversial because, at the time, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was against CBD; it was a banned substance. Diaz was taking a risk by admitting to his use of CBD, but why would he bother to be such a staunch advocate for something that could get him in trouble?

A lot has changed since then. WADA has removed CBD from the list of banned substances, and multiple MMA fighters now use it regularly. As it turns out, some CBD products can help fighters manage their injuries.

Keep reading to learn more about CBD and injuries in MMA and whether there’s a particular product that’s best for the job.

CBD in the MMA

Numerous MMA fighters are now turning to CBD. The move was rather sudden, with a massive boom within just a few years.

The Nate Diaz story broke in August 2016. By 2019, several MMA organizations, including Bellator MMA began partnering with CBD companies. Bellator MMA specifically partnered with cbdMD, a brand also sponsoring athletes like Chael Sonnen.

The UFC then partnered with Aurora Cannabis in a research study on whether CBD can help UFC fighters recover from injuries.

At the moment, CBD use is rife in the MMA world. Now that hemp-derived CBD has been removed from the doping list, fighters like Michael Johnson, Jon ‘the Bones’ Jones, Ronda Roussey, and more are using it.

Of course, many athletes still exercise caution when it comes to the cannabis plant and how public they are about their appreciation.

The question remains: what draws so many fighters to CBD?

How Does CBD Help MMA Fighters?

There are plenty of reasons why the public uses CBD. From decreasing anxiety to lessening pain, it has a variety of uses. Many of them can be helpful for MMA fighters, too.

For example, CBD’s potential ability to reduce feelings of anxiety could help fighters relax before a fight. That being said, many fighters choose not to use CBD before fights on the off chance that it could be considered doping. Instead, it’s more often employed as a recovery tool.

There are multiple studies and reviews on using CBD for pain, and it’s the most commonly cited reason why fighters are using it. The true power of CBD for MMA fighters rests in its ability to take down inflammation and reduce pain quickly.

The speed depends on the administration method, which is why vaping is a fast favorite. However, topicals are another fantastic solution for relieving pain; more on that later.

A key takeaway from the move to CBD is that it presents a much more palatable alternative to opioids. Many athletes in combat sports are prescribed highly dangerous opioids, which can lead to addiction.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that CBD has a low potential for abuse or dependence. As a result, it offers a non-addictive alternative that leaves the user clear-headed. It’s no wonder, so many MMA fighters are choosing CBD.

CBD Products for MMA Fighters

There are numerous ways to take CBD. The classic option is CBD oils, which come in the form of a dropper. The user drops the oil beneath their tongue, waits for about a minute, then swallows. This method is fast, effective, and versatile; the downside is that it tends not to taste so great.

That’s why so many fighters have turned to vape pens, which offer speedy results packaged in delicious flavors.

But even more athletes opt for topicals – products applied to the skin. There are a variety of topicals to choose from, ranging from moisturizing lotions to stick-on patches. Commonly, fighters employ a simple CBD salve for pain, which is easy for carrying on the go and gets the job done without all the bells and whistles.

Let’s talk about two of the most common CBD topicals for MMA fighters and discuss which is best.

Which Is Better: CBD Roll-On or Salve?

A CBD salve is exactly what it sounds like. It’s like an ordinary salve, with moisturizing ingredients and herbal scents, only infused with CBD. A salve differs from a cream because it has a much thicker, oilier consistency. It’s a great option for no-fuss applications.

Options like the topical salves from Premium Jane are ideal for carrying on the go. They offer a pleasant scent, a decent level of skin nourishment, and a hit of CBD to get the job done.

However, there are also more specific pain products. Take the CBD roll-on for pain relief by PureKana, for example. Alongside CBD, it contains CBG (another anti-inflammatory cannabinoid), menthol, and capsaicin.

The ingredients work together to dull pain by reducing inflammation. Menthol and capsaicin are awesome pain-relievers, but they can ignite a strange sensation in the skin. This makes roll-on applicators perfect because it avoids the need to get menthol on your hands when massaging it in.

There is no correct answer when it comes to choosing the best product. What works for one fighter may not work for another, so it may take a little trial and error. Roll-ons with added pain-relieving ingredients are super effective, but gentle salves can be ideal for mild ailments.

Final Thoughts

CBD for MMA fighters has been a hot topic recently. Whether you agree with competing fighters using it or not, it cannot be denied that numerous athletes are finding success in CBD. In particular, pain relief after strains and injuries seems to be what draws athletes to CBD.

There are many consumption methods for CBD, but many MMA fighters prefer to use topicals, which can be applied as needed. Whichever way you prefer to use it, it’s vital to find a reputable brand with high-quality products. PureKana and Premium Jane are two top picks among athletes and professionals.

For now, CBD remains legal in the sport of MMA. Several high-profile fighters have jumped on the bandwagon already, so it seems it will only continue to get more popular in the sport. Time will tell all, though, so keep your eyes peeled.


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