peak athletic performance

By Dr. Barry Morrison

For athletes looking to achieve greater levels of personal performance. Remaining injury free along with efficient recovery from each workout is the new frontier in peak athletic performance. Having a general awareness of these performance elements are absolutely ESSENTIAL for your game changing success as an athlete.

I will be helping you to reach your peak performance no matter what your athletic ability or goals are.

If there were a simple recipe to improve athletic performance, you’d likely be all over it. There is a new revolution happening in sports as more athletes are basing their success on these game-changing principles.  Simply by reducing the risk of injury and rapid recovery. When I speak of recovery, I am not only speaking of injury recovery but more importantly the recovery from workout to workout. Here is where you may just discover the key to injury prevention.


Typical Prevention

Athletes are no stranger to using a variety of supplements, protein powders, hydration systems, support braces, as well as pre and post workout routines in order to enhance and maximize performance. Yeah, those things are all important but that’s what everyone is coaching. No one is speaking of proper workout to workout recovery. And in my experience as a distance runner and a doctor treating musculo-skeletal injuries since the mid 80’s, this is true injury prevention.

From weekend warriors to amateur or professional athletes, we all tend to believe that injury prevention is all about having a good pre-workout stretching regimen. This is a logical way to prevent sports injuries with a proper warm up and stretching program. It only makes sense that cold muscles are prone to overstretching and tearing. Warm muscles are obviously more flexible and can absorb the shock of quick movements in training. Which creates a less likely scenario for injury.

What I’m speaking of is a simple compound. A compound that goes way beyond the benefits of just stretching and warming and proper hydration. If you’re like most athletes, you know that injuries are inevitable and a major obstacle in attaining and maintaining peak performance.


The Secret

I’m not going to make you wait until the very end of this to find out what I am speaking of. That secret weapon I am talking about is Cannabidiol or better known as CBD. Now before you stop listening, let me explain the trusted research that will substantiate why CBD may provide a speedy recovery from workout to workout and those inevitable injuries. You’re about to realize the power of CBD. It’s been stated in a research article dated back in 2013 that CBD should be considered an unfair advantage by the anti-doping world.

In 2018 after an exhaustive scientific discovery, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances for professional athletes, including the International Athletics Federation. It’s been recognized for the many natural beneficial effects that CBD has upon the human body.

It’s critical not to ingest a cannabis source that contains the wrong profile of cannabinoids. What I am speaking of is the cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The reason is that THC is not an acceptable compound. I’ll be outlining the acceptable sources as it relates to this ruling a little later.



When you work out, you’re stressing the body in order to encourage it to grow. This process is done by breaking down muscle fibers allowing them to grow back, stronger and faster than they were prior. Anyone who has ever trained hard knows that this process comes with difficulties resulting in a build-up of lactic acid leading to pain and inflammation in a greater amount than what your endocannabinoid system can handle. If you push too hard, recovery can take you out of the game for days at a time, and injuries are even harder to bounce back from.

Even when you’re physically at your best, if your energy levels are low or you feel stressed, apprehensive to push on or simply depressed it’s tough to perform at your best. At its extreme, fatigue, depression, or anxiety may lead to a lack of sleep. This can keep you from getting out, stifling your growth altogether. Adding plant derived exogenous Hemp CBD may help this overloaded system get your neurotransmitters back under control.



Fortunately, nutritional supplements exist that can help us take on some of these challenges. This may be accomplished with the newest performance-enhancing natural addition to that list in CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. It offers impressive advantages not only for athletes but for overall human health. CBD derived from the recommended source of hemp has been found to:

  1. Act as an adaptogen
  2. Speed recovery and fight fatigue
  3. Help reduce pain
  4. Aid in preventing inflammation
  5. Promote an optimal mood
  6. Enhance proper sleep
  7. Aid in concussion protection

With this list it’s no wonder that more and more athletes are adding CBD to their daily regimen. Read on to learn about these seven major advantages athletes supplementing with CBD experience:


Traditional adaptogens include reishi mushrooms and echinacea, but now CBD has joined this list of stress-reducing, performance-boosting plants. That’s because it fits the definition perfectly.

As Dr. Brenda Powell of the Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine told Time Magazine, adaptogens are non-toxic plants and herbs “meant to bring us back to the middle.” 

Adaptogens also protect the nervous system and the neuroendocrine system from overreaching themselves. According to a 1969 study, adaptogens must be stimulatory in nature — without causing side effects.

Sound familiar? That’s exactly what CBD does! By activating our endocannabinoid system (ECS), a signaling network of internal cannabis-like substances, CBD helps promote balance. With ECS activation comes the type of health and vitality where homeostasis can be maintained.

Using Adaptogens to Promote Faster Recovery

For athletes, CBD and the rest of hemp’s most active ingredients may help them better adapt to their training. Think of the metabolic state that follows a tough workout: body temperature is high, and cortisol levels are through the roof. Additionally, muscle proteins have broken down, and stored sugar in the form of glycogen is almost completely depleted. It’s not exactly a picture of balance.

Sensing this stress, the body begins to produce greater amounts of our internally manufactured endocannabinoids such as anandamide to deal with the recovery process. Add in additional plant cannabinoids like CBD, and such imbalances can be quickly corrected. Interestingly enough, this renewal process was also described by Hans Selye, who called it the “resistance stage” of adaptation. Resistance against stressors that is, in order to recover fast and avoid burnout.

Thankfully, CBD from hemp helps! Things could get even better when one takes CBD alongside other adaptogens…

While research in the area of adaptogens continues, we do know that most plant adaptogens work via activating enzymes like AMPK to regulate energy balance and up-regulate fat burning. It could be that taking CBD and other adaptogens together lead to synergistic effects! In other words, the two types of substances could actually help each other work better over taking them alone.



As I mentioned earlier, when you work out you put stress on your body to encourage it to strengthen and grow. This physical stress results in increased oxidative damage, too much of which can harm performance and ultimately slow your recovery. What’s more, it can lead to mental and physical fatigue.

By reducing oxidative damage, CBD may help athletes recover faster and perform better. The faster we recover from both workouts and injuries, the more we can work out and the better we’ll feel when we do.



Inflammatory pain is the most common pain that athletes experience. This is the type of pain that occurs when you work your muscles to their max or following an injury. Inflammatory pain is traditionally treated with over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve.

Unfortunately, long-term use of NSAIDs is incredibly detrimental to your health. Excessive use of these painkillers has been tied to heart attacks, strokes, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney damage, and more.

Researchers are beginning to examine the potential of using CBD as a safer treatment alternative for inflammatory pain as studies have found CBD to effectively reduce this type of pain and could work as a safer choice to NSAIDs.



There is a massive amount of research available on CBD’s anti-inflammatory effect which has shown to be one of its best features. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or excessive exertion during strenuous workouts. This type of inflammation is very beneficial in the healing process and is also designed to prevent athletes from overtraining or resuming their training schedule too early. This way the body ensures that no further injury or muscle strain occurs. However, in many cases this inflammatory phenomenon lasts longer than it should resulting in joint and tissue damage and potential destruction.

Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, this substance has been shown to suppress the enzymes creating the inflammation therefore, reducing the duration and symptoms of inflammation.



Most of us have struggled at one time or another with stress, anxiety, or depression. All three of these can deter us from getting out and being active. Even when we push through these emotions, they can wreak havoc on how well we perform especially in physical activities.

Depression and anxiety are known as motivational disorders, and research suggests that CBD may help. Even small-scale human studies have been found CBD to help with certain forms of anxiety.

If you find that pre-game jitters, anxiety, or a depressed mood negatively impact your athletic prowess, CBD may provide the relief you’ve been looking for.



If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, or sleeping for a full 8 hours, you may be suffering from a form of insomnia.

Research has shown that poor sleep hinders athletic recovery and performance. We need a full 8 hours for our bodies to heal after a strenuous workout. Plus, when we don’t sleep enough, we won’t be able to give it our all the following day.

If your sleep troubles originate from pain, anxiety, or other conditions, CBD can help, plus it may also help you sleep better. But for healthy individuals not suffering from pain or anxiety, research also suggests that CBD can promote wakefulness. This goes back to the simple principle that CBD strives to create a balance or homeostasis and therefore the cause of trouble with sleep is attempted to be balanced with the use of CBD.

So, try CBD out for yourself if you have sleep troubles, you may find improvement. These and other studies suggest differing effects of CBD which may serve those with conditions that make sleep difficult, but not healthy individuals.



Concussions are the most common type of brain injury and can have dangerous consequences if misdiagnosed or left untreated. Trouble is, doctors don’t have many options available to them for treating concussions and they are often quite difficult to diagnose.

Recent research has identified CBD as a potential candidate to help with concussions as well as post-concussion syndrome. CBD works as a neuroprotectant, disrupting the flow of chemicals during a concussion which greatly adds to the limited protocols available for doctors who treat concussions. With more research and a better understanding of how CBD effects concussions along with its lingering damage, this common sport’s related brain injury could be significantly reduced or even become a thing of the past.



Now that you understand why CBD is one of the hottest advantages for athletes, you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to add CBD into your daily routine?

There are two very important things that you must consider:

  1. the type of CBD to take
  2. method of administration



When purchasing CBD to boost athletic performance, we have several options to choose from as it relates to the preferred hemp variety of cannabis.

We have the Full-Spectrum oil which contains all of the cannabinoids including THC and Terpenes. Remember, THC is not an allowed ingredient according to WADA. Next we have the Broad-Spectrum oil which has all the same ingredients as the full-spectrum however, THC has been removed. And lastly is the CBD Isolate which is just as it appears-CBD only. Therefore, the best CBD oil to choose in my opinion is the Broad-Spectrum as it has the best option as it relates to the entourage effect of all the cannabinoids as well as terpenes minus the psychotropic THC.

I need to make this clear, in order to stay within the legal guidelines as far as the World Anti-Doping Agency’s ruling is concerned, THC even in trace amounts is not permitted. I encourage you to investigate your sport’s governing body to determine their take on CBD prior to engaging in a CBD regimen. And if you don’t have one that choice is obviously up to you.

As for which type of product to use, I prefer and recommend for most of my patients a broad-spectrum CBD tincture oil that is placed under the tongue for 5 minutes and then swallowed to maximize its bioavailability. You may also run across capsules on the market however this method will significantly limit the amount of CBD that can be utilized by the body.


There is no standard dosage for CBD as everyone’s needs are different. Your ideal dose will depend on your physiology and your primary purpose for use. I typically start a patient out with the suggested amount listed on the bottle and slowly work our way up over time (increase your dosage every seven days) until you find the quantity that works best for you.

By now I’m sure you understand how CBD may offer a significant athletic advantage in sports.  CBD is safe, permitted by the highest governing sports authorities and highly desirable for use as an athlete.

This is just a snapshot into how CBD oil helps not only high-performance athletes but also anyone interested in enhancing the results they experience from exercise. And perhaps one of the greatest potential benefits for exercise enthusiasts. CBD oil’s ability in reducing post-exercise pain and discomfort resulting from lactic acid and inflammatory build-up.

Could CBD be that competitive advantage you’ve been looking for? You may want to check it out for yourself!