Pro Boxers use CBD to boost performance and recovery

Shannon Briggs

Both veteran and up-and-coming professional boxers are turning to the natural remedy CBD to enhance their careers.

CBD is a supplement that has been taking the sporting world by storm. MMA fighters, NFL players and basketball players have been using it and publicising their preferred products. CBD is claimed – among other mental and physical benefits – to ease pain, shorten recovery time, and reduce injuries.

Unknown numbers of amateur athletes and dozens of professional sportspeople are using oral CBD oil, and even signing sponsorship deals with some of the biggest CBD companies in the business. Pro boxing is no different, and since WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) lifted their ban on CBD, professional boxers have been coming out in support of this new product.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol: it’s an all-natural substance created by the cannabis plant. It’s not psychoactive – it doesn’t get you high. It can also be found in CBD protein powder form. It’s legal in the UK as a food supplement, and it’s popping up in health food shops, vaping stores and supplement retailers the length and breadth of the UK.

These high street stores generally stock it as a ‘tincture’ to apply under the tongue with a dropper, or as an oil for vaping. Specialist online retailers sell it in a range of formats. Patches, oral sprays, lotions, gels, and CBD pain relief cream are just a few of the products on offer in the online marketplace.

At least two pro boxers from the US publicly use CBD in their training regimes, and both are tirelessly promoting the new supplement on the media. Lightweight Teofimo Lopez at the beginning of his promising career and the veteran heavyweight Shannon Briggs are American boxing’s CBD ambassadors.

Teofimo Lopez

Teofimo Lopez, at 20 years old, is an up and coming Honduran-American pro boxer. In the lightweight category, he turned pro in 2016 having appeared in the Olympics, won a slew of US junior tournaments and the 2015 Golden Gloves championship.

Lopez has been using CBD for the last few years, and recently gained sponsorship from one of the biggest names in the CBD industry.

Lopez continues to use CBD to enhance his training and for quick recovery times. Like many other athletes, Lopez uses CBD pain relief cream on the skin, for quick absorption into the muscles. He also uses oral CBD oil for more holistic relief.

Natural remedies are proving extremely popular in all walks of life. Lopez wants to educate other boxers and elite athletes about the benefits he has found in using CBD. He says it can shorten recovery times, clear the mind and help with pain.

Lopez sees CBD as an alternative to the opioid painkillers that have dominated elite sports for so many years. Some say there is an opioid crisis brewing, as these medications can be addictive and harmful.

Shannon Briggs

At the other end of the spectrum, Shannon Briggs is a veteran heavyweight with a 25-year career under his belt. A two-time world champion (lineal title from ‘96-’97 and WBO ‘06-’07)

Briggs was set to be one of the all-time greats. He was suspended for six months in July 2017 for excess testosterone in his system.

Since the suspension has been lifted, Briggs has been in the media recently spoiling for a fight with none other than Tyson Fury!

A career of 60 wins (53 by KO) to 8 losses set Briggs a head and shoulders above many of his peers. A loss against Vitali Klitschko in 2010 was followed by a breakdown, and by his own admission, Briggs ‘ballooned’ to 400 lbs.

Briggs staged a comeback in 2014 and began winning matches from April of that year. His comeback was in no small way helped by CBD.

During his comeback, Briggs used CBD extensively. He lost 160 lbs and the crippling depression he suffered with from childhood was reduced.

Although his suspension has been a speed bump in his comeback, Briggs is hopeful. He is happy with the WADA decision to allow CBD for athletes and is campaigning for lessening restrictions on it in the US.

Like Teofimo Lopez, Shannon Briggs is enthusiastic about sharing the benefits of CBD with other high-performance athletes and amateur sports people alike.

Also, like Lopez, Briggs wants to use natural products like CBD to combat the opioid epidemic ravaging the US – “We gotta come together to save lives”.

What can CBD do for you?

Whether you’re a high-performing elite athlete, an amateur, retired, or just interested in health and wellbeing, CBD likely has something to offer you.

Sportspeople use it to speed recovery times, and in the form of CBD pain relief cream – due to its action against inflammation.

CBD has also been touted as a substance that fights seizures, MS, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other problems.

People from all walks of life, and from backgrounds as diverse as MMA, boxing, yoga, and meditation, are working CBD into their daily routines.