Can CBD Boost Your Workouts? I Tried It

Nicole Loher is a triathlete, Adidas ambassador, and all-around fitness guru, all while balancing a badass day job in the fashion industry (and several side gigs to boot). Needless to say, she’s an inspiration in the art of hustling—and she’s totally game to share her knowledge. Follow her column, Part-Time Athlete, for her expert advice on everything from establishing a training regimen to finding early-morning gym motivation. To kick things off, she shares her personal wellness journey below.




Let’s talk about CBD.

You’ve probably seen it all over your favorite fitness influencer’s Instagram Stories or the front page of the wellness site you visit every day, and chances are you’ve seen it served in latte form if you live in L.A. or NYC.

So what is CBD? To keep things simple, CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of at least 113 cannabinoids—a class of diverse chemical compounds that interact with receptors in our brains—identified in cannabis.

I have to say I was quite shocked when CBD began to get big within the wellness community. Many of my athlete friends have been regularly using CBD-infused treats or popping a CBD pill before a long run just to ease into their workouts (because no, it doesn’t get you high).

(Before we even get started, from a medical and legal standpoint, this is the single-most important property of the cannabinoid.)

It was about a month ago when a Pilates-loving colleague of mine turned to me and asked, “Have you ever tried CBD during your workouts?” I had to stop and think for a moment, not because I couldn’t remember, but because I was internally questioning why I hadn’t tried pairing my notoriously long training sessions with CBD. I gave my brother a call that day—he lives in Colorado and has been a long-time advocate of cannabis. As someone who doesn’t exactly partake in the extracurricular of smoking weed, I had a lot of questions: Was I going to get high? Is it even legal? What will happen? What’s the best way to take it? Is there any research behind this? Are you sure I’ll be able to run?

My brother laughed at first, which felt like an insult, but he explained everything to me ensuring I felt super confident before agreeing to put myself through some sort of Tim Ferriss–esque experiment. For starters, CBD won’t get you high and you won’t experience the same sensations as being stoned, because CBD lacks the same compounds as THC, the cannabinoid with the power of producing those sensations when you smoke or ingest weed. Likewise, because CBD can’t get you high, it is technically legal.