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The Fast-Growing Market for CBD Products for Athletes

Updated: Dec 21, 2019

Consumer demand and the market for all types of CBD products are continuing to grow at a very fast rate.

While there are thousands of CBD products being manufactured and sold, the market for specialized CBD products for athletes, performance enhancement, and sports, is one of the fastest-growing CBD product categories.

The interest in specialized CBD products for athletes has not remained unnoticed by many manufacturers and marketers of CBD products. These specialized CBD products have also gained the attention of athletes who push their bodies to the limit.

While most of the science is at an early stage and generally anecdotal, benefits of CBD for athletes include pain relief, faster recovery, sleep, and as an anti-inflammatory.

While many athletes are purchasing and using generally available CBD products, many CBD manufacturers are now targeting the athlete market with specialized brands and products. Many of these CBD products are variations of existing CBD products but include higher concentrations of CBD or increased bioavailability.

The bioavailability of CBD is an issue for the entire CBD industry, consumers, and definitely athletes. Bioavailability relates to the proportion of CBD that actually enters the body and, therefore, can have an active effect. CBD products with increased bioavailability are becoming a growing opportunity for manufacturers and marketers who are targeting athletes.

While there is minimal data regarding how much CBD is beneficial, many athletes have the objective of ingesting 30 to 60 mg of CBD daily. Many manufacturers of CBD oil tinctures for the general market are typically selling CBD oil tinctures in small bottles with a dropper cap, with the quantity of CBD oil per dropper of 20 mg. Since many athletes want a higher daily dosage of CBD, many manufacturers who are targeting athletes are now selling CBD oil with 60 mg per dropper.

Because CBD is a well-documented anti-inflammatory, topical CBD products are also a fast-growing category, one that has not remained unnoticed by athletes. While 2-ounce jars of CBD topicals generally contain 200 to 400 mg of CBD, many topical CBD products targeting athletes now contain more than 1000 mg.

Because the CBD molecule is relatively large and is fat-soluble, the molecule is not efficiently absorbed. Often, only around 10 percent of CBD consumed in the form of an oil tincture is metabolized. Many manufacturers are now launching CBD products for athletes based on water-soluble CBD rather than oil-based. Other manufacturers are launching products with increased bioavailability with nano CBD products with reduced particle sizes.

CBD Products for Athletes Currently in the Marketplace

Functional beverages are typically drinks that provide a health benefit, often for performance-enhancing purposes, and are a market that reflects changes in consumer preferences. While one of the fastest-growing markets for CBD products is for CBD-infused beverages, the demand for CBD-infused beverages targeting athletes is one of the fastest-growing sub-segments of the entire CBD-infused functional beverage market.

Many CBD sports beverages that are currently in the market include drinks that also contain other ingredients. One CBD beverage includes turmeric and ginger, and is marketed as “hemp-infused hydration.” CBD infused seltzers and waters are increasing in popularity, many of which are available in a variety of flavors.

In addition to CBD beverages and tinctures, one of the most popular categories of products for athletes is recovery or power bars.

Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping, has launched his “Floyd’s of Leadville” CBD product line targeting athletes. One of his products is a recovery bar containing 25 mg of CBD.

Ashlee Powers, a Los Angeles-based 10K runner has also launched his “Ashlee’s Powers” line. He is also selling a CBD recovery bar, which contains 20 mg of CBD.

FC's Conclusions

Many CBD manufacturers are now aggressively seeking to focus their marketing strategies on niche markets. As part of this trend, the market for CBD products targeting athletes, performance enhancement objectives, and speeding up exercise recovery is growing at a very fast rate.

The fastest-growing CBD product categories for athletes are beverages, topical creams, lotions, salves, and capsules.

We expect the CBD athlete market sector to also benefit significantly by influencer marketing, something both Floyd Landis and Ashlee Powers are seeking to tap into. Influencer marketing is a natural for a CBD brand targeting athletes, something we expect to see more of as the market continues to grow.

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