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CBD, influencers and the emerging sports supplement industry

Published on 8 January 2021 at 14:34

by: Roald Tromp (Opa CBD)

The market for (sports) supplements is booming. This market is expected to grow worldwide to a turnover of $44 billion in 2022. Major players such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Abbott Nutrition, GlaxoSmithKline, Olimp Laboratories, Ultimate Nutrition Inc. and the Irish company Glanbia (owner of the Netherlands-based Body & Fit) are defining the market. These producers have played a major role since the emergence of, for example, the supplement protein powder in the 1980s due to the influence (then called role models instead of influencers) of, for example, the bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Sylvester Stallone.


In the Netherlands, too, the number of supplement users is growing rapidly and you will find the brands such as Body & Fit (Optimum Nutrition), XXL Nutrition and Applied Nutrition alongside a large number of other national and international brands. The majority of users buy these online or in specialised shops such as Body and Shape stores, The Health House or Health Advice in Breda, the Netherlands.


In addition to protein powder, for the now fully established post-workout shake, the range consists of isotonic drink powders, capsules and tablets (creatine, BCAA, magnesium etc.), supplement powders, ready-made protein drinks, iso and other sports drinks, carbohydrate drinks (energy drinks), protein bars, fat burners, pre-workouts and other supplements.


More recently, there are also brands that focus on herbal, sustainable and natural supplements such as Dutch Orange Fit, Ekopura and also Grandpa CBD's favourite brand Suppleam.


Besides Red Bull, Monster, Poweraid, AA, Gatorade and all supermarket housebrand energy drinks, we see more target group oriented drinks such as: FitAid (Lifeaid), Nocco and Sipsleep. And also new products, such as the First Energy Gum by ex-top skater Mark Tuitert.


In addition, we see an entry into the market of new fast-growing brands such as Grenade, MB Nutrition and Clean Nutrition. The latter two are under the inspiring leadership of social media influencers Biceppapa and Joel Beukers.


Mother Nature

Other supplements in addition to your daily diet such as vitamins, minerals, mineral waters, enzymes, pro-biotics, essential oils, fish oil, nut oils, vegetable-based foods, natural antioxidants such as turmeric and acai and goji berries, amino acids, herbs, calendula, valerian, arnica and superfoods such as spirulina and chlorella are also becoming increasingly popular with anyone who wants to go through life healthily. Vegan is also on the rise.


Of course you can find many of these products at your pharmacy and drug store, but shops such as The Soulsister Vitamins, van der Pigge and The Natural Health Company specialise in these supplements and in providing naturopathic advice.


The cannabis plant also belongs into this field. The molecule from the Sativa L Cannabinoide (CBD) is increasingly found in supplements and cannabis is used in naturopathy. An authority in this field can be found in the Netherlands. Bedrocan, founded in 1984 and led by Tjalling Erkelens, is the specialist in the field of medicinal cannabis. Another pioneer from the Netherlands, Wernhard Bruining, of the Mediwiet foundation is not only the inventor of the name Mediwiet, but has also been at the forefront of the development of the THC and CBD Oil.


Mother Nature offers sportsmen and women a lot of benefits. However, a lot of knowledge and guidance is needed when you add supplements to your daily routine. Muscle and joint pain are of course very common in sports. This pain caused by inflammation can be controlled in a natural way but also with the so-called NSAID's (Non Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drugs). Taking NSAIDs such as diclofenac, ibuprofen or naproxen. That these products require a prescription on the advice of your doctor and is the most normal thing in the world. The fact that to take a naturopathic remedy and/or supplement you also need sound advice from an expert is usually forgotten.


It is often said that the use of CBD has no side effects or that no one has ever died from cannabis, for example. CBD does affect the use of certain medicines. So always consult your doctor if you are taking any medication before taking CBD.


"Science is sometimes wrong".


Recently I received a forwarded YouTube video of the BNNVARA programme Boos presented by Tim Hofman (watch it here).


In this last episode of this season the product Cannafuel Burn will be featured. A, probably, full or broad spectrum CBD in the carrier MCT oil with a strawberry flavour in a 15ml variant with 250mg CBD and a 30ml variant with 750mg CBD. It claims to make you lose weight. Illustrated with, in the fitness industry also widely used, before and after pictures of the influencer DIETIM.


The nutritionist and the pharmaceutical expert of the association against quackery are immediately extremely critical of this claim in the programme and, of course, this is correct and should not be tolerated. What is unfortunate is that an expert in the field of CBD such as Tjalling or Wernhard was not asked to comment, because now the conclusion seems to be that CBD does not have benefits for an athlete at all.


An athlete trains to remain fit, healthy and resilient. Losing weight through sport can and should never be a goal in itself. It starts with a healthy and responsible diet. You exercise to maintain your condition (heart and lungs), muscles, tendons and joints and thus improve your immune system against diseases and achieve a good mental condition and make you ale to perform your daily functional movements like standing up, walk, climb a staircase and lift things . Before and after pictures are about appearance and that is not why you do sport.


CBD certainly needs further scientific research, but it is of course not the case that there are no scientific studies (look here for more information and articles about CBD, among other things). There is also a very informative book written by Scott Douglas ("The Athletes Guid to CBD"). Much of his writing translates sports-scientific research and best practices of professional athletes into practical guidance for everyday athletes.


I am certainly not an expert on CBD and/or medicinal cannabis myself. With my C.I.O.S. Overveen (MBO Sports and Exercise) education and experience in the fitness industry and sports supplements (Cybex, Matrix, E-Gym and T-Fitness), I have studied the functioning of CBD over the past few years, born out of my own positive experience. At CBD SPORTS you don't see fraudulent claims either. We at CBD SPORTS are extremely careful in our advice and try to be as open and honest as possible about the functioning of our products. We gather experts around us in sports and exercise and with our suppliers also the necessary experts in the field of natural nutrition and natural supplements. In this way, sport, sports supplements and natural supplements all come together in the products of CBD SPORTS.


The science is therefore not wrong. Science is currently catching up to gain knowledge about cannabis-related supplements as we offer them.




At the risk of getting the "okay boomer" now, I'm going back to the old days. If you wanted to exercise, or do more strength training to get bigger or a lot of cardio to lose weight, you went to the gym and were supervised by a trainer with a CIOS, ALO (Academy for Physical Education), or sports-scientific training. Your gym teacher at school had an ALO diploma or ‘Akte J’, was not also your maths teacher and you bought your supplements at a specialised shop or at the gym where you trained. In short, expert guidance.


With the arrival of budget gyms without professional guidance and the internet where you can find all the information yourself, this has of course changed. I have a son of 17 (CBD SPORTS number 4) who trains in Basic Fit and gets his fitness instruction and supplement information from the videos of, “Scoopie erbij” Joel Beukers. Dreaming of Lamborgini's, Ibiza, large villas, unlimited cash and trained bodies, he tries to get his ideal "killer body". As a qualified sports leader at the C.I.O.S. I will of course tell him that you don't bench press 150kg as  "Buffeltje" without two spotters for safety in case you don't reach that max rep and get the full weight of the barbell with plates on your throat, head or chest. Kudos by the way, I never got further than 75kg, but Buffeltje, use spotters please, that makes OPA CBD feel a lot more comfortable when he sees that. I also teach him to read the list of ingredients on the XTREME workout V2 and explain to him what the various ingredients do to his body. That three espressos give you just as much focus and energy as an energy drink or first energy gum, that eating a cayenne pepper will also burn more fat and that you can also take a chamomile tea to relax. He himself has found out by now that dissolving the "scoopie" in water first and then drinking it is more pleasant than first putting the "scoopie" in your mouth and then drinking water.


He also has to stay off the Gold Dry vodka for a couple of months until he is 18, then he can go for gold. I'd rather see him get the fitness schedules from Jorden Bres who is an expert in this field (by the way also enthusiastic about the products of CBD SPORTS), but although the above may sound a bit "okay boomer", I am a great admirer of both Joel and Mo (Biceppapa). How they market their brand and themselves is top of the class marketing and branding. They also get the young generation to exercise and have a positive influence in many ways.


We ourselves also work with influencers, or I prefer to call them ambassadors of CBD SPORTS. Our TEAM CBD SPORTS athletes are not paid to promote our products. Partly because we don't have the money, but we provide them with our products to use and give us feedback on the pros and cons. Does it work, do you notice it, do you like it, do you sleep better, do you recover faster, do you feel less pain? We would like to hear that feedback. Promotions are not compulsory, they only do so if they are really enthusiastic about a product. If we earn enough to be able to buy Lamborgini's we will pay our athletes, but not for the promotion but to support them in practising their sport. The Lambo will not be the vehicle for us though, Opa CBD is so old and worn out that I can't get in or out of it. Just give me a pick-up truck with big wheels.


Ryan Jacobs from Cannafuel has already approached OPA CBD for advice on sports, natural products and CBD. His intention in principle is not wrong and he would like to create a supplement brand based on Mother Nature and we will meet soon. He already knows that I am going to say quite a number of critical things about the scarce knowledge and information about the product in his communication and about the often used but illegal and stupid claim about losing weight.


Opa CBD is happy to share his knowledge and of course I see many positive things in CBD supplements and as far as I am concerned, the more information, products, research and knowledge about these will be spread the better. If you can't multiply, you can't divide, right Mo? Or the other way around?


I hope Tim Hofman doesn't get "boos", I always watch with pleasure and interest when he joins various programmes and I share many of his opinions and admire various initiatives he has already taken and projects he has done. You don't just win a Televizier-Ring award by chance, that means you are a skilled. 


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