In 2018, CBD was officially removed by the World Anti-doping Agency from its list of prohibited substances. THC, however, remains on the list, which does raise concerns for those who use CBD.
Whilst the ban on CBD has been lifted, the continued ban on THC means that many users of CBD oil extracted from cannabis plants run the risk of breaking the rules as plant-derived CBD oil contains trace amounts of THC.
Synthetic cannabinoids are also on the banned list; however, synthetic CBD does not come under the same classification.
It is a great step forward for the athletes who already use CBD as a supplement as part of their diet and recovery, and we may see more athletes turning to CBD in the future.
WHO is WADA?
The World Anti-Doping Agency is an international organisation created to develop a doping-free world of sport and competition whilst furthering scientific research and education for the sporting community. They are funded by the International Olympic Committee and also receive funding from various governments around the world.
Their list of prohibited substances is updated annually, but they have a core code designed to bring consistency to the world of sports and outline a standard set of anti-doping rules.
ATHLETES ARE ALREADY USING CBD
Many athletes are open about their CBD use and how they have integrated it into their training, diet, and recovery. The world of UFC is perhaps the first to openly embrace CBD, with one of the biggest stars Nate Diaz declaring how using full-spectrum CBD oil helps him prepare and recover after a fight.
“It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that. So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.” This was Diaz speaking about CBD following his fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 202.
CBD has also made its way to the NFL, with players such as Ebenezer Ekuban and Eugene Monroe both coming out supporting the supplement. Speaking about his recovery from injury, Monroe told the Washington Post, “This pain is never going away. My body is damaged. I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with a pill was slowly killing me. Now I’m able to function and be extremely efficient by figuring out how to use different formulations of cannabis.”
Monroe has been very vocal on the NFL changing its standards on THC and CBD, insisting that cannabis-derived medication is a better option than opioids.
“It’s time for the NFL to change its archaic standards to better protect its players. For too long, I’ve watched my teammates and good friends battle with opioid addiction and leave the game with a long road still ahead; it’s time to make a change”.
It may be early days, but WADA’s decision to take CBD off the prohibited substances list is a great first step.
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