Even after the legalization of marijuana in many states for both medical and recreational use, there remains a high level of concern among athletes at all levels. Up until now CBD held a place on the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances, which meant that athletes who used CBD oil products could be suspended from their sports for extended periods of time.
This rule is finally changing, but there are some caveats.
CBD is one of the most used medicinal products derived from marijuana today. It has strong anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it great for athletes who suffer injuries. It can also help reduce chronic pain and provide sedation for those who need some relief between bouts in the ring or practice sessions. Most importantly, it is not associated with getting “high” or other psychoactive effects.
For many athletes, the ability to choose CBD is a positive thing. Athletes’ bodies take on a disproportionate amount of stress and injuries, which often cause chronic pain and discomfort for the remainder of their lives. Without CBD, their options for managing pain are fairly limited to addictive opioids, which have led to the current pandemic of opioid abuse around the world and in the United States specifically.
CBD offers an alternative with far fewer side effects and long-term risks.
About the New Rules
According to the latest ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency, CBD will be allowed starting Jan. 1, 2018. Until then, CBD will remain on the banned list, so athletes need to be aware of when the rules will change.
While CBD will be allowed starting next year, it is also important for athletes to understand that other chemicals associated with marijuana will still be banned. This includes THC and marijuana as a whole. For those who wish to use CBD it is important to note that many CBD oil products contain trace amounts of THC, which may cause a positive test resulting in a suspension.
It is up to athletes who use marijuana to source CBD products that are pure and free of THC that would cause problems on regular drug tests.
This change in the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list will be an important one for athletes across the board. It also gives us some hope for the ongoing research being conducted by the FDA and marijuana laws as they are grappling with whether or not to continue listing CBD as a controlled substance at the federal level.