Is CBD considered as "doping" in the sports world?

Is CBD considered as "doping" in the sports world?

Athletes are always looking for an edge over the competition. Whether it's improving their performance or finding a new way to train, athletes are always looking for ways to improve their game. In recent years, some athletes have turned to CBD as a potential "doping agent". But what is the legal status of CBD in sports? What are the benefits and drawbacks of using CBD as a "doping agent"? In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of using CBD in sports.

CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. This means that it will not get you high. Some people believe that CBD can help with pain relief, anxiety and sleep. For athletes, these benefits could be helpful in improving their performance and recovery.

What is currently on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances?

The list of in-competition banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency includes 4 categories:

  • glucocorticoids which include steroid and corticosteroid medications
  • cannabinoids (synthetic and natural)
  • narcotics, including, but not limited to morphine and diamorphine (heroin)
  • stimulants, including, but not limited to amphetamine and cocaine

Is CBD considered as doping?

CBD is not currently on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances. In fact, the regulations clearly state that cannabinoids use is prohibited in competition except for the use of cannabidiol (CBD).

While this rule seems very clear, athletes still have to consider which CBD products are most suitable for them.

Why can't athletes just take any CBD products?

While the use of CBD has not been prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the use of other cannabinoids is. To avoid the risk of an unintentional rule violation through the permitted use of CBD, athletes therefore need to be very careful which products they use; specifically their cannabinoid content and how they are absorbed by the body.

A new study found that the way in which CBD is absorbed by the body can also lead to the presence of other cannabinoids in urine. For example, CBDV, CBG, and CBC were only detectable in urine when CBD was used as an oil or taken sublingually (under the tongue).

The study, conducted by researchers at LGC and the University of Bath, found that out of 52 CBD-containing products tested, only 47% contained the amount of CBD listed on the product label. Furthermore, 25% of products contained THC, which is a banned substance.

So what does this all mean for athletes?

The findings of this study underscore the importance for athletes to understand which CBD products they are taking and how those products are metabolised by the body. With the use of CBD becoming more popular in the sports world, it is important for athletes to educate themselves on the risks and benefits of using CBD.

CBD can be a helpful supplement for some athletes, but it is important to understand that not all CBD products are created under the same conditions. Be sure to do your research and only use CBD products that are tested and approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Why are athletes taking CBD and cannabis anyway?

Athletes are taking CBD and cannabis for a variety of reasons. Some athletes believe that CBD can help with pain relief, anxiety, and sleep. Others believe that cannabis can improve their performance by helping them relax or increasing their focus.

Since technically, cannabinoids are banned on race days, but not outside of competition, there is no legal reason for athletes not to enjoy CBD Oil.

While the world of sports still has a long way to go, the NFL in the US loosened its cannabis rules; testing was only limited to the two weeks of training camp and the penalty for a positive result was changed from a suspension, to just a fine. 

Other sports companies and conventions are also beginning to accept athletes using CBD and cannabis products. For example, in January 2019, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) partnered with Aurora Cannabis Inc. to study how CBD can help athletes recover from injuries sustained during training and competition.

The partnership between the UFC and Aurora Cannabis is a big step forward in normalising the use of CBD and cannabis among athletes. As more research is conducted on the potential benefits of CBD and cannabis, it is likely that we will see even more athletes using these products.

What else should athlete consider before taking CBD?

There are some drawbacks to using CBD as a doping agent. First and foremost, it is expensive. Secondly, research is still not clear on how long the effects of CBD last. Finally, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the claims that CBD can improve athletic performance.

Do you think athletes should be allowed to use CBD? Let us know in the comments!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.