Athlete on starting block
  • 24/04/2020
  • blog
  • by andrew
  • 118
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There is a lot of confusion surrounding CBD and THC, so if you’re an athlete, you might be wondering if CBD oil can help with sports. Below, we take a look at whether or not it’s legal and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s stance on using this substance.

Is CBD allowed in sports?

CBD isn’t on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances, so it is permitted for use in sport. All other cannabinoids, including marijuana, THC and cannabis, are prohibited. These regulations ensure that athletes don’t use cannabinoids that activate the same brain receptors as THC.

However, because CBD can contain some traces of THC, athletes should note that THC is considered an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) if concentrations of more than 180 ng/ml THC are present in urine. Other cannabinoids on the Prohibited List do not have a reporting threshold, so any traces of these will be considered as an Adverse Analytical Finding as well.

Understanding the difference between CBD and THC

While both compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, they have very different effects.

CBD has no psychoactive properties, so it doesn’t make the user experience a euphoric high or impact their perception of time and space. CBD can be extracted from hemp or marijuana and is sold in the form of gummies, oils, gels, supplements and more.

THC, on the other hand, is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, giving users that high sensation. It’s most commonly consumed by smoking marijuana, but it is available as oils, tinctures, edibles, capsules and more.

What is the legal limit of THC in the UK?

In the UK, anything with more than 0.2 per cent THC is classed as medicinal marijuana.

Has CBD always been permitted by the WADA?

No. CBD was added to the Prohibited List in 2004, but the World Anti-Doping Agency reversed this decision in 2017, stating: “Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited (…) Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance.”

Could an athlete still get an AAF if they take CBD?

It is possible, but it can be prevented if CBD is sourced correctly. Although CBD products are derived from industrial hemp to ensure they contain lower concentrations of THC, certain factors can affect these levels. Factors include the part of the plant used, the variety of plant, how the product is prepared and the refinement process used by the manufacturer.

In the UK, the anti-doping body states that the use of CBD products is at the athlete’s own risk. Therefore, they urge athletes to take the same considerations when assessing the use of CBD as they would any other dietary supplement. They state: “Strict liability will still apply and the appropriate sanctions [will be] imposed on any athlete returning an adverse analytical finding from any supplement product, as with all other cases of doping.”

Does CBD help with sports?

As long as they buy it from a trusted company and they take care to monitor how much they consume, it’s perfectly acceptable for athletes to use CBD. In fact, research suggests that CBD could be useful for people participating in intense exercise.

Discover more about CBD oil UK at Pure CBD Health today. We’re the undisputed experts when it comes to CBD UK-wide, so if you have any queries at all, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our helpful customer support agents now.

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