One area where changes in CBD laws have been slower to change than others is professional sports. In the U.S., few organisations allow athletes to use CBD, listing it as a performance-enhancing drug. Following the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) update in 2020 removing cannabidiol or CBD from the banned substances listing, more doors have been opened for the non-intoxicating naturally occurring compound.
CBD in MMA
A year after WADA made the change with CBD, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) followed, moving the cannabinoid to the accepted category for supplements. UFC has never prohibited CBD products. But the organisation didn’t have a written policy either.
Pro Golf’s CBD Move
The Professional Golfing Association didn’t have a written policy for CBD but followed WADA and USDA guidelines. With the recent policy changes, more championship golfers are opening up about their CBD use.
Andy Levinson, the head of the PGA Tour’s anti-doping program, is concerned about the lack of oversight, warning players,
“There is no guarantee that what is on the label is what is contained in the product.”
The New York Times interviewed pro-golfer Billy Horschel, who understands the concerns, which is why he’s using a broad-spectrum formula that’s THC-free. He continued to tell the paper that “he’s more concerned that the Claritin-D tablets for his allergies will trigger a positive test than CBD use.”
NFL Warming up to CBD
Past and present American football players for the NFL have been frustrated with the league’s refusal to acknowledge the benefits of CBD. After a 12-month false-start, the NFL Players Association is finally making a move. In February, the NFL and NFLPA are asking researchers for controlled studies about CBD for pain relief. The organisation is particularly interested in reducing players opioid use safely.
The official statement from the NFL requests,
“The potential therapeutic role of medications and non-pharmacological interventions that are considered to be alternatives to opioids in routine pain management of NFL players. Medications may include, but are not limited to, cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD).”
In addition, they’ve asked for data on “The impact of cannabis or cannabinoids on athletic performance in NFL players.”
Most likely, the sports league wants to know if cannabinoids have any performance-enhancing advantages that would give one player an edge over the other.
Athletes are Choosing THC-Free CBD Formulas
The U.S. allows 0.3% THC in hemp products. In the UK, it’s 0.2%. Sports organisations in both countries are singing the same tune—Stick to THC-free products. Yes, the small amount of THC in oils, creams, and other CBD products won’t produce a high. But WADA and the USADA strictly forbid THC, no matter how little.
Enjoy CBD to improve your wellness routine. Massage isolate-infused oils into your body after practice. Take a few drops of a broad-spectrum oil to put your head in the game. But stay away from full-spectrum products and brands you don’t know. You’ve worked too hard to get where you are now to lose it all with an unknown brand or product.