The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which governs drug testing in the Olympics and sets the standard for anti-doping guidelines in many sports leagues is removing cannabidiol the pain-relieving, non-psychoactive cannabis compound from its list of banned substances in 2018.
One entry underwent a significant improvement from last year’s edition. Under the Cannabinoids section of the list, the WADA states that both natural and synthetic cannabinoids are strictly prohibited from being used in competition — except for CBD.
The exemption signals a substantial shift in philosophy for the anti-doping organization, and it will be interesting to observe how many of the organizations that adopt WADA’s rules follow this new policy on the non-psychoactive component of cannabis found in numerous products.
In WADA’s summary of changes made to the “List of Prohibited Substances and Methods”, the agency states, “Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited. However, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants which may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance.”
In recent years, WADA has relaxed restrictions on THC, adjusting the allowable amount of THC during competition from 15 to 150 ng/ml.
“Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited”
That means athletes needing the benefits of CBD must get it from lab-produced products that extract cannabidiol from hemp, rather than from cannabis cultivated to include THC.
Many individuals, including athletes, use CBD for therapeutic purposes. It has documented anti-inflammatory properties which means it can relieve pain and is also thought to reduce anxiety, and possibly strengthen bones.
CBD does not appear to have any psychoactive, unlike its fellow cannabinoid THC. Vaping CBD (or using it any other way) does not affect spatial or time perception or create euphoria. In reality, when used in conjunction with THC the mind-altering effects of THC are reduced.