CBD In Sports – Why Officials Allow It

CBD Use In Sports

CBD Use In Sports

An interesting trend recently has been a considerable increase in athletes using CBD to aid their recovery.

To try and clear up any confusion, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed cannabidiol from its list of banned substances in January 2018.

So while cannabis is of course still prohibited, CBD supplements that measure no greater than 0.2% THC (the legal limit) are approved for use in the UK.

Both the WADA and the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) agree in this judgement that the substance is not performance-enhancing.

Why Is Cannabidiol Permitted But Cannabis Remains Banned?

CBD supplements are only permitted to contain a very small amount of psychoactive THC. For this reason, high-quality manufacturers of these supplements tend to focus on removing as much THC as possible from their compounds.

While there are numerous ways to perform this task, most of the finest producers will opt for CO2-based extraction methods. These are the same techniques as those used for decaffeinating tea leaves or coffee beans.

Many companies claim to offer products that are entirely free of THC, however there’s almost always going to be a trace left over.

For our purposes, as long as the extract contains less than the legal threshold it’s fine to be present in an athlete’s bloodstream. To the best of our knowledge, no athlete (or anyone else for that matter) has failed a drugs test due to taking CBD dietary supplements.

So while these supplements are derived from the cannabis family, because they don’t deliver any psychoactive properties they’re perfectly acceptable for use in the world of sport.

Eddie Hall with the Nano Shot

So Why Do Athletes Take CBD?

On paper, it may at first glance seem a little peculiar for why athletes bother to take this supplement in the first place.

Whilst we are legally restricted in what we can claim the potential benefits may be, plenty of sportspeople believe that it can be a useful tool in aiding recovery. For this reason, there have been a number of products brought to market specifically aimed towards post-workout recovery. Typically these are drops/oils that are added to water, isotonic drinks or even snacks.

As for effective CBD can be when taken in such contexts, there’s not really any clear-cut ‘proof’ that it’s necessarily effective. All we can go on is anecdotal testimonials – which clearly demonstrates that a good proportion of people who try to integrate CBD into their recovery schedule have enjoyed considerable success.

There are no guarantees! In a nutshell, from the WADA and VADA standpoint, there are no problems with taking supplements providing they do not cause artificial sporting enhancement.

Sports Professionals Who Use & Endorse CBD

Here’s just a couple of professional athletes who use and endorse this supplement:

Eddie Hall

Eddie Hall“The Beast” won the World’s Strongest Man competition in 2017.

He recently published this video on his Instagram page, endorsing the use of CBD. He said:

“CBD is something that’s been brought into the industry quite recently. I’ve been using it for over a year now, and I just want to say how much I recommend it to anybody. It’s helped me with my crazy year…

There are three products I would mainly recommend… We’ve got the CBD Pro Shot that’s a liquid form that you add to your drinks. We have the oil which you put just under your tongue, and we have the vape… I keep them in my gym bag, and I’m always just topping my levels up.

There’s only one company I would use and that’s CBD Asylum. There’s loads of companies sprouting up all over the place, but this is the one I originally used and it’s the one I trust.”

Alex Montagnani

Alex Montagnani - TestimonialAlex “The Mean Albatross” Montagnani is a professional MMA fighter.

In this YouTube video he says:

“The way that CBD has affected my training has been amazing…

The reasons I use CBD is for my recovery between training as the session can be crazy and intense so I need something that helps boost that recovery, and get me back into the gym.

What I like about CBD is that it’s natural, and I’m a vegetarian, so it goes hand in hand with each other…”

CBD & The Endocannabinoid System

One of the frustrating aspects of these supplements is that nobody can pinpoint with absolute certainty why, and to what extent, CBD may be useful.

The most accepted theory is that our endocannabinoid system needs to be reinforced and revitalised much like any other part of the body.

Final Thoughts

Plenty of athletes are still wary of taking CBD despite the clear potential it may have to offer.

Of course, not all gym-goers engage in competition and under those circumstances, there’s absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t try out CBD to aid recovery.

As mentioned at the top of this article, there has yet to be a single case of an athlete failing a drugs test due to using these supplements. Given the potential assistance that it may anecdotally be able to offer, we can certainly expect an ever-growing number of people trying them out.

The way the UK CBD market is heading, it may not be too long at all until CBD workout aids are as commonplace as isotonic energy drinks.