1. What is it?
CBD or cannabidiol is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana), according to Harvard Health. It is one of 115 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. There is no psychoactive component to CBD which means that there isn’t a “high” associated with its use. This is what makes it more attractive for some who seek to use it for its medicinal properties.
2. Is it legal?
Maybe? Because CBD can be prescribed for seizures, the FDA is hesitant to allow widespread use until more research has been conducted. The legislation on this changes almost monthly.
3. Does it show up in competition drug tests?
According to the US Anti-doping Agency cannabidiol is not prohibited. The problem is, it seems fairly difficult to isolate CBD from THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. This means that you may test positive for marijuana in a blood test done before competition.
A study published by the American Medical Association in 2017 showed that THC was detected (up to 6.43 mg/mL) in 18 of the 84 samples tested. If you have a competition that does blood testing coming up in the next couple of months, the USADA recommends avoiding the use of CBD products.
In other words and written in bold on the USADA site: “The use of any CBD product is at the athlete’s own risk.”
4. What are some benefits? Alternatives?
Claims that have been yet to be widely proven include that it can elevate mood, speed recovery by fighting oxidative damage, reduce pain through anti inflammatory properties. The fact is that many of these studies occurred on rats and much more research and regulation should take place.
So in the meantime, remember that exercise and nature elevate mood, antioxidant-rich foods help fight oxidative damage, and rest days allow the body to recover from an inflammatory state and renew itself.
For questions about CBD, cannabinoids, and other substances, contact the USADA Drug Reference Line at email@example.com or call (719) 785-2000, option 2.
I am a Sports Chiropractor in San Francisco. My posts reflect some of the day to day interactions and questions from patients, clients, and coaches. I strive to empower people through injury rehab & sports performance to lead healthy, productive lives.