Beginning next year, athletes will be allowed to use cannabidiol — better known as CBD — without fear of violating international doping rules.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has left CBD off the 2018 “List of Prohibited Substances and Methods”. The list of banned substances for athletes is used by athletic leagues and agencies around the world as a guide for rules and testing.
WADA was created in 1999 and describes itself as the “international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries.”
Many people, including athletes, use CBD for therapeutic purposes. It has proven anti-inflammatory properties — which means it can relieve pain — and also is supposed to reduce anxiety, and possibly strengthen bones.
CBD is not psychoactive. Unlike its fellow cannabinoid THC, vaping CBD (or using it any other way) will not create euphoria or affect spatial or time perception. In fact, when used in conjunction with THC, it may actually reduce the mind-altering effects of THC.
WADA is not removing THC from the list. That means athletes wanting the benefits of CBD must get it from lab-produced products that extract cannabidiol from hemp, rather than from cannabis bred to include THC.