Cannabis is on the banned substance list. But are Olympic athletes allowed to use CBD?
Ae Olympic athletes allowed to use CBD? It’s a question we’re wondering now that the 2018 Winter Olympics are coming to a close. For the past few years, drug use among Olympians has been a controversial topic. Whether it’s allegations of doping or recreational drug use, sports authorities hold these elite athletes to a higher standard than the average sports player. But what about a certain therapeutic non-psychoactive cannabinoid? Are Olympic athletes allowed to use CBD?
When we talk about drugs and athletes, we almost always think of steroids and other performance-enhancing substances. For many, a connection between professional athletes and cannabis would never be part of the conversation. Even though studies show that cannabis can improve workout sessions and overall fitness.
But in 1998, the Olympic authorities officially added cannabis to the list of banned substances for competing athletes. Ross Rebagliati, a snowboarder from Canada, tested positive for THC, bringing on the change. The World Anti-Doping Agency was established one year later. The issue of Olympians smoking weed was then on the backburner for a decade.
Then, in 2009, a photograph of Michael Phelps went viral. The Olympic swimmer from the United States, who won 23 gold medals over his career (as well as three silver medals and two bronze ones), was once again in the spotlight for the wrong reason.
Did he get another DUI, like he did in 2004? No. This time, Phelps was the center of controversy because someone leaked a photo of him smoking out of a bong.
He verified the picture was real and issued a public apology. Subsequently, USA Swimming suspended him from competition for three months. He also lost a sponsorship with Kellogg.
Media and authority figures catching athletes with weed is nothing new. Most sports leagues ban drugs, including cannabis. These prohibitions are enforced through drug testing.
But the rules for Olympic athletes seem to be a bit different. Back in 2013, the World Anti-Doping Agency quietly raised the tolerated amount of THC in the system of Olympic athletes. And in 2016, the officials tweaked the rules again.
Now, Olympic athletes have permission to smoke weed. Just not during competition season. Fair enough. But what about cannabidiol? Are Olympic athletes allowed to use CBD?
The answer to the question is a resounding yes. Seemingly in accordance with scientific research and available information about the cannabinoid, the World Anti-Doping Agency updated their banned substance list. They still don’t allow Olympic athletes to use THC during the competition.
But cannabidiol? Totally fine. The proof is right there on the updated list for 2o18. In Section S8, WADA proclaims that “cannabidiol is no longer prohibited.”
It’s definitely a step in the right direction for the Agency and for athletics as a whole. Especially considering the numerous health benefits CBD offers. To athletes and non-athletes alike. Maybe now some athletes will get sponsorships from companies specializing CBD products!
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