Is CBD Legal for Athletes?
CBD and Athletic Regulations
Yes, CBD is 100% legal to use as a professional or competing athlete.
In 2018, both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances for both in and out-of-competition use.
While CBD (Cannabidiol) is permitted, the psychoactive compound THC, found in marijuana, remains prohibited during competitions.
CBD is made from the hemp plant, which is in the same plant genus as marijuana but does not contain significant THC nor the associated psychoactive effects.
CBD products are produced in different formulas; some are isolate CBD, some have trace amounts of THC, and some have larger quantities of THC. Each product has different attributes and would be chosen for the specific issue that needs to be addressed.
Interestingly, WADA has set a urinary threshold of 150 nanograms per milliliter for THC, a significant increase from the previous limit of 15 nanograms per milliliter.
Regarding the legality of CBD outside the realm of sports, it’s an ever-changing landscape. Local laws surrounding CBD and related products are constantly evolving, so it’s crucial to stay informed about the regulations in your area.
Understanding the Fundamentals of CBD for Athletes
In answer to the question- Is CBD Legal for Athletes? Yes athletes have the legal green light to incorporate CBD into their regimen, but in this article, we will go through:
1) What exactly is CBD?
2) What purpose does it serve?
3) Why consider using it?
Traditional pain management methods have proven effective for the physical trauma and wear and tear that often result in injuries and discomfort for athletes, but the side effects of these drugs are undeniable. In the quest for enhanced sports recovery and safer pain relief, the potential benefits of (CBD) recovery products are being studied and designed specifically for athletes.
The Endocannabinoid System and CBD Interaction
First and foremost, cannabinoids are compounds naturally present in your body. Scientists have pinpointed the existence of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), responsible for regulating neuronal activity.
The ECS is a complex signaling system, playing a pivotal role in maintaining homeostasis—ensuring balance across various physiological processes. CBD is a phytocannabinoid, meaning it is derived from plants.
When CBD is extracted and taken as a supplement, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system by modulation of receptors and enzymes, affecting the activity of endocannabinoids like anandamide. Anandamide is involved in various physiological processes, including mood regulation, pain perception, and immune response. It interacts with cannabinoid receptors, particularly CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are part of the ECS. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are more prevalent in peripheral tissues and immune cells.
Athletes benefit from the actions of CBD as it seems to enhance the effects of anandamide by inhibiting its reuptake, allowing it to remain in the synapses for a longer duration and amplifying its various potential therapeutic benefits.
What purpose does CBD serve for athletes?
Substitute for NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Athletes often have no choice but to turn to anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. However, insights show they have many side effects and health warnings, particularly for long-term use.
Some athletes have discovered that the pain-relieving properties of CBD can reduce the need for NSAIDs in managing exercise-related pain, and with minimal side effects.
Substitute for Opioids
Opioid pain medications (such as morphine, codeine, and tramadol) are highly effective for managing pain, but they come with substantial side effects and are addictive. CBD may not match the acute, high-intensity pain relief provided by opioids, but they show promise for long-term pain management. Whether used independently or in combination with other medications, CBD presents a significantly lower risk of dependence or overdose.
A moderate amount of inflammation can benefit athletes by promoting positive training adaptations. However, excessive inflammation can impede recovery and hinder performance. Research and anecdotal reports show that CBD is proving to modulate the ECS and exert anti-inflammatory effects. In the case of sport and recovery, it appears to inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules, known as cytokines, thus reducing the intensity of the inflammatory response.
Achieving improved and more profound sleep stands out as one of the most effective methods for athletes to enhance their training gains. Athletes who incorporate CBD into their routine often report experiencing easier sleep initiation and a more rejuvenating night’s rest. This positive impact may be linked to CBD’s influence on adenosine, a neurotransmitter.
CBD’s interaction with adenosine receptors may inhibit its reuptake, allowing it to accumulate more swiftly. This can expedite the onset of sleepiness. Additionally, CBD’s potential anti-anxiety effects may further support sleep initiation, contributing to a tranquil and restful night.
CBD’s potential to improve sleep quality may aid in restoring the body’s natural circadian rhythms and contribute to overall homeostasis.
Taking CBD With Other Medications
If you’re taking CBD for a certain illness or particular symptoms, it’s possible that you’re taking another medication to help out with them. If that’s the case, it is a good idea to check with your doctor for CBD having a negative interaction.
As of our current understanding, CBD presents benefits with minimal side effects. If it proves effective in enhancing recovery as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and sleep aid, it holds significant potential for improving athletic performance. Moreover, if athletes can reduce their reliance on NSAIDs, opioids, and prescription sleep aids by incorporating CBD, it signifies even greater victories for overall well-being. While CBD is legal for athletes, it is important to be vigilant in checking the accuracy of product labeling when choosing your CBD products.
“I do some home style body maintenance and then I’m always happy to use the CBD recovery balm, great stuff guys!” Mimmi Kokta, Pro Ultra runner
If you are a professional or competing athlete, we recommend sticking with Isolate products.
CBD Studios products made with CBD Isolate are: Recovery Balm, Recovery Massage Oil and CBD Oil Isolate