Opinion

World Cup Allows CBD

Tamir Bresler
Written by Tamir Bresler

World Anti-Doping Agency Revises ProhibitedSubstances List

The World Cup is the most popular sporting event in the world, attracting upward of 3.2 billion viewers during the month-long course of the competition. That’s over HALF the population of the entire world! A billion viewers watched the Finale alone. With so much hype and popularity, it’s obvious that there is a keen interest in what the athletes of the competition do on and off the field. And one thing that has gotten us excited by the 2018 World Cup is that it marks the first time that CBD use by athletes will be allowed.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the independent doping control body responsible for promoting and coordinating the fight against doping in sports internationally. WADA was formed by the Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport, adopted by the World Conference on Doping in Sport on February 4th, 1999, in Lausanne, Switzerland, following the doping scandal at the 1998 Tour de France.

The Lausanne Declaration defines doping as: “The use or presence in the athlete’s body of a substance potentially dangerous to athletes’ health and/or capable of enhancing their performances.” It also applies to medical or genetic treatments that boost specific cellular activity (such as oxygen uptake) or chemical and physical manipulations designed to tamper with doping testing. The doping control program established by WADA operates in accordance with the International Standards for Doping Control (ISDC) and ISO 9001 certification, which regulates quality management and assurance.

Unlike the United States, most of the world has agreed that cannabis extracts, and CBD in particular, possess strong potential as therapeutic agents for a wide variety of diseases and disorders1. As such, on January 1st, 2018, WADA revised section S.8 Cannabinoids of the Prohibited In-Competition List. In the Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes for the 2018 Prohibited List, WADA declares: “Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited.”

This decision will have ramifications for every major sport organization in the country and in the world. We spoke with Brock Cannon, a professional cyclist and self-proclaimed ‘Cannabis Athlete’ to discuss the effects of these changes. “I’m glad to see WADA loosening the belt with CBD,” Cannon said. “I hope it encourages more athletes to seek out natural solutions that are healthier for their bodies.”

Pro-Athletes have a higher rate of physical injury than the average person due to their career. They could use CBD for a variety of therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammation, relaxation, and pain relief2. Cannon points out that many people “don’t realize that most professional athletes are in so much pain from heavy training loads and competition.” He says many are just looking for a way—sometimes through any means possible—to find relief. “This WADA change will allow pro athletes to find recovery relief in CBD instead of reaching to other more harmful painkillers that are addictive in nature.”

Cannon believes CBD will give many athletes a great alternative to harmful substances—legal or illegal. “I hope that it encourages more athletes to seek out natural solutions that are healthier for their bodies.” From personal experience, he feels that most CBD products are not potent or fast-acting enough for athletes. He foresees the growth of sports-oriented CBD companies that will “target athletes by providing better and faster delivery systems.”

Thinking about the World Cup of years past brings to mind the spirit of the times that are gone. It’s good to know that when people think of the 2018 World Cup, they’ll be thinking, “That was the year CBD was legalized for athletic use.”

For more on The Cannabis Athlete, follow Brock Cannon on Instagram (@thebrockcannon) and LinkedIn.

References

  1. Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-Review Report. Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. World Health Organization. Thirty Ninth Meeting, Agenda Item 5.2. November 6-10, 2017.
  2. Whiting et al. Cannabinoids for medical use: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 2015;313(24):2456-2473. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.6358.

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Tamir Bresler

Tamir Bresler

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