This week, professional athletes around the world received great news. The World Anti Doping Agency has removed CBD as a banned substance beginning January of 2018. While THC remains banned, this is a huge step forward for widespread acceptance of CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) has an increasing amount of studies discussing its health benefits, specifically its anti-inflammatory properties. This opens up new research on CBD use in grueling training camps and extended playing seasons for top-level athletes.
CBD has recently found an advocate in UFC star Nate Diaz, who touts its effectiveness in his training routine and has been a long-time voice for allowing in-competition use of his CBD vape cartridges. Diaz says it is helpful for relief of his pain, anxiety, and inflammation. Diaz received a USADA warning when he admitted to using CBD at a post-fight press conference earlier in 2016. Because the competition window had closed, there was no further discipline. However, beginning in January, fighters will be able to use CBD before and after fights with no repercussions.
WADA’s surprising about-face on CBD when more celebrity voices are joining the effort to bring about widespread acceptance for cannabidiol. NFL players like Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan and retired Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer are increasingly vocal about CBD’s potential to combat the epidemic levels of head trauma across the league. In the NFL, changes are more difficult as they would require a re-write of the league’s collective bargaining agreement. As more and more athletes speak up on CBD’s benefits, we expect to see more positive change throughout the industry.
If you are curious about other changes WADA has made, you can view the 2018 list in its entirety to see what other substances are included.