This summer’s Tokyo Olympics will be the first Olympic event where athletes can legally use CBD without consequences.
Due to CBD’s growing popularity, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has become less restrictive with what they allow Olympic athletes to consume. The agency approved the semi-lenient measures in 2018 after athletes advocated for CBD products following their positive experiences.
For example, Olympic soccer player, Carli Lloyd, partnered with CBDMEDIC after using their hemp-derived CBD topical. “Lloyd credits the leading CBD topicals brand as key to her recovery,” Lloyd said in a press release.
Additionally, Jake Plummer, former NFL quarterback, “began using CBD oil to support his joint and cartilage functions after undergoing major hip surgeries,” reports TheCannabisRadar.
CBD Removed From Banned Substance List
With laws loosening on medical and recreational cannabis use, it is not uncommon to see changes in athletic rules/regulations. As such, the USADA removed CBD from its list of banned substances as more athletes are benefitting from its products.
“The Tokyo Olympics will be the first in which participating athletes will be allowed to consume CBD,” according to GuardianAthletic, which creates hemp-infused products for athletes. Until 2018, cannabinoids were among the list of banned substances that would disqualify an athlete if found in their system.
Many CBD products contain safe all-natural ingredients, which many athletes find effective for pain relief, inflammation and even anxiety. Since they do not enhance performance, The USADA recognized CBD as beneficial for athletes to use.
Specifically, the agency says that athletes can have CBD, and certain amounts of THC, in their systems. However, they write,
“There are no threshold limits for any other cannabinoid (natural or synthetic). All other cannabinoids (except CBD) are prohibited in-competition in any amount, including natural cannabinoids (e.g., cannabigerol, cannabichromene, cannabinol, and others) and synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., cannabinoid compounds denoted by the initials “JWH” and a number, HU-210, K2/Spice, AB-PINACA, and many others).”
In recent years, several studies have shown that CBD is an effective, alternative treatment for issues like inflammation, pain and more. As a result, these products have gained recognition nationwide and especially in the athletic world.
Therapeutic CBD Products
The USADA prohibits substances with the potential to enhance an athlete’s performance. Therefore, strict rules about which products are acceptable to use will remain in place.
According to the USADA, the agency allows therapeutic exemptions for medical cannabis. But that must meet certain criteria in order to be approved for use. For example, athletes can submit an application to use therapeutic for medical purposes. But, those products must also be FDA-approved. Approved medications include marinol and dronabinol.
When it comes to drug testing, there is a THC threshold. That means there can be THC in an athlete’s system in-competition, as long as the concentration in the urine is below 150 ng/mL, reports the USADA. Any level of THC higher than that results in a positive test.
Updated Substances Allowed For Upcoming Olympics
With the postponed 2021Olympics, updates on new regulations and substance bans plays a big part this time around. This year’s Olympics include new substance regulations that have never been seen at this level, like THC-infused products that compliment those with CBD. As such, future Olympic games will look different for all athletes involved.