CBD: Is it Safe to Use in Sport?

cbd use in sport

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over 80 cannabinoids found in the Hemp plant.

In recent years, anecdotal and Research evidence have heightened interest in products containing Hemp-Extracts as potential natural aids for recovery after exercise.  Many athletes are using such products to help manage inflammation, pain and stress.

Legal Status

CBD, in its pure form, is not a controlled substance in the UK.  However, other compound in the Hemp plant, THC and CBN, are illegal.

Products containing Hemp Extracts, including CBD, may have trace amounts THC in them but may be regarded as exempt from restriction if such trace level is below 1mg per [entire] product.

A major concern to athletes and other users of CBD products is the accuracy of labelling and what THC, if any, is present in a product.

WADA Status

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibits Cannabinoids, with the exception of CBD.

The presence of cannabinoids other than CBD in the broad-spectrum Hemp-Extract products currently available in the UK would not be allowed by WADA. 

CBD Isolate (CBD only, with no other cannabinoids present) can’t (at the time of writing) be used in food products or food supplements in the EU without the manufacturer submitting a Novel Food application to the EU, which no one has done. 

If you are an athlete subject to testing for banned substances, we suggest verifying the position of your Anti-Doping Organisation with regards to Hemp-Extracts.

Further, CBD products extracted from cannabis-hemp plants can contain varying concentrations of THC that could cause a positive anti-doping test.

The Global DRO can provide athletes with guidance on CBD specific to your sport but, if you compete in sports with a zero-tolerance policy, be very cautious.

The use of any CBD product is at the athlete’s own risk. 

The same advice can be taken by those that are drug-tested in relation to their employment.





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