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CBD oil: A very important update for PRO athletes.

In one of my recent Dedication to Education Wednesdays, we looked at CBD oil and its use in sport. I concluded that yes, this does have promise despite very limited data. However, I did overly state that this isn’t suitable for pro athletes who get drug tested due to running the risk of cross contamination.

To compliment my findings, the top dogs at UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) have stepped in and given a position statement on the matter to clarify any doubt.

What’s worth remembering is that CBD oil (cannabidiol) is not currently on the prohibited banned substance list. However, cannabinoids such as cannabis, hashish, marijuana, and THC are.

THC is the compound that makes you high and has a ‘threshold substance’ of 150 nanograms per mL. Basically, if THC is higher than this per urine sample, then you are f#%ked and you fail a drug test.

Here’s the thing, it’s difficult to extract CBD only from the plant, and therefore you’re going to get some THC, which is absolutely fine if it’s under the specified dose. However, UKAD clearly state that other factors affect the amount of THC within the CDB product;

1) Type of plant.
2) Part of the plant.
3) Refinement process used by the manufacturer.
4) Preparation of the product.

This means that it’s pretty difficult to definitively know much THC you may be consuming. In addition to this, UKAD also state that the product may become contaminated via;

1) Interaction with a different species of plant high in THC.
2) Misidentification and use of the wrong part of the cannabis plant during the manufacturing process.

To support this, one study showed that THC levels in products are higher than permitted by the FDA and another showing the presence of a prohibited cannabinoid; 5F-ADB.

One final note; at present, UKAD aren’t aware of any third party laboratories providing a risk minimization programme for CBD products such a LGC who run the Informed Sport programme. Manufactures will do their own form of quality control, but their validity is unknown, so can you really trust them? What reassurance will you actually have?

So, if you’re a PRO and are subjected to doping control…Just NO champ.

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