It’s very evident that CBD products have increased in popularity despite minimal research supporting its use in athletes (other than anecdotally).
CBD products claim to have low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – This is the compound that makes you high and can get the pro athlete banned…if for some reason you wished to supplement, it’s safe to say we need to keep blood levels of THC extremely low to avoid a ban.
Well, here’s the tyre kicker…
Research by Gunasekaran et al (2009) found that you can store THC in adipose tissue (body fat) and has the potential to accumulate over time.
Now, if we think about fat loss 101 – If you are deficient in energy (calories), your body will mobilise stored body fat (lipolysis) to help support the body’s demands. I.e. if you’re not providing the body with energy through food, it will get it elsewhere…body fat!
Here comes the second tyre kicker…
Gunasekaran’s et al (2009) supplemented rats with THC and split them in two groups:
Group 1 = THC + calorie restriction.
Group 2 = THC + a drug that causes lipolysis.
Either way, you’d expect a breakdown of fat tissue. Not only did they find this, they also found the metabolised fat released THC back into the blood. I.e. reintoxication.
Now, picture this…
Say for example you consumed a CBD product and wanted to drop body fat – You did this through hard training ( = increased lipolysis) and restricting your calories ( = increased lipolysis).
As you may expect, the net result will be the breakdown of fat tissue and potentially having high blood THC levels. Then one day, the drug testers come knocking on your door asking to take a sample of your blood. Uh Oh!
At this moment in time, you are potentially fucked, even if you haven’t taken CBD products for a little while. I say ‘potentially’ as this isn’t definitive, but it’s quite likely…
Again, what you ingest now may impact you later…why risk it? Especially when there’s next to zero available evidence to suggest it’s beneficial for athletes