You’ve seen our C + L Athletes talk about how CBD improves their focus, helps them rest and recover properly and is an integral part of their training. But you still wonder: Is this actually allowed?
CBD has been recognized by the majority of major athletic organizations to not be artificially boosting athletic performance but maximizing the beneficial effects of CBD for athletic performance - increasing the overall health and well-being.
Beyond the science of CBD and how this actually works to help any athlete at any caliber (including yourself!) find their peak performance - we cover the official view on CBD that most professional leagues take.
Here’s the long and short of it:
CBD was removed from prohibited lists for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for both in and out of competition in 2018.
This includes the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, CrossFit, Ironman, Cycling, all International Federations and over 200 US Anti-Doping Organizations.
US Major League Sports Regulations
CBD products derived from hemp are legally permitted to contain traces of THC, 0.3% or less to be exact. As US Major Leagues only test for THC in most cases, we reference their practices below.
NFL - Their current testing threshold for THC under their new 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) has been increased to 150 ng/ml, up from 35 ng/ml. Additionally, NFL players will no longer be suspended for positive marijuana tests. In Lieu of suspension, players will now be fined anywhere from a half-week’s salary to three weeks’ salary for positive tests, depending on the number of violations. Finally, annual testing will now be limited to an extremely short window (the first two weeks of training camp), The NFL and NFL Players Association have recently commissioned a study about alternatives to opioids, including CBD, for pain management. The league and the union are asking researchers with experience conducting controlled, experimental studies related to pain management to submit information that may be useful in treating NFL players.
NBA - NBA’s current testing threshold for THC is 15 ng/mL and tests are conducted randomly throughout the season. However, the NBA eliminated testing for THC for the 2020/21 season. This is likely setting the stage for a removal from their banned substance list inn coming season.
MLB - In 2019, MLB ratified that natural cannabinoids (e.g., THC, CBD, and Marijuana) have been removed from the leagues list of Drugs of Abuse. Cannabis use amongst players will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties' Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player's Club or the Commissioner's Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids.
NHL - CBD is not prohibited. THC is also not included in the NHL's list of banned substances, and athletes are not disciplined after testing positive for it. However, after multiple failed tests, NHL players may be required to enter a substance abuse program.