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World Anti-Doping Agency Approves CBD for Professional Athletes


CBD (or cannabidiol) is becoming so popular among professional athletes to help them in their recovery that it has been approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

For a substance to be included on WADA’s list, two of the following three statements must be true: It has the potential to enhance sport performance, it represents an actual or potential health risk to athletes, or, it violates the spirit of sport.

Professional athletes in particular are turning to CBD as an alternative, plant-based solution to pain relievers such as ibuprofen or percocet. CBD is now known to help with athletic recovery, is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, an anti-anxiety solution, and has been demonstrated to have a neuro-protectant effect in cases of traumatic brain injury. Additionally, it has no known side-effects and is not considered addictive.

Despite the stigma associated with the cannabis plant from which CBD is derived, some athletes are going public with their CBD use. Numerous sports leagues are now opening up to the use of CBD amongst their athletes. The NFL and the NFL Players Association recently agreed to work in tandem to study the potential use of marijuana as a pain management tool for players. In addition to pain management, the football community has actively been exploring CBD to help with brain injury due to the high number of concussions resulting in CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) that devastates the lives of many football players.

In the baseball world, Major League Baseball pitcher David Wells pitched the the 15th perfect game in baseball history and was considered to be one of the game’s better left-handed pitchers. During his career he was plagued with injury and pain, causing him to abuse prescription medications while at the height of his career. After being introduced to CBD, Wells was able to stop all pharmaceuticals in favour of CBD.

Research is showing that CBD is a proven wellness medicine that increases stamina, athletic ability and provides potent recovery aspects for both brain injury and athletic endeavours. We’re looking forward to the time when increased research will help us understand better how this ancient plant can help professional athletes, and non-pros alike.


Leslie Andrachuk

As a bilingual pioneer in global digital publishing and marketing, Leslie is happiest when creating new things and inspiring her teams. She is passionate about changing biases that hold women back from realizing their true power and is grateful that at this point in her career she has the skills to make real change.

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  1. Lia September 27, 2018

    Does that mean athletes in the Olympics can use CBD? Great article!

    1. Leslie Andrachuk October 3, 2018

      Thank you! That’s a great and somewhat complex question. It’s still up in the air as to whether cannabis could be considered a performance-enhancing drug, so the IOC’s stance now is that athletes’ urine must contain less than 150 nano grams per millilitre of carboxy-THC. As a comparison, US workplace drug tests set thresholds between 15 ng/mL and 100 ng/mL, so that’s pretty generous. Do you remember Ross Rebagliati, the Canadian gold-medal winning Olympic snowboarder? His pee returned a result of 17.8 ng/mL. which caused his medal to be stripped away. This decision was eventually overturned, on the basis that marijuana was not actually on the list of banned substances at that time, and Rebagliati was given back his medal. He’s now launched his own CBD brand! More and more athletes are turning to CBD oil for health and wellness, pain management, anxiety and sleep management and from athletic recovery. Most CBD oils contain THC, and depending on the source of the oil, the amount of THC will differ, so Olympians do need to be careful about not ingesting THC with their CBD, as it is THC which remains a banned compound.


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