Athlete Perspectives on CBD
With the explosion of the CBD market people are turning to CBD tinctures, lotions, capsules, and gummies for CBD’s various potentials. As many people are turning to it for relaxation, the idea of athletes using CBD while competing seems like it would hinder them more than it would help. But, a growing number of athletes are consuming CBD relax gummies to manage nerves during competition and pain from past injuries. Although CBD is non-psychoactive, there’s some confusion around the legality of this practice, and its status as a valid medicinal treatment versus a performance-enhancing drug could be called into question.
CBD has taken off in the world of professional golf in particular, with several high-profile athletes embracing the compound. A video of Phil Mickelson taking CBD during the PGA Masters tournament went viral, and Charley Hoffman has been utilizing CBD as part of his treatment protocol for muscular dystrophy. Hoffman credits CBD with helping him manage his mental and physical health since his diagnosis, saying, “I haven’t had any injuries, my body feels good, and my brain is clear. I’m more stable and calm on the course.”
Naturally, fans are curious as to whether or not CBD would be a strike against an athlete if it showed up on a drug test. In 2017, the World Anti-Doping Agency officially removed CBD from its list of banned substances. However, not every institution is on the same page. On the other hand, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) bans any substances chemically related to cannabis, so while it doesn’t explicitly list CBD, it’s better for athletes to be on the safe side and avoid consuming it. Based on these rules, it’s technically legal for some athletes to consume CBD prior to competing, but even a few drops of a poor-quality CBD tincture from a shoddy retailer could land a competitor in hot water.
Since CBD is not THC, it seems like consumers would be in the clear, but not all CBD is created equal. Currently, some retailers are still playing fast and loose as far as regulations are concerned, meaning that some CBD products could contain detectable levels of THC. Luckily for athletes and others who are concerned about quality control and drug testing for employment, the FDA plans to conduct further research on CBD to determine best practices for regulation.
In a May 31 hearing, [FDA] officials raised concerns about dosage levels, long-term use of CBD, how it interacts with other drugs, and claims that CBD can be used to treat specific illnesses. CBD makers say they welcome FDA oversight, as it would bring enhanced legitimacy.
Based on the rapid expansion of this market, CBD isn’t going anywhere, and in the future, it’s likely that we’ll see clearer and stricter regulations concerning how athletes can consume CBD. But in the meantime, athletes interested in consuming the cannabinoid need to ensure that they’re playing by the rules.
Read more at Golf.com.