The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), announced last Friday it will remove cannabidiol from the restricted doping agents list it has been on since 2004. The amendment will enter into force on January 1, 2018.
Cannabidiol’s absurde presence on the list helped has been recently brought to light by the case of MMA fighter Nate Diaz, who, after suffering defeat from Conor McGregor, was seen during the after-fiht preference donning a vapourizer filled with CBD preparation.
„It helps with the healing process and inflammation” – Diaz commented – ”So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.” The American Anti-Doping Agency USADA promptly issued a public warning denouncing Diaz.
The prominent case could have somehow hasten WADA’s decision, which, after announcing a list of banned substances for 2018, commented on the absence of cannabidiol in the following way: “Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited (…) Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance.” Leaving aside WADA’s apparently meagre knowledge of the high quality CBD extracts, and the usual preference for isolates and synthetics at the expense of artisinal products, the somewhat bizarre statement of the Agency is undoubtedly a step in the right direction and another call for further research on the health benefits of cannabidiol. Let’s remind you here that CBD hemp extracts can contain just a tiny ammounts of THC: way, way below any legally defined thresholds, amounts that will not, in fact, interfere with any doping or drug test results.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is currently one of the most popular sports, no doubts about this, so one of the fighters openly using CBD has definitely helped to shed some light on the issue, but it’s also worth remembering that the controversy surrounding cannabis and cannabinoids in sports go far beyond the closed world of multimillionaires fighting in cages. When it comes to cannabis’ compounds, the anti-doping organizations’ chief enemy is invariably the psychoactive THC, banned in most sports. THC’s impact on endurance has been studied – actually, it is hard to talk about it in terms of „traditionall” doping: THC can slow down your heart rate and bring about general laziness, but on the other hand, it also helps in the post-workout regeneration (needless to say – CBD also exhibits such potential). Interesting aenough, cannabis seem to be particularly popular in counterculture and extreme sports, as proved by one of the world’s best sport climber’s Chris Sharma’s disqualification from the World Cup’s finale in 2012.
All in all, „cannabinoids and sport” is a very interesting and broad subject, worth a separate article.