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Good Enough for Olympians

June 27, 2018

If you follow MMA you probably remember when Nate Diaz used a vape pen in his post fight press conference. When asked what he was doing Nate replied it was CBD and it was good for you. There were some chuckles and it was mostly dismissed, however Anti Doping regulators (WADA) weren't laughing and Nate was giving a public warning. Looks like Nate is having the last laugh.

TheWorld Anti-Doping Agency has removed CBD from their restricted list for athletes, effective Jan 2018. Quoting WADA "cannabidiol is no longer prohibited". WADA does highlight that THC, the psycho active compound found in larger quantities in certain types of recreational cannabis is still prohibited, and cautions athletes to be mindful of the CBD extracts they use to ensure there isn't a significant source of THC.

WADA annually reviews prohibited substances and looks at any changes that may relate to banned substances. The review itself can take up to nine months and subject matter experts from various industries are consulted, including researchers, medical professionals, law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies. At the end of this process they found CBD acceptable and made it clearly available to athletes. While this ruling is encouraging, it is also slightly amusing.

There are numerous substances banned by WADA that are available for US citizens to buy over the counter in their local supplement store and even more that are routinely prescribed by doctors. Everything from cold medicines and caffeine to growth hormone and steroids are regulated by WADA. These drugs are given to everyday people to effectively make them better but for Olympic level athletes they give them an unfair advantage so they are banned. On the flip side of this coin Olympic Atheletes can now use CBD oil sanctioned by the world anti doping agency, which is supported, and to an extent funding by the US government, but our government still has not made an official ruling on the use of CBD for its own population. It is easier for a doctor to prescribe steroids or opioids to a patient than it is to prescribe CBD, even though the former has no negative side effects and no one has every died from taking CBD. Opioids on the other hand have recently been called out by our president as an epidemic and huge problem in our country. Steroid use by patient needs close monitoring and even NSAIDs, like Aleve and other over the counter anti inflammatories carry serious warnings from the FDA due to long term serious side effects. CBD on the other hand - doesn't have theses issues.

Because of the 2014 farm bill we can use CBD oil, but there are still legal arguments made between state and federal regulators. Bottom line the  US government hasn't publicly stated CBD is acceptable for its tax paying citizens, but Atheletes who might bring home the gold and international bragging rights - well that's a different story.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent medical or legal advice in anyway. Before taking any supplements you should consult with your doctor.

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