CBD professional sports’ dope test warning

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European athletes using CBD to boost sports performance have been warned they could fail dope tests.

The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) says the risk of traces of THC entering athletes’ bodies after using CBD products is ‘too high to be ignored’. In Europe, cannabidiol, or CBD, is becoming more and more popular with professional and amateur participants in sports such as running, athletics golf and rugby.

The nutraingredients website reports the ESNNA as counting major European sports nutrition players like Volac, Myprotein and Holland & Barrett among its membership.

Cross Contamination Risk

It quotes the ESSNA as saying: “It is difficult to extract CBD from the cannabis plant without any traces of other cannabinoids, such as THC, being found in the final product. Moreover, there are risks of cross contamination in manufacturing facilities if CBD products are produced in such environments.”

Recent research in the U.K. on the validity of CBD products by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis found widespread variance between labels and actual contents. In almost 50% of cases THC levels were above those advertised and therefore illegal, exposing sellers and users to potential legal action.

In 2018 The World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD as a banned substance and raised the legal THC limit from 15 nanograms/millilitre (ng/ml) to 150ng/ml.

In September the United States Anti-Doping Agency slapped Colorado-based triathlete Lauren Goss with a six-month ban after THC levels in her blood exceeded the threshold. She blamed a CBD cream she was using out-of-competition for a ‘musculoskeletal injury.’

World Cup Final Rugby Player

Many athletes say it can aid muscular recovery, pain relief, improve sleep and reduce inflammation. Mark Tucker, CEO of UK-based CBD firm TTS Pharma, told nutraingredients that complete CBD-THC separation is possible under the right conditions.

TTS says it has developed ‘validated proprietary techniques for the extraction, separation and manufacturing of cannabinoids’. CBD Testers recently reported on the number of golfers finding CBD helping their performance.

In the world of rugby union one of the England players, representing his country in the World Cup final in Japan recently, has become such a devotee of the CBD he has established a business. Fourfive CBD has been launched by George Kruis, and fellow professional Dom Day. 

Dom is a Welsh International and George is a British Lion who featured in the recent World Cup final loss to South Africa. The two say that they ‘use CBD as part of the daily routine as it helps us maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the highs and lows of professional sport’.

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