CBD in Sports

Do any sports allow the use of CBD?

Educating the public is the best approach if we ever want to overcome the stigma of CBD and its association with marijuana and getting high. Even if sports organizations are not exactly embracing CBD yet, they seem to be willing to educate themselves on their athletes’ interests and how this new alternative might help. Distancing it from THC, the reason people take THC and the mind-altering effects will allow the entire sports community to better understand and eventually accept the potential applications for athletes at any level, particularly in pro sports.

Since CBD was removed from World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) list of banned substances, Olympians are allowed to use CBD in competition and CrossFit competitions allow it as well. Basketball’s BIG3 Professional 3 on 3 League has become the first professional sports league in the United States to allow its athletes to use it, and the PGA allows it's players to use CBD.



Will it get you high?

Not unless it contains a significant amount of THC. Typically, CBD products contain less than 0.03% THC which isn’t anywhere near enough to create the “high” that’s commonly associated with smoking marijuana.

How is THC different from CBD?

One of the key differences between CBD and THC is whether the cannabis product will cause a euphoric effect, or “high”, when consumed.

THC is the cannabinoid people associate most closely with marijuana or weed. It directly activates of the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1), found primarily in the brain and the central nervous system. The intoxicating effect that most associate with recreational or medical marijuana use is exclusively brought about by activating CB1 receptors with THC.

CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind with CB1 receptors and is actually considered a blocking agent of CB1 activators. This not only means that CBD can never cause a high, no matter how much is consumed, but that it also acts to suppress the CB1-activating qualities of compounds like THC.

Another difference is that CBD can be extracted from the hemp plant.  Hemp naturally contains a much higher concentration of CBD and no more than 0.3% THC. That’s only about a tenth of the concentration of a marijuana plant.


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