Cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil, is a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that has long been touted for its medicinal uses. The anti-inflammatory, pain killing and anti-spasmodic effects of the compound are commonly used to treat a whole host of disorders including seizures, chronic pain and brain injuries. CBD oil has no psychoactive effects, meaning that it does not get you high. It has no detrimental side effects and is non-addictive. In fact, the compound has been found to be a lot more effective than opioids, which have severe side effects, are highly addictive and lead to thousands of deaths each year.
CBD Removed From WADA Prohibited Substances List
The benefits of CBD oil are of great use to athletes whose bodies can become wracked with injuries, pain and inflammation. Now it would seem, after a number of years, world class athletes will finally be able to utilize these benefits again. According to The Cannabist
, as of January 1, 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances that athletes can use. The organization is responsible for the drug code adhered to by over 660 sporting organizations and these include the International Olympic Committee.
The Origin of the WADA Ban on Cannabis Components
In 1998, marijuana and all its components were banned by WADA. The decision came after Ross Rebagliati, a Canadian snowboard Gold Medalist, was found to have trace amounts of it in his system at the Nagano Winter Olympics. At first, Rebagliati was stripped of his medal but due to the fact that there was no official rule in place regarding marijuana use at the time, he was eventually allowed to keep it. Since this time Rebagliati has been a loud and proud anti-prohibitionist and has even gone so far as to open his own Canadian medical marijuana company, Ross Gold.
Other Athletes in Support of Cannabis
The snowboarder isn't the only sportsperson passionate about allowing the benefits of CBD oil to be utilized by athletes. Many NFL players have stepped forward to demand that marijuana be taken off the list of substances that are banned by the NFL. Mixed martial arts star Nate Diaz caused a splash and earned himself a warning from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in August 2016 when he proudly inhaled a CBD filled vape pen after a fight in front of the media. “It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that,” said Diaz, to the media. “So you want to get these for before and after fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.” Marijuana is still considered a Schedule I substance, meaning it is viewed as having no medicinal purpose, being highly dangerous and addictive and considered unsafe to test on humans. Despite continued effects to remove or change what is known across the country to be an inaccurate classification for the plant, the DEA has not budged in saying that there is not enough officially approved research on the plant. As of today, no official research has been approved by the DEA and the U.S Department of Justice, led by long time prohibitionist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has blocked all forward progress on official research on the plant. Perhaps as WADA pushes forward on the subject and demand for CBD oil's medicinal benefits increase, so will the potential for marijuana reform for athletes across the country.