Many athletes have endorsed cannabis and its ability to help them in many aspects. From helping with post-workout pain and inflammation to naturally relieving things such as anxiety and depression, CBD products are doing wonders for many amateur and professional athletes alike.
Science has proven CBD to offer many benefits. In most places as long as the CBD is from Industrial Hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC, it is also completely legal. Individuals from all walks of life have reported receiving benefits from utilizing CBD products. You can find CBD in products at your local health store, the grocery store, and even the hair salon.
However, many regulatory committees and athletic associations haven’t changed their policies to be in line with the times. Here are the current CBD regulations for five of the top sports organizations.
National Hockey League (NHL)
Of the significant sports leagues, the NHL offers a relatively lenient policy regarding not only CBD but cannabinoids in general. Currently, the National Hockey League’s list of banned substances does not include cannabis in the listing.
National Football League (NFL)
The NFL has received much scrutiny for pumping players with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs to keep them in the game. In fact, 1,800 NFL players sued the NFL in 2017 for breaking federal drug laws. Many current and former NFL players have recently come out of the cannabis closet. They’re coming out in support of utilizing cannabinoid therapies to treat a wide variety of ailments which they endured from their time playing in the league.
Unfortunately, the NFLPA or NFL Player’s Associations Policy still bans cannabis and its derivatives including CBD and there is a set limit of THC that can be in a player’s system. This limit was initially established at 15 ng/ml however, this threshold was increased to 35 ng/ml in 2014.
National Basketball Association (NBA)
The National Basketball Association classifies cannabis as a banned substance and has done so since 1999. Players in the NBA are subjected to four random drug tests annually. If a player tests positive and has more than 15 ng/ml of THC in their system, they must comply and agree to subsequent testing as well as treatment for their fist offence. The second offence could result in the player facing a $25,000 fine.
Following violations result in a multi-game suspension and could ultimately lead to the end of an athlete’s career in the NBA. While CBD isn’t defined explicitly within the banned substances list for the NBA, it is considered a cannabis component and would likely face the same consequences.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
The NCAA banned drugs list does not explicitly state that CBD is banned; however, it does include THC. It also says that “any substance that is chemically related to one of the above [banned] classes even if it is not listed as an example is also banned.” This would lead us to believe that CBD is also banned for professional athletes under the NCAA guidelines.
The NCAA has some of the most restrictive cannabis laws of all sports organizations. In fact, it is so strict that their testing for cannabis in regard to the threshold limits of 5 ng/ml is in line with the U.S. Military and the Federal Aviation Administration.
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
The World Anti-Doping Agency is a creation of the International Olympic Committee which unifies anti-doping policies of organizations globally. There are currently over 200 national anti-doping organizations, including the USADA as well as committees such as the International Olympic Committee, International Federations and the International Paralympic committee that adhere to WADA policies.
The current threshold limitation for THC is 115 ng/ml, while CBD is no longer banned since WADA officially removed CBD from their prohibited substance list in 2017. They still stress to players that they must be vigilant about the THC levels that are present in the CBD products that they utilize. This is to ensure that they will not test for THC because of minute amounts being present in full spectrum CBD products.