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CBD Cleared For Use By Athletes

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A top sports regulator just changed its rules to allow athletes to use a component of marijuana without punishment.

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has gotten a lot of attention in recent years as a therapeutic compound of the cannabis plant.

Unlike its psychoactive cousin tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, CBD doesn’t leave consumers with a high. But it has been shown to relieve severe seizure disorders, and there is mounting evidence that it has pain-relieving, neuroprotective and other beneficial properties as well.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) moved last week to officially allow athletes to begin using CBD without fear of being suspended from competition.

WADA, created by the International Olympic Committee in 1999, maintains a list of approved and banned substances that is used by hundreds of sports organizations around the world.

The organization’s 2018 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods makes a clear exception for the use of CBD:

WADA’s 2017 version of the same document contained no such CBD carve-out:

Whole-plant marijuana and THC are still banned under the new rules, which go into effect on January 1. That’s a crucial point, because “cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC,” explains a separate WADA document summarizing changes to the organization’s banned drugs list.

WADA’s new policy on CBD was first reported by MMA Imports.

Photo courtesy of Marijuana Muscle.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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