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Frequently Asked Questions: Sports & CBD

With interest in CBD oil growing daily, one thing that’s frequently being discussed is the role that it stands to play in various industries. Specifically, many people are interested in how CBD is used within the sporting world, at both professional and amateur levels. 

At Endosport, CBD oil is one of the key ingredients in our sports drinks, and so we’re used to encountering these questions. Is it allowed? Does it make athletes fail a drug test? And why would people want to use it anyway? These are all common sports-related questions that people are asking about CBD, or cannabidiol. Below we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked, along with the answers, so you can make your own mind up when deciding whether to use the compound.

  1. Is CBD oil legal in the UK?

In short, yes. Cannabidiol is one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, which is why there is a lot of confusion around whether or not it is legal. However, unlike THC – the other main cannabis compound – it’s not psychoactive and won’t cause anyone who takes it to feel high. 

As such, CBD is legal in the UK as long as “it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved” and does not contain any THC.

2. What does the World Anti Doping Agency say about CBD oil and other cannabinoids? 

From 2017 onwards, CBD does not appear on the list of prohibited substances. This means that the World Anti Doping Agency allows for the use of CBD oil products within the sports and competitions that it regulates. It is important to note, however, that other cannabinoids, such as THC and marijuana, remain banned. 

3. So is CBD allowed in competitive sports? 

The lifting of any ban by the WADA means that theoretically CBD oil is allowed in competitive sports, even at the most professional level. In fact, it’s thought that the 2020 Olympic Games will be the first where athletes could be using CBD before and during the competition!

4. Why would athletes want to use CBD oil? 

When extracted from hemp, CBD oil has been known to help with a number of ailments including diabetes, epilepsy and skin conditions. But how can it benefit athletes? There are actually numerous answers to this question, with many athletes claiming they find using CBD helps with:

  • Pain management – rather than relying on over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen or opioids, athletes are now choosing to use CBD oil to reduce inflammation and ease pain. This can be helpful for everyday aches and pains that are a result of vigorous exercise, as well as more long-term injuries that can hinder future performance
  • Anxiety – pre-match nerves can affect amateur and professional athletes alike, and so the calming effects of CBD oil are beneficial to a lot of people taking part in sport. 
  • Sleep – sleep is one of the most important times for recovery, and so many athletes enjoy the fact that cannabidiol is thought to help people get to sleep more quickly. There is also some evidence to suggest that CBD can help people to have a better quality of sleep once they do drop off, meaning that sleep could be even more effective in the recovery process

5. Will CBD make you fail a drugs test? 

People who have to take regular drugs’ tests as part of their sport often worry as to whether CBD will show up on them, and cause them to fail. The important thing to remember is that drug screening is designed to look for substances that are illegal and/or banned by governing sports bodies, such as the WADA. As CBD does not fall under either of these categories, it is not a substance that drugs’ tests are looking to pick up. 

Most tests are, however, looking to pick up any evidence of THC. This is why athletes should be careful to only use reputable brands when buying CBD oil, as anything other than trace levels of THC could cause you to fail a drugs test.

6. Are there any risks for athletes using CBD oil? 

While research into CBD oil is still in its early stages, there have been no concerns raised over negative side effects after prolonged use. However, as mentioned, there could be problems for sportsmen and women if they accidentally buy CBD products that also contain THC. As THC is a banned substance, testing positive for this could lead to consequences such as disqualification or even banning. 

To alleviate this risk, anyone intending to use CBD oil should make sure they’re buying from a reputable seller who will be using only EU-approved products. 

7. What kind of CBD products are popular with athletes? 

There is a huge range of CBD products on the market, from capsules and e-liquids to infused coffees and bath bombs. Come of the most popular products for athletes include: 

  • Ingestibles – capsules or gummies are popular with athletes as they can easily be taken alongside vitamins and other supplements on a daily basis
  • Sports drinks – our CBD-infused sports drinks are ideal for both professional and amateur athletes. They can be drank during a workout to aid in hydration, or afterwards a post-workout to help replace lost electrolytes. With the added benefits of CBD, athletes Endo Sport drinks are a great multi-benefit addition to any workout
  • Balms and oils – some products have been created that allow CBD oil to be applied topically. Massage oils and balms can be a great option for athletes as they can treat any affected parts of their body, such as sore joints or aching muscles, directly. 

8. Do any well-known athlete use CBD oil? 

Yes, there are numerous athletes who are very open about their CBD use. These include American and British sportsmen and women from a range of sports such as MMA, rugby, American football and even golf! For a comprehensive overview, take a look at our list of 11 famous athletes who publicly advocate CBD
Do you have any other questions about CBD and the sporting world? Feel free to get in touch with our team today.

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