EUROPEAN sportsman and women using CBD to boost performance have been warned they could fail dope tests.
The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) says that the risk of traces from THC entering athletes’ bodies after using CBD products is ‘too high to be ignored’.
In Europe, cannabidiol, of CBD, is becoming more and more popular with professional and amateur participants in sports such as running, athletics, golf and rugby.
The nutraingredients website reports that the ESNNA as counting major European sports nutrition players like Volac, Myprotein and Holland & Barrett among its membership.
It quotes the ESSNA as saying: “It is difficult to extract CBD from the cannabis plant without any traces of other cannabinoids, such as THC, being found in the final product.
“Moreover, there are risks of cross contamination in manufacturing facilities if CBD products are produced in such environments.”
Recent research in the UK on the validity of CBD products by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis found widespread variance between labels and actual contents.
In almost 50% of cases, THC levels were above those advertised and therefore illegal, exposing sellers and users to potential legal action.
In 2018 The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD as a banned substance and raised the legal THC limit from 15 nanograms/millilitre (ng/ml) to 150ng/ml.
In September, the United States Anti-Doping Agency slapped Colorado-based triathlete Lauren Goss with a six-month ban after THC levels in her blood exceeded the threshold.
She blamed a CBD cream she was using out-of-competition for a ‘musculoskeletal injury.’
Many athletes say it can aid muscular recovery, pain relief. Therefore improving sleep and reducing inflammation.
Mark Tucker, CEO of UK-based CBD firm TTS Pharma, told nutraingredients that complete CBD-THC separation is possible under the right conditions.
TTS says it has developed ‘validated proprietary techniques for the extraction, separation and manufacturing of cannabinoids’.