Legislation and Policy

CBD and Sports: Clearing the Hurdles to Consume

Nicholas Demski
Written by Nicholas Demski

How High Must Professional Athletes Jump to Clear the Hurdles Surrounding CBD Consumption?

Before Dick Fosbury stepped up to leap the bar at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, everyone competing in the high jump was unknowingly doing so in an inefficient way. It’s common now to see athletes leaping with their backs to the bar, arching over and then kicking their legs up to clear the pole. It’s called the Fosbury Flop, and for good reason: Dick was the one who popularized the technique.

Today, athletes have new—albeit very different—hurdles to clear. Due to potential legal issues, a flop would be ill-advised.

Let’s take a quick look at how athletes can clear the hurdles for CBD consumption.

Can Football Players Use CBD?

A few months ago, the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to take another look at cannabis and cannabis-derived products, and what they could potentially do for athletes. In their agreement, the NFL indicated that it will look at new pain management treatments, including those made from cannabis.

Allen Sills, the chief medical officer for the NFL, was quoted as saying that this is a “Very historic and proud day for league and NFLPA to partner together on this.” However, as of now, CBD consumption remains against the NFL’s policy.

Jumping that hurdle would slam them into a brick wall.

What Does the NBA Say?

Cannabis has been banned in the NBA since before this millennium began. Players can be randomly tested for cannabis and penalized at various levels ranging from monetary to suspensions.

However, the tests look for THC, not CBD. So, it is unclear whether a professional basketball player would be suspended for fined for consuming CBD.

The hurdle for NBA players may simply be as high as keeping their consumption a secret.

Do Hockey Players Have it Best?

The NHL doesn’t seem to mind if its players use CBD or not. The NHL only bans substances that are illegal according to WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency. Because they don’t consider cannabis or CBD to be a performance-enhancing drug, there are no rules against it for NHL players.

They can skate right past any hurdles.

While every league appears to be trying its best to conservatively keep up with the changing times, some athletes are able to use it freely while others are under strict orders not to touch it. In the near future, athletes may hopefully not have any hurdles left to jump at all.

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Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski

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