Cannabidiol otherwise more popularly known as CBD has gotten a lot of stick in recent times notwithstanding the plethora of therapeutic benefits it offers to users. Until January 2018, professional athletes were banned from using CBD or any CBD product by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). WADA was set up by the International Olympic Committee and have the mandate to set all the rules and regulations governing what drugs to use and what drugs to stay away from by international athletes.

To the average person who has the slightest idea what CBD is and what it can do, the decision by WADA to ban the substance was pretty inconceivable. Why? Well, because of the countless amazing medical benefits that CBD provides. Lots of studies have come out to support claims about CBD being able to provide massive relief to chronic pain, ease stress, anxiety, depression epilepsy, insomnia and a lot more.

However, it is important to understand that WADA did not ban the substance because they didn’t believe in its therapeutic prowess. It was banned due to the misconception that CBD – because it comes from cannabis – has psychoactive effects. What this means is that they believed that CBD could trigger that “high” feeling in users or in this case athletes and give them an unfair advantage over other athletes during competitions.But nothing could be farther from the truth!

The use of CBD by athletes somewhat came to light after Nate Diaz was seen puffing a vape pen infused with CBD after his with UFC Lightweight Champion Connor McGregor.
Later on, WADA changed their stance on the subject matter by issuing an official statement on its website.

“Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimmetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance,” the statement said.

The cannabis plant has two main sub-species – the hemp plant and marijuana. Both the hemp plant and marijuana produce a compound called cannabinoids. Though the cannabinoids produced are of different varieties, there are two main ones that are of particular interest to humanity are cannabidiol (CBD) and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). As mentioned earlier, CBD isn’t psychoactive but THC is and gives the “high” feeling that many marijuana smokers are accustomed to. Now, in the hemp plant, CBD is produced in high amounts, whilst THC is produced in very low amounts – 0.3% or less. In marijuana, CBD is produced in low amounts, whilst THC is produced in very high amounts – about 40% or slightly more. This is why marijuana is illegal almost everywhere you go.

What the statement sought to clarify was that even though CBD was no longer banned, given it doesn’t contain any considerable amounts of THC, they would still have an issue with any athlete who seeks to use CBD produced from marijuana and not from the industrial hemp.

CBD is changing lives and helping people deal with so many conditions. As more and more people continue to embrace it and dispel the negative notion they have of it, it will become mainstream.