The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that from the 1st of January 2018 Cannabidiol will no longer be on the prohibited substances list. WADA was established in 1999 as an international independent agency that focuses their efforts on scientific research, education, developing anti-doping techniques as well as creating (in 2004) monitoring the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). The Code is a document that brings together anti-doping policies, rules and regulations in every sport in every country. More than 600 organizations in the sports industry have accepted this Code and are implementing and enforcing it

[1].

The Code was never meant to stay the same[2]. It would be reviewed and revised every few years to keep up to date with the evolution of drug testing policies, tools and the drugs themselves. The most recent list of updates was released on the 29th of September 2017 and all of the changes will come in to affect on the 1st of January. Amongst these changes is the decision to take Cannabidiol (CBD) off of the prohibited substances list. “Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited […] however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance”.[3]

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have been known for a long time [4] and it is becoming a popular alternative to opioids with professional athletes, such as UFC fighter Nate Diaz, as there are less side effects, its not addictive if taken over long periods of time and it can considerably reduce the recovery time of an athlete. This comes from the anti inflammatory properties, but also the fact that CBD is a great pain reliever, it can help with insomnia (sleep is vital to the recovery of athletes) and it can even help with appetite.

This change to the prohibited substances list mean that athletes can freely use CBD as a palliative and anti inflammatory with out worrying about being banned from their sport or enduring severe side effects or addiction from other pain medication.

[1] World Anti-Doping Agency. (2017). Who we are. [online] [Accessed 10 Oct. 2017].

[2] World Anti-Doping Agency. (2017). The Code. [online] Available at [Accessed 10 Oct. 2017].

[3] World Anti-Doping Agency. (2017). Prohibited list 2018 summary of modifications [online] [Accessed 9 Oct. 2017]

[4] Nagarkatte, P. Pandey, R. Rieder, S A. Hegde, V L. Nagarkatii, M. (2010). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. [online] [Accessed 10 Oct. 2017]