U.S.A. Triathlon has just made a sponsorship deal with a company selling CBD products. This is a first for national governing bodies. Athletes, who often are looking for natural, organic options to support their health, look to CBD for reducing pain and inflammation, relieving stress and anxiety, and perhaps even supporting digestion, even though reliable research studies supporting these health associations are still lacking.
As a national governing body, U.S.A. Triathlon must adhere to all regulations from the “World Anti-Doping Agency” (WADA) as well as subject their athletes to rigorous drug testing protocols. So when CBD was removed from the WADA list of banned substances in 2018, a U.S.A. Triathlon sponsorship deal with a CBD company became possible. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids remain on the WADA list. CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids are found in hemp, a legal cannabis plant that can be grown in the U.S. according to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – also known as the “Farm Bill.”
The agreement is a four-year deal between U.S.A. Triathlon and Colorado-based company Pure Spectrum, which oversees its manufacturing process from beginning to end so they can confirm that their products will not contain any THC. THC, of course, is the infamous psychoactive cannabinoid that produces the “high” when people use cannabis products.
Other companies are not so careful about cannabinoid content in their products; some can’t even tell the difference between CBD and THC. However, U.S.A. Triathlon has to make sure any athlete taking these products would not turn over a THC positive drug test. Pure Spectrum’s CBD product line includes lotions, oils, and tinctures, but (recently) not vape products.
Why do athletes want CBD? This is often the population that identifies and embraces new therapies for improving performance and practice workouts. Often they prefer organic, natural options over prescription drugs for supporting health. The new U.S.A. Triathlon partnership with Pure Spectrum provides an outlet for athletes to do just that.
A summer 2019 study reported the results from the “Athlete Pain, Exercise, and Cannabis Experience (PEACE) Survey,” which they deployed to 1,161 adult athletes. Researchers were looking for subjective descriptions of cannabis use habits in athletes for the purpose of pain alleviation and general well-being, ultimately finding that cannabis was indeed effective at managing pain and anxiety in athletes.
Sources: The New York Times