The landscape for cannabidiol (CBD) in the world of sport opened up in 2018 when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially removed it from its prohibited list. CBD has since made its way into the hands of athletes in countless sports, and rightly so as a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. This year’s Tokyo Olympics are a clear example of the current global belief that CBD is acceptable to athletes and signals a major global push against tetrahydracannabidiol (THC).
This example was set when runner Sha’Carri Richardson was banned from competing because of evidence of THC in her drug screening prior to the Tokyo Olympics. Although CBD has been removed from WADA’s list of prohibited substances, THC has not yet been removed, although the allowable threshold has been raised in recent years. Shortly after Richardson’s Olympic restriction was announced, people began to wonder why Megan Rapinoe, a member of the U.S. women’s soccer team who contributed to the team’s bronze win in Tokyo, was allowed to play when she is publicly affiliated with Mendi, a company that the CBD sells products. The answer to Rapinoe playing was simple: the products she endorses and uses contain CBD and no THC.
The global attention that CBD and THC received from the Olympics aren’t the only link between athletes and hemp or cannabis. Several former professional athletes own, operate or invest in hemp or cannabis companies. A former NFL player, Chris Hetherington, is the founder and CEO of Peels, a CBD product company that uses its own process to make its CBD from orange peel.  This surge in interest in CBD, even if it’s not from hemp or cannabis, is something we can expect to continue. As for the global acceptance of THC in sports, it’s not a question of if it happens, but when it will, and the chances that it will sooner or later seem likely as more states in the U.S. and Countries around the world are doing this legalizing cannabis and hemp.
1- Southeast Ag radio network. New CBD comes from orange peel. 2021. https://southeastagnet.com/2021/08/06/new-cbd-comes-orange-peels/