What They Found
CBD is structurally related to the main psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the adverse effects of cannabis. Although nonpsychoactive, it may be responsible for some advantageous effects, including anti-inflammatory properties, relief of arthritis, and pain-related behaviours, as well as postexercise recovery. Most of the CBD products worldwide are available as food supplements or compounded foods, with CBD or hemp extract as an ingredient. Such unapproved products normally do not comply with quality standards.
The WADA has excluded CBD from its list of prohibited cannabinoids, however, it is important to note that according to the 2020 WADA prohibited list, cannabinoids in general are still listed in group S8 – substances forbidden to be used in competition. Importantly, most CBD products are sold as so-called full-spectrum products, meaning they also contain other cannabinoids. As such, the use of full-spectrum CBD products is definitely prohibited by WADA.
Studies have detected residual levels of THC in CBD products with 10 out of 28 commercial CBD products from the internet and retail market, and more than a third of all the available products would probably lead to a false positive urine doping test.