- Tokyo 2020 will be the first Olympics in which athletes will be allowed to use CBD.
- Cannabidiol was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances in 2018.
- Interestingly, cannabinoids have their own, specific classification in this list. WADA divides the prohibited substances into four groups: stimulants, narcotics, cannabinoids, and glucocorticoids.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an international organisation responsible for doping prevention in sport competitions. General cannabinoids were regarded as prohibited substances up until 2018. Therefore, at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the presence of any traces of active substances derived from cannabis was a cause for disqualification. But this changed in 2017 when Olivier Niggli (current Director General of WADA) announced that cannabidiol would be removed from the 2018 list of prohibited substances.
As far as cannabinoids are concerned, the 2018 list has remained unchanged, and this will be maintained during the following Olympic Games, held in Tokyo in the summer of 2020. This means that the athletes participating in the most important event of international professional sports will be allowed to use CBD, a cannabinoid renowned for its anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsive properties, without being penalised.
In its 2020 Prohibited List, WADA indicates that the prohibited cannabinoids include cannabis, hashish, and marijuana. Although these terms certainly do not correspond to cannabinoids, this is how WADA refers to them. The prohibited cannabinoids also include synthetic cannabinoids, such as THC and other cannabimimetics.
But the Agency makes an exception with regard to cannabidiol, the cannabinoid with no psychoactive effects. It is worth remembering that, due to cannabis' illegal nature in most countries until fairly recently, scientific and especially clinical research are still lagging behind.
Even so, CBD is one of the most researched cannabinoids, together with THC. Some of the reasons behind the research on cannabidiol derive from the medical applications that cannabis users attribute to cannabis. For instance, some parents of children who suffer from rare kinds of epilepsy have claimed that CBD can alleviate their kids' convulsions.