Cannabis use is on the rise and the biking community is feeling the impact. The USADA, a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency, has made changes this year that affect a multitude of riders. There is an updated Banned Substance List that took effect at the beginning of this year and it's leaving some dazed and confused.
As of January 1, athletes of all walks can freely use CBD with all the benefits and without the risk. CBD has been officially removed from the list of banned substances, with one exception; you better not be getting high. THC is still prohibited without a TUE or Therapeutic Use Exemption, which can be found on the USADA website. Why is THC still prohibited you ask? Let me fill you in.
Contrary to popular belief that cannabis or “pot” makes you slow and dimwitted, the USADA states that cannabis can increase focus and also relieves tension and anxiety leading to better sports performance. And so, due to this very reason, THC is banned. Performance enhancing drugs are one of the criteria for becoming banned. The substance must meet two of the three guidelines which also include a potential health risk to the athlete and violating the spirit of sport. Let's leave that one up to interpretation.
In the spirit of feeling good after a long ride, CBD and biking go hand-in-hand. The proven effects of CBD on muscle relaxation and pain reduction is undeniable. Cycling athletes around the globe are actively taking part. Using CBD after an injury can greatly reduce the use of prescribed drugs that do more harm then good to the body. The athletic community has proved a progressive front—progressing ever farther in the direction of a healthier society and an aware community, one step at a time.
The jump from CBD to THC is not far off for those of us that appreciate the high. This may not be in the realm of the professional athlete any time soon, but the commuter and recreational rider has it in the bag.
Without the THC you're not dazed and confused, that message is clear. The medicinal components of cannabis can be used to treat a multitude of ailments. Sore muscles and chaffed asses are a thing of the past. Cyclists are finally on the single-track to enlightenment and feeling no pain. Bring on the CBD; we're not afraid!