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Cannabis will be legal in Canada, but not for athletes

Canadian athletes are being reminded that under the Canadian Anti-Doping Program cannabis is still banned.

Delicious homemade cannabis oil with marijuana buds and leaf.

by Madeleine Kelly

Delicious homemade cannabis oil with marijuana buds and leaf.

On October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada will legalize and regulate cannabis. The CCES released a statement yesterday reminding Canadian athletes that, “they are still subject to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP), and that the use of cannabis under CADP is still banned.”

According to the CCES, all prohibited substances are added to the prohibited list because they meet two of the three following criteria:

  • Use of the substance has the potential to enhance performance;
  • Use of the substance can cause harm to the health of the athlete; and
  • Use of the substance violates the spirit of sport.

When it comes to CBD oil, the CCES says, “As of 2018, WADA no longer lists CBD as a prohibited substance. We would like to remind athletes that CBD oil often still contains some concentration of the banned substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Therefore, the use of CBD oil is at an athlete’s own risk.”

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis.

Cannabis is only prohibited in-competition, but athletes are still cautioned at its use out-of-competition. The time it takes for cannabis to clear someone’s system varies dramatically from person to person. So out-of-competition use can still show up in an in-competition test.

In a 2017 CBC story, several athletes revealed that they didn’t see cannabis as a necessary item on the prohibited list. The substance will remain banned in-competition for the foreseeable future.

This story first appeared at Canadian Running Magazine.