The Latest in Sports Drug Testing Suggests A Bigger Role For Delta-8 & CBD
By Dharma D8 | August 18, 2021
Learn about the changing Cannabinoid restrictions as they relate to sport and drug testing
If you aren't already aware, Delta-8 and how it relates with professional sports and drug testing has been a popular topic of discussion according to NaturalProductsInsider.com. The use of cannabinoids in sports has been a controversial topic, but the conversation is changing as pro sports restrictions are being relaxed. Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC have long been used by athletes without the negative side effects that come with other substances like opioids. However, industrial hemp remains controversial. As more data comes out about how cannabinoids affect body chemistry during competition, we'll see if this trend continues.
A primary difference separates workplace drug testing and sport drug testing. Workplace testing uses a more general immunoassay screening as a first step, with confirmation testing by mass spectrometry to verify a specific agent is present. While immunoassays are not likely to detect CBD, they may cross-react with different variants of THC, like delta-8 and delta-10, making those detectable.2 Mass spectrometry detection is specific to THC metabolites and is used exclusively in sport testing.
The NCAA prohibits cannabinoids in general and discourages the use of CBD products as well. However, important changes have been made regarding the level of THC considered a positive with the threshold raised from 5 ng/ml to 15 ng/ml in 2017 and moved up again in 2019 to the current level of 35 ng/ml, all in an effort to avoid positives from “passive inhalation.”...
Until 2019, MLB had been managing THC as a performance-enhancing substance with a urine threshold set at 50 ng/ml... The organization moved the THC threshold up to the 150 ng/ml level used by WADA...
In early 2020, the NFL made changes in how it handles THC and cannabis. The league had been treating THC as a drug of abuse, but it will no longer suspend players for positives. The threshold was increased from 35 ng/ml to 150 ng/ml. Synthetic cannabinoids have a threshold of 2.5 ng/ml...
The NHL banned substance list has typically mirrored significant portions of the WADA Prohibited List, but the league has never treated THC as a banned substance. When it comes to THC, the league manages it under the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health, and only “dangerously high levels” are considered a concern...
The NBA employs the lowest THC threshold in sport today at 15 ng/ml, at least through 2019. Testing for THC was suspended for the pandemic-shortened 2020-2021 season, perhaps signaling big changes ahead similar to other leagues...
The UFC has the most advanced language when it comes to CBD products. The mixed martial arts giant adjusted its policy on cannabinoids in January 2021. THC is now treated as a drug of abuse, with the 150 ng/ml WADA threshold applied.
Delta-8 THC is on the rise as a psychoactive alternative to THC, which is something sport should watch... Delta-8 has been the subject of much discussion of late.
With the rise of CBD as a supplement, and Delta-8 THC becoming more available in sports circles, new rules are being made to accommodate use. The question is no longer whether or not these psychoactive cannabinoids should be allowed for professional athletes but rather how they can be used without breaking any laws. As more and more states legalize Delta-8-THC, the rules of drug testing are changing.
If you need your Delta-8 THC now or would like some product with less than .3% Delta-9 THC, we can help!
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