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Practical applications for CBD use by fitness professionals
Given the current situation of the very much uncontrolled and unregulated market, the following practical applications for use by fitness professionals should be kept in mind:
Full spectrum CBD
CBD products labeled as “full spectrum” contain undefined types and concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. While the label ideally contains the amount of CBD the product supposedly has, the majority of CBD products on the market are mislabeled. “Full spectrum” CBD products contain THC. Farm Bill compliant “full spectrum” CBD products are made from hemp and should contain THC in amounts less than 0.3% on a dry weight basis, unless they are mislabeled. “Full spectrum” products that are not Farm Bill compliant are made of marijuana and therefore contain THC over 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
Broad spectrum CBD
CBD products labeled as “broad spectrum” contain everything that a “full spectrum” CBD product would contain, except for THC. THC is chemically removed from “broad spectrum” CBD products. Again, we should keep in mind that the majority of CBD products on the market are mislabeled. In addition, “broad spectrum” CBD products may also contain non-THC psychoactive cannabinoids in various (measurable or unmeasurable) amounts.
CBD products labeled as “isolate” contain only CBD, and no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids. Research suggests that CBD with a combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids may be more effective than CBD alone as isolate. However, CBD isolate may be safer given that it does not contain other cannabinoids, including psychoactive ones.
CBD and WADA regulations
According to WADA regulations and their prohibited list, the use of cannabis products (either hemp or marijuana) is illegal. In addition, cannabis tests used in workplace drug testing settings may also result in false-positive results for CBD products (not to mention true-positive results if the broad spectrum or isolate CBD is mislabeled). Therefore, professional athletes should not use such products in competition nor during competition periods.
CBD and compulsory drug testing
In addition, people who must regularly undergo drug testing for their work or other purposes have to make sure that the CBD products they use comes from reputable sources, is not mislabeled, and therefore will not trigger a positive drug test.
CBD product labels
Given that most CBD products are mislabeled, producers should provide credible certificates of analysis of not only the CBD content on the labels, but also the THC content as well. In addition, users of CBD products should carefully interpret these analytical reports, although it may not be feasible for the average CBD consumer.
CBD and health claims
It is illegal to give claims about health- and disease-related effects for CBD products, unless they are regulatory approved medications. If sellers use such health claims to market their products, this should raise red flags about their trustworthiness and the CBD and THC content of the products they sell.
The key word for practical application of CBD in fitness: moderation
While CBD is in general safe, high amounts of it may be hazardous for consumers’ health. As everything else, it should also be used in moderation.