Prohibited Status of Cannabinoids
Natural and synthetic cannabinoids are prohibited in-competition according to the current Prohibited List. Prohibited in competition generally means the substance or its metabolites must not be detected during the period from 23:59 on the day before a competition through the end of such competition and the sample collection process related to such competition. Antidoping Switzerland recommends that athletes avoid the consumption of cannabis in general, incl. hemp and CBD products.
Cannabinoids are detectable for a long time
The concentration of cannabinoids – for example tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – and their metabolites in a sample depends, amongst others, upon the concentration in the hemp product consumed, the quantity consumed and the individual metabolism of an athlete. It is therefore impossible to predict the concentration of THC in blood and urine or to predict the exact period of detectability.
It is also important to note that a doping control would detect active THC as well as its metabolites. These degradation products can still be detected for several days or weeks after consumption.
Antidoping Switzerland recommends that athletes generally avoid the consumption of cannabis products due to their long period of detectability.
One exception from the cannabinoids prohibited according to the Prohibited List is the pure substance cannabidiol (CBD). Nevertheless, Antidoping Switzerland recommends that athletes avoid the consumption of CBD products. This is because CBD products contain other cannabinoids which are prohibited in-competition, most notably THC, and can therefore cause a positive sample.
CBD products are currently undergoing a boom. However, the little-controlled market means that high THC concentrations can be found in the products at times. These may exceed the declared concentration and the legally determined maximum level. CBD products are considered as problematic and present a doping risk for athletes.
The recommendation of Antidoping Switzerland to athletes remains unchanged: Do not consume CBD products. This applies regardless of the information on THC content provided by the manufacturers or sellers of the products. The risk of anti-doping rule violations with THC through the consumption of CBD products is being downplayed by many sides.