There’s a strong connection between the CBD and sports industries. Indeed, many of the most prominent “CBD fans” are celebrity athletes. It also helps that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced it will allow athletes to take hemp-extracted CBD products.
While there’s no denying that CBD is a popular supplement in the athletic community, the same can’t be said about delta-8 THC. Although CBD and delta-8 are trendy hemp cannabinoids, you’ll rarely hear about sports players using delta-8 before or after a game.
So, what gives? Why does CBD seem to get all of the fanfare with athletes? Is there any place for delta-8 THC in an active lifestyle?
Can People “Recreate With Delta-8?” — Why Athletes Aren’t Super Enthused About Delta-8 THC
The top reason most people gravitate to delta-8 rather than CBD is that the former has psychoactive properties. Granted, many people claim delta-8 isn’t as intense as the illegal delta-9 THC, but it appears to land on the brain’s CB1 receptors like delta-9. Delta-8 could trigger paranoia or hallucinations in high enough doses.
On the other hand, CBD doesn’t provoke psychoactive effects. Instead, CBD works indirectly on the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote enhanced endurance, anxiety relief, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Although CBD could induce side effects, it’s less likely healthy adults will experience a severe reaction when taking high-quality & lab-tested hemp products.
As you could imagine, CBD’s non-psychoactive properties are more beneficial for athletes. In fact, using delta-8 could be a detriment to athletic performance. Many people who use delta-8 products claim this cannabinoid has sedating effects similar to indica hybrids. By contrast, microdoses of CBD may help drown out pre-game jitters without hindering focus.
Although some suggest delta-8 THC has anti-inflammatory benefits, these effects aren’t beneficial when people need to be active. Delta-8 may play a role in muscle recovery or sleep health, but it’s never a good option before a workout.
Delta-8 Can Kick Athletes Off The Court — Legal Issues With Using Delta-8 In Pro Sports
Not only will delta-8 THC get athletes “out of the zone,” it could force them “out of the game!” Please remember that WADA only legalized hemp-extracted CBD for pro sports. Athletes who test positive for THC will face disqualification. Indeed, sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson got suspended from the 2021 Olympics due to a positive THC screening.
Technically, the WADA only looks for delta-9 THC, but delta-8 will likely result in a positive cannabis reading. Delta-8 and delta-9 have incredibly similar structures, and most scanning mechanisms can’t distinguish between the two. Plus, delta-8 and its dozens of metabolites have a remarkably long half-life. So, even if athletes use delta-8 THC a few days before a match, chances are some of this delta-8 is still in their system.
Many athletes feel that using delta-8 THC isn’t worth the risk.
So, Is Delta-8 Always A “No-Go” For Athletes?
While delta-8 THC might have some benefits for promoting a healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t appear to be ideal for people who are always active. Also, the many legal issues surrounding delta-8 in sports are a cause for concern. Until we see more research on this topic, athletes should steer clear of delta-8 supplements, especially before training sessions and significant events.
However, many athletes have great things to say about THC-free CBD oils. The key term here is “THC-free.” Full-spectrum CBD oils can contain as much as 0.3 percent delta-9 THC, which may alter drug screenings. Please focus on broad-spectrum and CBD isolate products, and request third-party lab screenings from manufacturers. These tests will prove whether your CBD oils truly have zero THC.