Why FIFA Helps Remove the Stigma on Cannabis

Every four years, the FIFA World Cup occurs, and dozens of professional athletes represent their home country. Although not all countries make it to this tournament, this is one event that attracts attention from all over the world. During the last FIFA World Cup, globally, 3.2 billion viewers tuned in. Then, during the 2014 World Cup finals, more than one billion people watched. This year’s FIFA World Cup is going to be much different than the other ones though. For the first time, the 2018 World Cup athletes can legally consume cannabidiol. Even though CBD is grouped with marijuana as a Schedule I substance in the U.S., there’s an exception with this year’s World Cup.

Major Sports Leagues Against CBD Usage

In most major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB, the usage of cannabidiol and forms of it are prohibited. If professional players are caught using CBD, they could get suspended or even fired. However, CBD is completely non-psychoactive unlike THC. For this reason, different people of various ages consume this cannabinoid for medicinal purposes. As time goes on, CBD is gaining more attention and popularity for its non-psychoactive effects and medicinal value. People consume CBD for their own reasons, which includes receiving relief from a disease, medical condition, and/or illness.

When it comes to professional athletes, it’s possible to experience different injuries, muscle soreness, aches, and pains. Some athletes even experience adverse side effects from certain prescribed pharmaceutical medications. Currently, pharmaceutical medications are allowed and used by many athletes in different sports leagues. However, many medications can become addictive and harmful. It’s also possible for athletes to become dependent on different medications, which can lead to additional problems. For this reason and several others, more athletes are turning their attention towards a natural alternative—cannabidiol.

Reasons for Legal CBD Usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Moreover, in the past, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) grouped marijuana and derivatives of it under the banned substance list. However, recently, the WADA officially removed Cannabidiol from this list. As a result of this move, this is the first FIFA World Cup that allows athletes to consume a cannabis derived substance. For this year’s FIFA World Cup, the only cannabinoid that can be consumed is CBD. Currently, THC remains on the WADA’s banned substance list.

Regardless, more studies are revealing additional medicinal properties of cannabis and Cannabidiol. Different research findings also point to how CBD can positively impact people’s lives. Thus far, it has been found that CBD contains a wide variety of medicinal properties including but not limited to the following: anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anti-anxiety, anti-tumoral, and many others that can be useful for both athletes and other individuals.

Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has referred to CBD as, “…generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile.” In particular though, the neuroprotectant properties of CBD draw many professional athletes in especially due to its non-addictive make-up. For those who have suffered from concussions and head trauma, CBD can be an ideal treatment method.

Powerful Move by FIFA World Cup Committee

To this day, CBD usage is prohibited in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and other U.S. based sports leagues. However, recently, legal CBD usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been announced. Due to CBD’s strong medicinal value, the FIFA World Cup Committee allows its participating athletes to consume this cannabinoid if they see fit. It’s crucial for the World Cup athletes to consume CBD that contains no traces of THC though. Otherwise, it can result in them getting banned from the competition immediately.

So far, no FIFA World Cup athletes have announced their experience and/or plans in consuming CBD. Regardless, this is a huge step in a progressive direction in the world of professional sports. As a result of this groundbreaking move, many attitudes and viewpoints of CBD may change. This may be the case especially for those involved in the professional sports industry.

Legal CBD Usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup & Allowance of Medical Cannabis Brought in By Fans

Moreover, this year, the FIFA World Cup is taking place in Russia. According to The Moscow Times, The Eurasian Economic Union will permit futbol fans to bring medical cannabis substances into the stadiums. However, these individuals must have proper medical documents with them. The reason for this is to prove the substance’s medicinal value and that the person can legally consume it. Additionally, Russia has other regulations for this year’s World Cup. Specifically, futbol fans can bring different illicit substances into the stadiums aside from medical cannabis including cocaine and heroin.

This decision has been questioned and criticized by many thus far. However, Russia’s 2018 World Cup Organizing Committee claims that the drugs will be heavily regulated. The same committee stated that law enforcement officials will be scattered around the stadiums. The purpose of this is to verify each medical document for proper authenticity and accuracy.

In addition, Russia’s Federal Customs Service issued a statement regarding other requirements for bringing in these drugs. Fans who bring drugs into the stadiums will be required to fill out a customs declaration before entering the stadium. All individuals must also bring supporting medical documents with them, which must be written in Russian.

Overall, if fans want to take advantage of this opportunity, they must go through different bureaucratic hoops in order to legally do so. However, it’s possible, and The Eurasian Economic Union of Russia has granted this right to travelers.

Legal CBD Usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup: What This Means for the Future

Although most professional sports leagues are against cannabis and derivatives of it, the FIFA World Cup Committee has made a powerful move. Since cannabis and CBD contain numerous recognized medicinal benefits, and it’s used by people all over the world, it was time for a change. The change was made very recently too, and it’s one that may be remembered for years to come. Do you think legal CBD usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup was the right move to make? What impact do you think it’ll have on other professional sports leagues?