Increasing numbers of athletes are recognising the benefits of CBD, but many are still wary of false claims – a nature identical form could be the way forward, believes one brand.
Some of those at the top of their professional game have spoken out about their use of CBD.
But while athletes from a wide range of fields have touted its benefits – some even launching their own brands – many remain cautious, particularly when it comes to going public.
Richard O’Halloran, CEO of British CBD formulator, Biosportart says around a third of his clients are professional athletes, but they are anxious about drawing attention to the fact they use the product.
“No one wants to talk about it yet,” says Richard.
“Testing resources are quite finite and a lot of athletes at the level I’m talking about have only been tested once or twice in their life – they don’t want to be put on any list or do anything that draws any attention to them.”
They are right to be wary. It’s no secret that there are products on the market making false and unsubstantiated claims.
“Consumers do need to be wary of claims around CBD, and none more so than tested athletes,” continues Richard.
“There are some excellent CBD products out there but there are also a lot of products on the market making claims about THC content that we know from our own market research that we know are untrue.”
One way to be sure a product is safe is to look for products with third-party certification.
Biosportart recently achieved Certified CBD status from the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) for their Biosportart 2000 milligram CBD Gel product — a high-concentration CBD topical gel aimed at professional and amateur athletes.
The BSCG Certified CBD program checks for illegal levels of THC as well as environmental contaminants, as well as screening for 276 drugs on the WADA Prohibited List and 220 over-the-counter, illicit, or prescription drugs, offering the broadest protection available in the industry today.
“It’s an expensive process but we felt that it was important to prove that we are in that top tier,” Richard explains.
“It’s a very crowded marketplace and there’s a lot of ambiguity, but we felt that the BSCG certification broke through that.”
Athletes have reported that CBD aids recovery, improves sleep and is an effective alternative to opioids for injuries and pain management.
However, a high concentration product is often needed to give tangible benefits – and this comes with a greater risk of containing levels of THC.
“I still get a lot of questions from customers on how to confirm that the bottle they have is certified, so people do still get very anxious around CBD products,” says Richard.
He believes the safest and most reliable way to produce a high concentration of CBD, without the risk of detecting THC is by choosing a nature identical product, not derived from cannabis.
“I think when people use a really high concentration, it kind of changes the whole perspective,” he says.
“We wanted a high-concentration product, higher than 2000 milligrams per bottle, which poses unique challenges.
It is extremely difficult to produce a 2000 milligram product using hemp sourced CBD and remain legal.”
UK law suggests that THC should not exceed one milligram per container.
For that reason, Biosportart chose PureForm’s synthesized, nature identical CBD, the only product in which THC had never been detected.
Richard says: “Just because CBD is synthesized doesn’t mean that it’s THC free, it can be a byproduct of synthesis, but in the case of PureForm CBD, it’s never been detected in any amount – certainly not in any of our tests.”
But consumers and athletes shouldn’t be put off by the fact it is a synthetic product, says Richard, in fact quite the opposite.
“There’s often negativity around the word synthetic, but our product, in pharmaceutical terms is bioidentical, which means it is the CBD molecule. If it was anything else we wouldn’t have got the certification, it’s just a more reliable way of producing CBD.”
He adds: “I’m not against cannabis and CBD in its natural form is fine, there’s some great products out there, but there is definitely a market for a purer product.”
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