CBD OIL – Key Facts




Players must be very careful about the substances they use, including substances marketed as supplements or herbal products. As of 2018, cannabidiol (CBD) is no longer prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but all other cannabinoids are still prohibited in-competition (match days) and under the RFU illicit drug programme (out of competition), including THC, which means there are still risks for players when it comes to CBD products.


Why should players be cautious about CBD oil?

Players should remember that all other natural and synthetic cannabinoids remain prohibited in-competition. For players, it is important to realize that CBD products may still contain small levels of prohibited cannabinoid components, such as THC. Therefore, players should continue to be cautious about using CBD products.


What is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid constituent of cannabis. CBD does not have any intoxicating or psychotropic effects, such as those caused by THC. CBD may be an effective treatment for certain types of childhood epilepsy, however evidence of its effectiveness for broader therapeutic uses remains inconclusive.


What is the legal status of CBD in the UK?

CBD is a legal cannabinoid which can be bought and sold in the UK. Industrial hemp is a strain of cannabis which contains little or no THC, and it is usually from these industrial hemp plants that CBD is extracted.


What should players look out for when purchasing CBD oil?

Cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may contain varying concentrations of THC, and THC remains a prohibited substance. Therefore, any use of CBD oil still carries some risk for players. If players do proceed to use CBD oil, they should take every precaution to ensure that the product comes from a reputable source and is 100% free of all other cannabinoids. Players should do this by contacting the manufacturer before use of the product and satisfy themselves that the maker of the product has done all they can to remove the THC from the raw ingredients. Players should obtain a written assurance from the manufacturer that the product contains no THC before use. If there is any doubt then do not use the product.


For more information please contact Stephen Watkins – Anti-Doping & Illicit Drugs Programme Manager on stephenwatkins@rfu.com or 020881 7603 / 07894 489 768