South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport Position Statement on CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)




Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have become easily available to athletes over the years. Using these substances may inadvertently expose an athlete to the possibility of an adverse analytical finding (a ”positive” test) and a sanction. Athletes need to understand the risk of an antidoping rule violation or adverse analytical finding should these products be used, especially if no therapeutic use exemption exists. This position statement attempts to clarify the use of CBD and THC and their associated risks with Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV) in the athletic population. The South African Sports Medicine Association supports this position statement.


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Author Biographies

Lervasen Pillay, University of Pretoria

Sports Physician in Private practice and Head of medical Bidvestwits Fc, Bizhub Highveld Lions team physician and GCB physician

Dina Christa Janse van Rensburg, University of Pretoria

Prof Janse van Rensburg is the ex-SASMA president, a FIMS member, the HOD of Section Sports Medicine at the University of Pretoria

Jeroen Swart, University of Cape Town

Prof Swart is the HOD of the Sports and Exercise Medicine Department and HPALS at UCT. He is a FIMS member

Sharief Hendricks, University of Cape Town

Prof Hendricks is the SASMA president and involved at the University of Cape Town and HPALS Sports Medicine Departments

Craig Thompson, University of Stellenbosch

Dr Thompson is a commission Member for the TUEC at SAIDS and involved with University of Stellenbosch

Carl Tabane

Dr Tabane is a member of the TUEC and Section Sports Medicine at University of Pretoria

Jo-Anne Kirby, University of Stellenbosch

Dr Kirby is involved in academic activities at the University of Stellenbosch and a member of the TUEC

Phathokuhle Zondi

Dr Zondi is an ex-SASMA president and an ex-SAIDS board member

Adrian Rotunno

Dr Rotunno is the SASMA president elect and at the University of Cape Towns Sports Medicne and HPALS center

David Bayever, University of Witwatersrand

Mr Bayever serves on SA Pharmacy Council as an Inspection Officer, a member of the SAHPRA Cannabis Working Committee,  Chairman of the International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals - South Africa Chapter and South Africa International Technology Transfer Centre  Advisory Board Member.




How to Cite

Pillay, L., Janse van Rensburg, D. C., Swart, J., Hendricks, S., Thompson, C., Tabane, C., … Bayever, D. (2023). South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport Position Statement on CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 35(1).



Position Statement