The organization that sets the rules for most of America's horse-related sports says they will enforce a new ban on certain cannabis-derived compounds come this September.
The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) recently announced that horses participating in any of the events they govern will be actively tested for the non-intoxicating cannabis compound CBD. While some forms of CBD are now federally legal, horses that test positive for CBD use will be prevented from competing in USEF events, which include dressage, jumping, endurance riding and other events. USEF events do not include the sort of thoroughbred racing that you see at the Kentucky Derby.
The USEF stated that their chief concern with giving CBD to horses who compete in their events is the compound's ability to reduce stress and anxiety. For those reasons, the USEF has decided to treat CBD like a performance-enhancing drug.
"It is for these reasons that USEF prohibits CBD and all related cannabinoids," USEF explained. "Horses competing under USEF rules who test positive for natural cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and other [cannabis-like substances] will be considered in violation of [USEF drug policies] beginning September 1, 2019."
It is not clear yet how competing horses will be tested for CBD use.
The new regulations don't appear to be applicable to human athletes, however. The USEF follows World Anti-Doping protocols which allows athletes to use CBD. Cannabis' intoxicating compound THC will continue to be banned.
Cannabis has been a hot topic in the wider world of sports as of late. Earlier this week the NFL announced they would begin studying the use of medical marijuana for pain management, potentially opening a door for a shift away from the league's current ban on cannabis.
Back in the world of equestrian sports, however, it looks like these hardworking horses won't be able to access the potential benefits of cannabis medication just yet.
h/t: Marijuana Moment