Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Friday, December 1, 2017

The 2018 Sport Exchange Summit: Don't Miss It.

By Gene Willis, Director of Marketing

Last year, Drug Free Sport hosted it’s first-ever industry conference – The Sport Exchange Summit, Powered by Drug Free Sport. By all accounts, it was a success in focusing on the needs, conversations, and happenings for those that are “the team behind the team”.

Many of the attendees visiting Kansas City, MO represented groups that are in daily contact with athletes on all levels: certified athletic trainers, sports psychologists, strength and conditioning coaches, education leaders, and sport coaches. Also present were professional league office officials, international organizers of sport, post-sport career professionals, and students looking to learn about their future career paths. 


“The Sport Exchange Summit was one of the finest collections of expert presentations on a multitude of areas affecting health and wellness of athletes.  The multidisciplinary approach to the meeting presents many perspectives and broadens awareness of the many issues that must be considered in today’s world of sport.”

Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine
Iowa State University


In 2018, we will build from this great foundation to add new topics that affect sport professionals internationally. On June 11 and 12 in Kansas City, these will include:

With our industry expertise as the leader in sport drug testing and wellness education, you’ll also hear about the latest developments in Dietary Supplements, Prescription Stimulants in Sport: Use, Misuse, and Abuse, and Marijuana and Sport: An Update on Legalization and Performance

We are happy to confirm our two keynote speakers, dynamic groundbreakers in sport:
  • Katie Sowers is the San Francisco 49ers' Seasonal Offensive Assistant Coach - only the second woman to coach in the NFL and the first LGBT person to serve as an NFL coach. She'll speak about her experience of working in a male-dominated sport and her focus on excellence.
  • Billy Bean is the Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Major League Baseball (MLB). He is the only living MLB player to disclose that he is gay. His keynote speech will address his work on MLB's Diversity & Inclusion Committee, his career, and his life journey. 

“I was honored to present at the Sport Exchange Summit, powered by Drug Free Sport, in 2016. This gathering represents a multi-disciplined approach to the overall health and well-being of athletes at all levels of sport. The excellent presentations and topics surely enhances the education and knowledge of all attendees. What a wonderful professional experience; Drug Free Sport provides a great opportunity for all involved!”

Chris Carr, Ph.D., HSPP, CC-AASP
Sport & Performance Psychologist
St. Vincent Sports Performance


For many, this conference is a great chance to interact with industry leaders, to expand your network, and to grow your career. Continuing education hours are awarded for several certified industries, including:
  • Sports Physicians (CMEs)
  •           BOC Certified Athletic Trainers
  •           Strength and Conditioning coaches (NSCA and CSCCa)
  •          Sport Dietitians (CDR)
  •          Sport Psychologists (APA).

Being located in the center of the United States, the conference is accessible to all and affordable. Register by February 28, 2018 for the early-bird price of $349. Better yet, register by the end of December and you’re entered to win a Garmin VivoSmart HR+ fitness tracker!

Register today. Discuss the upcoming event online with the hashtag #SESummit18.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Regulatory Limits of Hemp and CBD Products for Drug Tested Athletes

Contributed by Guest Blogger Dave Ellis, RD, CSCS


Recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) pulled cannabidiol (CBD) from the 2018 Prohibited Substance List. Previously, it was illegal for Olympic athletes to use hemp products and isolates from hemp-like CBDs (1).  Literally within 48 hours of WADA releasing the news of CBD’s new permissible status, some of the bigger players in the CBD supplement space began to target drug-tested athletes.  Many of these companies make claims that some of their CBD extracts are 100% THC-free, and in compliance with WADA testing standards for THC. Yet, studies show significant inaccuracies on label claims including the actual amount of CBD found in products, and the presence of THC (2,3).

We have no credible third-party certifying agencies that can currently ensure that every batch of a CBD extract is truly THC-free.  Skip lot testing (as often used for dietary supplements) on THC levels in CBD products is not going to be good enough for drug-tested athletes, and the folks doing the testing will have to be free of any conflicts of interest with the hemp industry. 

There are no federal guidelines that determine label claim qualifications for products promoted as being “THC free.”  One company making THC claims states that they are in compliance with WADA’s “strict testing regulations” for THC by not exceeding 0.3% THC in the product. 

Like caffeine, not everyone metabolizes cannabinoids the same (4).  Even in small amounts, increased frequency of use may well accumulate THC to the point of detection by a drug test. Athletes who are drawn to CBDs as an intervention for pain, concussions, sleep, immune health, etc., must proceed with caution. 

Some professional sports still consider CBD a prohibited substance. While most don’t specifically test for CBD, they do not fund or supply any hemp-based products to athletes, due to the lack of credible assurances or third-party verification that each batch of the product is truly THC-free.
Athletes are advised extreme caution when considering these unregulated and untested CBD products.

1. Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes – 2018 WADA Prohibited List

2. Bonn-Miller, MO, Mallory JE Loflin, Brian F Thomas, et al. “Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online.” JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708-1709.

3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Warning Letters and Test Results for Cannabidiol-Related Products.” 2015-2017. https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm484109.htm. Updated Nov 2, 2017.

4. Hawks, Richard L. The analysis of cannabinoids in biological fluids. Vol. 42. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1982.

Dave Ellis is a Veteran Sports RD who specializes in food and supplement security for drug tested athletes. His full bio and professional work can be found at daveellisbio.com. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Anti-Doping Research: A Conversation with the Partnership for Clean Competition.

At Drug Free Sport, we believe that a balanced approach to sports drug testing and anti-doping involves testing and education. However, there are several elements that factor into the development of such testing and education, like proper research. With scientific advancements happening both for doping and anti-doping efforts, it’s important to be on top of developments to protect the integrity of sport. 

We recently exchanged with Jenna Celmer at the Partnership for Clean Competition about their work toward improving the detection of performance-enhancing drugs. Our organizations share the spirit of fair and safe sport. It was a great conversation that we’re proud to share with you. 

How did the Partnership for Clean Competition (PCC) come to be? 

Back in 2008, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the United States Olympic Committee, and the United States Anti-Doping Agency came together to discuss how to better deter and detect performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and encourage a culture of clean sport.
These organizations understood that what the anti-doping movement needed was the collaboration and commitment of leading sport organizations willing to fund scientific breakthroughs which advance anti-doping policy. The initial (and subsequent) financial contributions of these four founding PCC members catalyzed the anti-doping research collaborative known as the Partnership for Clean Competition.

The decision was a vocal stand for sporting integrity, and an investment in clean sport and in the health of athletes worldwide.

Tell us more about your focus on “the science of doping.”

While a robust approach to anti-doping policy involves several aspects (such as the education that Drug Free Sport provides), the PCC focuses on advancing the science and technology surrounding anti-doping sample collection, detection, and analysis. Our science varies based on emerging priorities, but could involve the creation of new testing methods that are less invasive and expensive, reference materials for WADA-accredited labs, or innovative tests for new substances. With new doping agents and methods being created every day to try and evade current testing capabilities, it’s paramount that the PCC continues to fund the research that produces sound responses to imminent anti-doping challenges.

What is something that you’d like the public to know about the PCC? 

The PCC funds PhD scientists all over the world (we currently have projects ongoing in 14 different countries), and we are always looking for additional investigators to contribute their unique acumen and scientific perspective to anti-doping challenges. A common misconception is that only dedicated ‘anti-doping scientists’ advance technology in this domain. The truth is, while there are certainly some incredible researchers who have devoted their careers to clean sport, many of the investigators we fund are taking the important work they develop or study in their scientific discipline and applying it to an anti-doping context. We have chemists, biologists, endocrinologists, pathologists, physiologists, food scientists, toxicologists, exercise scientists, and many others currently working on new and exciting developments. There are truly few areas of science that do not play a role, and we’re happy to talk through projects with scientists who aren’t certain if their work is a good fit.

What are some of the research-related findings that the PCC has contributed toward recently?

The PCC has granted over $18 million in research to 100+ investigators around the world; many recent advancements in PED detection and analysis are due to PCC funding. To understand how important this is, newly-found positives during reanalysis of samples from past Olympic games are possible, thanks to the more precise scientific methods developed by scientists.

While this type of research will always be a priority, the PCC has recently invested significant amounts of funding in alternative matrices – or new ways to collect and analyze samples. Currently, most drug testing is done on blood or urine, but two emerging technologies are on our radar:

      1. Breath testing. The PCC has invested in SensaBues breath tests as a quick, easy, and low-cost alternative to current in-competition testing. Athletes simply breathe into the device, which has been proven to detect not only drugs of abuse, but many classes of anti-doping substances, with lab analysis using existing WADA approved methods. PCC investment in the tests is ongoing, and we hope to do a pilot study in 2018.
      2. Dried Plasma Spot Card Testing. While current blood tests involves the use of phlebotomists to  draw blood (a process which may be perceived as invasive by athletes), the PCC has developed cards that require only a finger prick of blood to perform several different analyses. Not only is sample collection quick and easy, but the cards are easy to store, analyze, and transport, potentially providing a significant cost savings over blood testing.

We believe that developing lower-cost, less invasive sample collection methods may increase overall testing, thus enhancing overall deterrenceThe PCC is investing in the scientific validation that would be required to protect clean athletes at the same level as blood and urine matrices currently used.

As an organization that funds research, you have a grant cycle deadline coming up. Care to talk about your grant processes and programs?

Absolutely! To begin a PCC grant, investigators must first fill out our 1 – 2 page “Pre-Application”, designed to gather high-level information about the intended project to ensure it fits the PCC mission and priorities. We do this so that investigators presenting research outside of our scope don’t spend time filling out our (lengthy) full application. For instance, the PCC does not currently fund social science research, even on the topic of anti-doping. We always encourage interested researchers to review our research priorities before submitting a pre-application. 
Pre-applications are due March 1st, July 1st, and November 1st of each year.

As soon as pre-applications are approved (and most are), investigators are invited to submit the full PCC application, now available to them via their project site on our website. This application ranges in length from around 10 pages, to upwards of 75 pages, depending on the level of detail the investigators provide, the complexity of their research, and the amount of supplemental information they provide (for instance preliminary studies and data). Hint: the more experimental detail provided in an application, the more likely it is to be approved.
Full applications are due April 1st, August 1st, and December 1st of each year (one month after the pre-application of that cycle).

Once full applications are received, they are reviewed by two members of our 10-member Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which consists of scientific experts representing a diverse array of disciplines (from endocrinology to exercise physiology). The SAB meets every cycle to then collectively discuss the applications, and the feedback provided by each reviewer. As a unit, the SAB then makes funding recommendations for each application submitted during the cycle to our Board of Governors (consisting of a representative from each of our Founding Members) for final approval before successful investigators are notified.

At this point, the PCC will negotiate terms and conditions with the researcher’s host institution. Unsuccessful investigators will receive feedback on their application, and may be invited to re-submit their project with changes (often more detail is required). The entire process from pre-application to funding and/or feedback takes 3-5 months.

What has research shown that may be next, in terms of doping to gain an athletic advantage?

This is a difficult question to answer and one that is constantly changing. The PCC does get applications from scientists and lab directors who have concerns about specific substances and propose research on those substances. We also incorporate input from our sponsors, who are often on the front lines with regards to new perforamnce-enhancing substances. If researchers from labs, academia, or the private sector believe they have identified a need in the anti-doping community, we would encourage them to apply for a grant or micro-grant. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Top 10 NCAA-Related Questions: Drug Free Sport AXIS™

Athletes and athletic administrators are likely gearing up for the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year. To smooth the transition and boost education efforts on campus, Drug Free Sport has created new learning platforms and tools to engage student-athletes. Recently, we conducted a webinar covering the Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions we receive from affiliates of NCAA membership schools.
  1. What dietary supplements are "legal" for NCAA atheltes?
  2. How do I get my supplements approved by the NCAA to allow athletic programs to purchase it for their athletes?
  3. Why is caffeine a banned substance? How much is safe?
  4. My son/daughter wants to take ____ supplement.  What do I do?
  5. How do I log in to Drug Free Sport AXIS™ to check products for banned substances?
  6. What does a Risk Level 1 mean?
  7. My athlete has been prescribed a medication for ADHD that is banned by the NCAA. What should I do?
  8. My athlete has been prescribed a non-ADHD medication that is banned. Can s/he still compete within the NCAA?
  9. What is the medical exception process for athletes with a medical marijuana card or prescription?
  10. What education resources are available to me as an athlete/school?

Watch the full video to get your questions answered.

If your question was not answered, please email axis@drugfreesport.com or call us at 816-477-8655 Ext. 129.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Weight-Loss Supplements: Warnings for Athletes

Contributed by: Anna Filardo, Education Program Manager, Drug Free Sport

As summer approaches, there has been an increase in weight-loss/thermogenic supplement (WLT) inquiries in Drug Free Sport AXIS™.  These types of supplements come with increased risks and dangers to athlete health and safety. It is important for athletes to know the risks associated with taking any dietary supplement. Lacking regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA does not review or test supplements before they are available for consumer purchase. Read on to learn more about the dangers associated with WLT supplements.

One of the Top Three Supplement Categories Recalled by the FDA (1)
WLT supplements are regularly recalled by the FDA, due to undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients present in the bottle. Recalled WLT products often contain sibutramine (an ingredient found in a drug called Meridia), which was removed from the market in October 2010 by the FDA due to causing heart problems and strokes (2). Not only can products with undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients cause a positive drug test, but they can also create serious harm to the body.

Often Contain Banned Stimulants (3)
WLT supplements often list ingredients that are banned under the “Stimulants” drug class by sport organizations. Look out for synephrine, AMP citrate, bitter orange, ephedra, hordenine, in particular. These ingredients are likely to cause a positive drug test in most sports organizations testing for performance-enhancing substances. Athletes may also experience adverse health effects from taking these stimulants, especially when they are combined into one product formula, or consumed with energy drinks and other secondary stimulant sources.

Harmful and Dangerous Side-Effects (3)
Users may experience harmful or dangerous side-effects after taking a weight-loss/thermogenic supplement. Side-effects users have experienced when taking these supplements include liver failure, anxiety, nervousness, increased blood pressure and heart rate, chest pain, and heart attacks(4). Additionally, these products have been cited to react adversely to prescription medications by increasing or minimizing the prescription drug’s intended effect. (5)

Product Marketing Often Contains False Claims (2)
Dietary supplements are not tested for efficacy or safety; therefore, many claims made by dietary supplements are false and not proven by reliable scientific research. Beware of products making claims such as “promotes weight loss,” “scientific breakthrough,” “incinerates fat,” and “significantly reduces BMI.” These claims are often unsubstantiated and may cause more issues than assistance.

Solution: Use Nutrition to Reach Weight-Loss Goals
Eating whole foods, following a balanced eating plan, and getting regular physical activity is the best and most effective way to lose and maintain weight. Athletes are recommended to work with a sports dietitian to evaluate their meal plan and find the best solution to reach their weight-loss and performance goals. Check out Drug Free Sport AXIS™ for athlete-friendly recipes in our Athlete Recipe Box.

Bottom Line: WLT supplements are commonly contaminated or adulterated, may cause adverse health effects, and are not as effective as a balanced meal plan accompanied with regular exercise.
Learn more about dietary supplement safety by viewing our short video on YouTube.
Athletes that are part of subscribing member organizations can have your dietary supplement(s) reviewed by submitting a dietary supplement inquiry on Drug Free Sport AXIS.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

What's the deal with CBD Oils and Creams? Do they contain THC?

Contributed by Anna Filardo, Education Program Manager

Cannabis|noun|can•na•bis|\’ka-nә-bәs\: any of the preparations (as marijuana or hashish) or chemicals (as THC) that are derived from the hemp plant and are psychoactive.1

Essentially, marijuana is a species of cannabis, specifically named Cannabis Indica or Cannabis Sativa. There are more than 100 different cannabinoids that make up the marijuana plant; the most widely known are Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) and cannabidiol (or CBD). THC is commonly attributable to the psychoactive or euphoric side effects, while CBD is known for its more medicinal effects. Marijuana (specifically THC) is banned by a majority of sports organizations and is not eligible for medical exceptions or therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs). So what about CBD?

Recently, CBD oils and creams available for purchase in stores or on the internet have been growing in popularity, as seen in an increase of Drug Free Sport AXIS™ inquiries for these products. CBD has been cited for having some medicinal benefits, and homeopathic doctors are prescribing CBD oils and creams for treatment. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies CBD extract as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, which means it is illegal in states that have not passed medical marijuana laws.2

Manufacturers may claim their products are “pure CBD” and do not contain THC. However, there is no way to be certain the products do not also contain THC. The DEA asserts that it is “not aware of any industrially-utilized methods that have achieved this result [of 100% CBD].” 2  In February of 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested the composition of 22 CBD tinctures, oils, and creams. A majority of the products were marketed to be “100% Pure CBD.” Upon testing, the FDA found that almost all of the products tested did not have the amount of CBD claimed; some products did not contain any CBD, while others contained far less. THC was also present in measurable amounts in most of the products.3

CBD products are not approved by the FDA for marketing or distribution as safety and effectiveness have not been proven, and the federal government classifies marijuana as an illegal substance. Therefore, the FDA does not test these products before they are available to consumers. Since the FDA does not test CBD products before becoming available to consumers, there is no way to tell the amount of CBD (or THC) in each product. Therefore, AXIS classifies CBD oils and creams as high risk products. 

Dr. David Kuntz, Ph.D., Executive Director of Analytical Toxicology for Clinical Reference Laboratories, affirms 
“Plants are being specifically developed to have high concentrations of CBD to maximize the compound in the bud.  It is my understanding that there are no 100% pure CBD products on the market, and these products will contain minor to significant amounts of THC in the oil depending on their purification steps.”

Bottom line: The use of CBD oils, creams or tinctures may cause adverse health effects and/or a positive drug test.

To learn more about the difference between THC and CBD, view this short video and check out the new Marijuana tab on Drug Free Sport AXIS™



Other Resources:

Friday, April 7, 2017

FREE Stress Management Apps for Athletes

 Contributed by Anna Filardo, Education Program Manager

An athlete's mental health is a vital component of their overall well-being, and can also play a significant role in sports performance outcomes. Whether the athlete is competing at the high school, collegiate, or professional/elite level, it is important to arm them with tools to address the cerebral side of sport. Some of the easiest tools to add to an athlete's toolbox are mobile applications (apps) that are easily downloaded right to their smartphone and support activities of daily livingor in this case, well-being. In this post you'll find reviews (in no particular order) of four different apps that address anxiety and stress management. Try them out, share them with athletes you know, and use the comments to tell us which one you prefer the most!

SAM: Self-Help for Anxiety Management

Synopsis of the App:
SAM helps the user to understand and manage anxiety through daily tracking, breathing exercises, and support.

Platform and Price:
Free. Available via iOS/Apple and Google Play.

  • Developed by a team of university-based psychologists, computer scientists and student users.
  • Ability to track anxiety and how users are feeling in that moment.
  • Allows the user to determine different triggers for anxiety, allowing them to potentially avoid these situations or to be better prepared in the future.
  • SAM employs techniques such as breathing exercises, picture reveals, and relaxation.
  • Social Cloud is a place where users can communicate with each other. This is a great tool to recognize that anxiety affects many people, and allows users to share messages with others using the app.
  • Easy to take on-the-go and alleviate anxiety the moment it hits.
  • Provides educational information about anxiety, common anxiety symptoms and triggers.

  • The app does not notify users when someone comments on their Social Cloud posts.
  • There is not a walk-through for the Muscle Relaxation or Tense-and-Relax Exercise techniques.

Bottom Line:
Anxiety can happen at any time to anyone. SAM guides the user through anxiety management and helps track what triggers a panic or anxiety attack. It’s an ideal app for anyone that experiences extreme stress and/or anxiety.

Personal Zen

Synopsis of the App:
Personal Zen is a game-based app that teaches the user to focus on the positive, instead of the negative.

Platform and Price:
Free. Available via iOS/Apple.

  • Scientifically-validated.
  • Based on 20 years of brain training and anxiety-reduction research.
  • Directions for the game are easy to follow and understand.
  • A great app for avoiding and decreasing stress/anxiety.
  • Helps the user to focus on the happy face.
  • User can set a goal for the amount of the time they participate in the activity each week.
  • Easy way to zone out and allow for a mindless moment.
  • Since it is an app it is easy to take on-the-go and alleviate anxiety in the moment.
  • Does not require users to participate in the activity for a long amount of time (1-2 min/day).
  • Background music is calming.

  • Activity is repetitive and may get boring.
  • Activity is easy.
  • May pose issues to those that have been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or are anxious about being perfect. Since users have to touch every piece of grass in the game, it may cause more issues than it solves.
  • Not yet available on Android devices.

Bottom Line:
This app is more about mindlessness and zoning out for a short period of time. While it may seem easy to some, it is effective in focusing on the positive face.


Synopsis of the App:
Pacifica provides daily tools for stress and anxiety and provides a built-in support community.

Platform and Price:
Free. Available via iOS/Apple, Android, and Web.

  • Track feelings and write about what is going on in the moment.
  • Create a Hope Board with pictures, goals, inspiration, etc.
  • Set small goals. There are some daily goals already outlined within the app that help motivate the user to reach overall goals.
  • Tap the goal when completed and record the difficulty of completing it.
  • Track and log different anxiety traps and triggers.
  • Shows the user their personal connection between emotions, thoughts, and experiences.
  • Teaches how to reframe the situation (i.e. What could you have done differently to allow for a better outcome?).
  • Tracks sleep and exercise.
  • Guides users through various techniques to manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Includes verbal instructions for breathing exercises, meditation, and muscle relaxation.
  • Community posts allow users to talk to others about shared experiences or hardships.
  • Easy to take anywhere and track anxiety/stress in the moment.

  • Must pay for some “Thought” tracking techniques.

Bottom Line:
Pacifica is a valuable tool for people susceptible to anxiety or stress. It allows users to track their stressors and learn ways to cope and avoid these situations.


Relax Melodies

Synopsis of the App:
Relax Melodies provides users with white noise and meditation to help them fall asleep.

Platform and Price:
Free. Available via iOS/Apple and Google Play.

  • Users are able to select different sounds they like and put them together.
  • "Melodies" section allows users to submit their favorite sounds.
  • Ability to submit a personal sound mix so others can listen.
  • Add and delete sounds to allow users to go back to the sounds that work the best.
  • Ability to vary the volume of each sound selected.
  • Great for traveling, especially when accustomed to white noise (such as a fan on at home).
  • Relax Melodies notify users when it is time for bed based on the time set as a target.
  • Timer: set the white noise to stop after 30 minutes or play through the night.
  • Alarm function can wake users up with white noise.
  • Guided meditation helps users clear the mind and fall asleep.
  • Easy to take on-the-go.
  • Clean platform and easy to navigate.

  • Some saved sounds are only available on the paid version.
  • The user must upgrade to the Pro/paid version in order to utilize all guided meditations.

Bottom Line:
Relax Melodies is a great app that provides white noise, meditation and relaxation for those that have insomnia or difficulty falling asleep.

Which is your favorite? Use the comments below to share!

**Please note that our reviews are not a product endorsement of any mobile application and should not be seen as such. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Vaping: What's it all about?

Contributed by Anna Filardo, Education Program Manager

Image Credt: fda.gov (1)

Vaping has continued to increase in use and popularity. New federal regulations have recently been established and research on long-term use of vaporizers is growing. This post presents current information and potential dangers of vaping.

  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) go by various names.

    • Vaporizer, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), and e-pipes.(1)

  • "E-Liquids" (the fluid mixture that is vaporized) vary, and may include:

    • Nicotine, marijuana, propylene glycol, and/or flavored glycerin are most common.(1)
    • Formaldehyde or acetaldehyde have also been found.(2)
    • Ethanol (or alcohol) is frequently used and could lead to a future alcohol dependence. (4)
    • Toxic metal nanoparticles from the vaping mechanism.(3)

  • ENDS vs. Cigarette Smoking.


  • Long-term health consequences remain unclear.

    • Users may suffer from "Popcorn Lung", due to the presence of diactetyl.(5)
    • "The brain is the last organ in the human body to develop fully. Nicotine exposure during periods of significant brain development, such as adolescence, can disrupt the growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction." -U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy (6)

  • The FDA has recently gained regulatory authority over ENDS, beginning August 2016.(1)

    • It will take up to 2 years for the FDA to fully evaluate all 500 brands and 7,700 e-liquid flavors.(7) 

  • Vaporizers can be used to mask the smell of marijuana.

    • Marijuana concentrates or "hash oil" (which can contain up to 90% THC) can be added to e-liquid.(8)
    • "Pure CBD Oil" for vape pens is easily purchased via the internet. Video: CBD vs. THC
*Image of actual product submitted to Drug Free Sport AXIS™.