In news that may come as a shock to some followers of mixed martial arts, the USADA has removed CBD from its list of banned substances.
CBD is a non-psychoactive component in cannabis and it can have therapeutic effects on your body. Some UFC fighters have spoken out about how CBD oil helps them recover after a fight or game.
Many athlete advocates for CBD use maintain that it isn’t psychoactive or addictive and is a much healthier and safer option than prescription painkillers.
UFC fighter Nate Diaz became the symbol of the cannabis movement in mixed martial arts when he openly vaped CBD oil during a press conference after a fight at UFC 202 against Conor McGregor. Diaz told reporters at the time,
“It’s CBD. It helps with the healing process and inflammation and stuff like that,” he further explained. “So you wanna get these for before, after the fight, training. It’ll make your life a better place. CBD. CBD oil.”
And while the USADA issued him a warning and Diaz became somewhat of a pariah in the octagon for his blatant CBD use, he also was bringing awareness to a useful form of treatment for fighters.
Nate Diaz’s brother Nick is also a UFC star and cannabis advocate. Nick told High Times last year about his cannabis use,
“If I’m at home and I’m training—doing my same things every day—then I’m definitely going to want to use cannabis. It’s gonna help. I’m trying to stay focused on what I’m doing… If I’m going to train all day, when I get done, I’m gonna want to smoke. If I have to go and train all day, before I go, I’m gonna want to smoke. If I wake up in the morning and feel beat to shit, and it’s going to take me forever to wake up, I smoke some weed and I wake right up. Then I have breakfast and I go do a workout.”
It appears that USADA has listened to the Diaz brothers to some extent as CBD usage is no longer a banned substance. But THC remains banned, so fighters can’t actually just smoke normal weed, they would have to use CBD extract strictly.
This is a big step for the acceptance of cannabis in high profile sports, especially combat sports, where cannabis can help with the recovery process. It will be interesting to watch this space and see what other sports leagues do in the future with regards to cannabis.
Check out the full USADA list of prohibited substances here.