A study shows most MMA fighters use marijuana. Almost half have of them use it for either recreational purposes or recovery.
170 professional MMA fighters were picked for a broad survey taken by The Athletic. The findings show 45.9 percent of fighters use marijuana for reasons like recovery or entertainment purposes throughout their career. Another 4.7 percent have quit the use of marijuana despite using it in the past.
Alongside the findings mentioned above, 76.5 percent of fighters in the survey say they use CBD products. The debate to allow such use of marijuana, however, continues.
Cannabis is prohibited in competitions, this means from the day before the fight to the time following the fight, marijuana is tested for in athletes.
In this period, it is not allowed to take a certain dose of THC. This is an active ingredient found in cannabis. 150 nanograms per milliliter are the limit over which they cannot go. The reason being that cannabis has traces that remain in the system.
The reason for its ban on competition Is from the concern that MMA fighters’ use of marijuana might let them take more damage than necessary. This could also prove bad for their performance.
Jeff Novitzky, UFC’s Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, is one of the people who are not surprised by the findings of the study.
WADA should take out marijuana from the banned list, claims the 52-year-old, he says the numbers are accurate.
Sounds very accurate, he says.
Our roster is not polled. It is all anecdotes but in the several discussions I had, this was the hot topic of questions that fighters ask me, says Novitzky. He further adds detail to why he thinks the prohibited list should exclude marijuana, in link to MMA fighters’ use of marijuana.
This anti-marijuana policy aimed to set in place protection, health, and safety for the athletes. It does the opposite, consequently, it pushes athletes to more lethal and addictive drugs, he says.
It is the biggest problem he sees with that. He says he can guarantee this happens. He says he knows this because he has had these conversations with athletes and their use of marijuana when he expects them to discontinue a few weeks before a fight takes place.
WADA and anti-doping movement get blood on their hands this way, he says.
This should be the major reason for marijuana to be cut out the prohibited list, rules need change and reform, he says.
Nate Diaz and Nick his older brother have never moved away from their use of marijuana despite its stirring controversy previously.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission gave an initial five-year suspension to Nick after failing a third test. This was then cut down to 18 months. At the UFC 241 Nate smoked a joint openly during workouts, this made many raise eyebrows at his behavior.
Following his fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 202, Nate Diaz too decided to bring out a vape pen. After he smoked the marijuana vape pen, a supposed suspension was heard of and reported.
It was only later reviewed by The USADA (U.S Anti-Doping Agency) and no action on disciplinary grounds was taken against Nate.
At a press conference, Diaz admitted he was smoking CBD.
The inflammation and the healing process become easier; he says. Getting these after and before fights and training improves his experience of life he explains.
According to WADA cannabidiol or CBD is now no longer prohibited from Jan 1, as it has no psychoactive effects on the body, unlike marijuana which has a THC component. CBD is good for pain management. MMA fighters’ use of Marijuana could be cut down if the alternative is taken instead.