Nate Diaz vs. USADA
After losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 202, MMA fighter Nate Diaz was seen vaping during the post-fight press-conference. His vape pen allegedly contained CBD (cannabidiol). While hardly a performance-enhancing drug, cannabinoids are on the World Anti-Doping Association’s list of prohibited substances (PDF link). The list is used by the United States Anti-Doping Association, which administers UFC’s drug testing.
This wouldn’t be the first time a Diaz brother got into trouble over cannabis. Nate Diaz’s older brother, MMA fighter Nick Diaz, has been suspended and fined multiple times for marijauana use. A Diaz brother using a cannabis-related product is hardly surprising. That said, the fighter had a completely reasonable explanation for vaping CBD.
It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that. So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.
Should Athletes Be Allowed to Use CBD?
Let me preface this entire section by saying that I’m not a doctor (though I have played one on the Internet and cable television). Okay, that’s out of the way. Let’s move onto something more substantive regarding Nate Diaz and his alleged vaping of CBD.
While I have no doubt that Nate Diaz will be fined and/or suspended if CBD is found in his blood work by USADA, I question the wisdom of a fine or suspension. If he broke a rule then he’ll be punished for it, but the rule is stupid. MMA fighters go through arduous training. Their bodies are basically tortured, so that they can fight at a world-class level. Pain is simply part of the fight game. Fighters need a way to manage the pain. Personally, I believe that CBD is exponentially less harmful to people than the narcotics that some athletes abuse.
I’ve known a few MMA fighters and pro-wrestlers. What these guys do to their bodies is unreasonable. CBD seems like a perfectly reasonable method of coping with unreasonable pain. What do you think? Should athletes be allowed to use CBD? Will Nate Diaz be suspended and fined for vaping CBD? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.