Shortly after losing a majority decision to Conor McGregor in UFC 202, Nate Diaz took the stage for his typical post-fight interview. This time, however, Diaz walked on stage puffing a cannabis CBD (Cannabidiol) vaporizer pen. When a reporter asked what he was smoking, he replied, “It’s a CBD. It helps with healing process and inflammation and stuff like that.” He then continued on to say, “So you want to get these before and after the fights, training.. make your life a better place.”
Although CBD, or cannabidoil, is not on the UFC’s or NAC’s list of banned substances, it is on the list of banned substances used by the USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency). Cannabinoids are banned in competition. In competition is considered 6 hours before and 6 hours after the fight. Diaz was seen vaping his pen within that timeframe. The USADA found out about the situation hours after the news broke.
“I can confirm that USADA is aware of the situation and is currently gathering information in order to determine the next appropriate steps,” USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden told MMA Fighting in a statement.
According to MMAFighting.com, cannabis is considered a “specified substance” by the UFC anti-doping policy. It is not a performance enhancing drug, but it is still banned in situations like in-competition. An athlete can be suspended for up to one year for the use of a specified substance. It all depends on the circumstances. Since Diaz admitted to using CBD, the USADA could consider that statement admitted use, which is the same as failing a drug test.
This type of public support for medical marijuana is nothing new for Nate Diaz. Both Nate and his brother Nick Diaz (suspended by UFC for failing drug test) have spoken publicly against the UFC’s and NAC’s (Nevada Athletic Commission) harsh cannabis policies.
This is not the first time that Nate Diaz has promoted smoking CBD vape pens. Earlier this week, Diaz posted a photo on his Instagram account of the Tru Oil CBD Vaporizer. In his Instagram post he says, “shout out to all the homies in the #NFL, the #Olympians in #Rio and all contact sports that are finding healthier ways to deal with their head trauma and wear and tear on their bodies by attacking their injuries with CBD oil. Shout out to TRU for making it happen.”
Despite being a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is not on the list of banned substances by either the UFC or the NAC. THC is on both of those lists. So, what is the difference? Both compounds have many medicinal properties, but CBD doesn’t get you high. Although the UFC is still in the stone ages when it comes to cannabis policy, the support of major athletes like the Diaz brothers, Ronda Rousey, and many others will keep the pressure on Dana White and the UFC to change their harsh cannabis policies.