Prior to 2018, CBD and its related products were considered to be prohibited substances by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), however this not the case after an announcement by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on January 1st 2018. According to the supporting documents released by WADA, CBD is no longer placed under its prohibited list, and so will also be permitted under the UFC Anti-Doping Program. So now athletes participating within the UFC can be in possession of or use CBD without having to face an anti-doping policy violations or damaging their career.
However, regardless of this change in the regulations by WADA, athletes should still be cautious about CBD, since certain CBD products still may contain cannabinoid components such as THC, which remains prohibited within the Championship (if it is above 0.3% of the product). Additionally, as there is no standard manufacturing practice of CBD products, it is not easy to be certain how much THC is present within a particular CBD product and you must check this before taking any product. There may even be other prohibited substances within the CBD product, which could be detected during testing and this is the result of bad business practices with some producers of CBD products. Regardless of this some UFC athletes are known to be strong advocates of CBD and its products, including Nate Diaz, who in a statement stated “It’s CBD. It helps with the healing process and inflammation and stuff like that,”, when he openly vaped during a press conference after a particular fight.
CBD Related Studies and UFC Athletes
A study published by Oxford Academic explains CBD’s role in fighting pain, which indicated improvement in pain upon movement along with pain at rest, something which UFC athletes require greatly due to the nature of this high contact sport. On the other hand, a study published by the American Medical Association in November 2017, indicated that 69% of CBD products examined within the study did not convey the true CBD concentration within the product, rather the concentration was either over labelled or under labeled. It further detected prohibited THC present within 21% of the products which were tested, with the THC concentration among some of these products potentially leading to impairment.
Therefore, these CBD extract products pose a great threat to UFC athletes, irrespective of the potential benefits provided by CBD. However, due to ineffective regulations upon such products, mislabeling of CBD products could potentially lead to prohibited THC being present within the athlete’s system at the time when the sample is required, during the in competition period.
Though it cannot be said with certainty, however there is a strong need to regulate CBD products, especially for the usage of UFC athletes whereby they can be utilized as an effective source of CBD, without the threat of prohibited levels of THC being present within such products. Thereby, allowing these athletes who are participating in this high contact sport to be relieved of the pain which is attributed with the sport along with meeting the required regulations.