This summer, a host of kick ass athletes won't be the only ones showing up in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games. CBD will also debut on the summer Olympic stage for the first time along with them. Thanks to a new ruling from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), as of 2018, athletes can now "dope," at least with CBD.
Many credit the bold actions of Mixed Martial Arts fighter Nate Diaz with the change--most of all himself!
“Yeah, they changed it compliments of your boy here,” Diaz boasted. “I’ve been a game changer."
After losing to opponent Conor McGregor on August 20, 2016, Diaz was seen openly vaping during the post fight press conference:
When asked what was in his e-cig, Diaz wasn't shy.
"It's CBD," Diaz replied. “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.”
The only problem was, at that time all cannabinoids were still a big no-no with the anti-doping organization. Diaz was slapped with a public warning after admitting to their use during the interview. However, many credit Diaz's boldness with subsequent policy changes. CBD is now fully accepted by WADA for use during competition.
But that's not all. WADA went one step further and revised the rules governing how long after a fight an athlete has to test clean of other cannabinoids, including THC. At the time Diaz sparked up at the presser, that window extended until six hours after a fight was officially over. The new rules now allow an athlete to light up a doobie, if they so choose, as soon as they have submitted to a post-fight drug test proving they were clean at the time of the competition itself.
It's important to note, THC, the psychoactive compound found in the marijuana plant along with CBD and arguably the most famous cannabinoid of them all, remains on the list of substances banned by WADA. An athlete that tests positive for THC still faces potentially serious consequences including extended suspension and, in extreme cases, being kicked out of a competition or even being stripped of Olympic medals won while under the influence.
The United States federal government has legalized the sale of CBD products provided the THC content stays under the federally legal limit which has been set at 0.3% THC. While that limit may be enough to keep the Fed off your back, if you're a pro athlete, you'll want to take a careful look at the CBD products you use and make sure that, given your usage and the THC level in your chosen product, you aren't risking a positive result for THC at your next drug test. There are CBD products available that contain 0% THC, formulated specifically for those that need to test completely clean such as athletes, individuals who work in law enforcement, surgeons, pilots or people who simply don't want any amount of THC in their system even if it is below the psychoactive dose.
That said, the latest WADA policy on the testing threshold at which the presence of THC qualifies for a positive result and therefore a test fail are pretty darn lenient. After numerous fails began cropping up, predictably followed by athletes whining that they had been doped against their will by inhaling second hand pot smoke at social gatherings, WADA drastically upped the THC testing threshold. The threshold went from 15 nanograms per milliliter of blood up to 150 nanograms, a 900% increase! At 150 ng/mL, an athlete could conceivably be a pretty heavy pot smoker before triggering a THC drug test fail. WADA grants even more leniency by allowing a "margin of error" such that an athlete won't fail until the THC in their blood clocks in at 175 ng/mL.
"It’s enough to make one wonder whether WADA’s changing rules are actually designed to turn a blind eye to increasing cannabis use," wondered Leafly, a leading website devoted to all things cannabis related.
While this article could very well end here, the story of the Diaz brothers and CBD wound up being so hilarious, we couldn't resist reporting it.
It turns out that Nate Diaz isn't the only Diaz in the house who enjoys his CBD. Nate's brother, Nick, would do well to better heed WADA's testing limits for THC. Nick's boisterous claims to being the "number 1 athletic stoner besides Michael Phelps" certainly haven't done him any favors. After failing his drug test for THC on three separate occasions, he earned himself a 5 year ban from fighting in the UFC.
After his 5 year time out, Nick was set to return to UFC fighting with a match against Anthony Pettis in August of 2019. The lead up to the face off was filled with the usual pre-fight tough talking.
"We're not cool. Me and Nate are not cool," Pettis told TMZ Sports. "I mean we never had any kind of relationship other than him throwing his middle fingers up at me. So, you do that to me, then I'm assuming we have a problem."
TMZ posed a surprising follow up question: "Would you smoke with Nate after the fight?" Presumably TMZ was referring to vaping CBD or smoking marijuana.
"F**k yeah. Hell yeah. Honestly after this fight is done, there's no beef," Pettis replied. "I'm gonna settle it in the Octagon, and if we spark one up, we spark one up." Pettis also wasn't shy about his support for Diaz's weed habit, saying, "That's dope, that's dope. Hell yeah. I support that. I smoke weed too."
And here's where this story takes a turn to the bizarre. When Pettis and Diaz hit the ring, Diaz emerged triumphant. He sent Pettis packing with an orbital fracture and a broken right foot. While it's unclear whether Pettis sparked a doobie or hit the CBD to ease the pain of his loss, we do know one thing: he blamed it on a bizarre drug testing accident! Pettis is suing the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, claiming he cut his thumb on a drug testing kit prior to the fight putting him at a disadvantage and ultimately contributing to his loss to Diaz.
Diaz, meanwhile, hasn't given up his bad boy ways. Listen to Nick wax poetic about smoking pot to "get his head right" and hear him apparently snitch on brother Nate, claiming that CBD he vaped on live T.V. was actually marijuana!
The Diaz brothers are certainly not the only athletes turning to CBD hoping to enhance performance or aid in recovery. Check out our run down of the top CBD using athletes in an upcoming blog post.