Regardless of its authorized standing in most US states, hashish stays to be a controversial substance within the athletic realm. In MMA, it has triggered suspensions on a number of fighters throughout the UFC roster.

However apparently, hashish use is extra widespread amongst MMA fighters than usually perceived. A latest survey by The Athletic on 170 fighters throughout a number of promotions exhibits that 45.9 p.c of them use marijuana for each leisure and restoration functions. 76.5 p.c depend on CBD for restoration, whereas 4.7 p.c had been common hashish customers however have since kicked the behavior.

The UFC’s senior vp of well being and athlete efficiency Jeff Novitzky wasn’t in any respect stunned by the statistic.

“I feel that sounds fairly correct,” he mentioned. “I’ve by no means polled our roster — it’s all anecdotal — however I’ve had many, many, many discussions. It’s in all probability the No. 1 subject of questions that I’m requested from fighters.”

Novitzky doesn’t imagine within the notion that hashish is a performance-enhancing drug. The primary concern, he says, is fighters getting into the cage with some type of impairment.

“There’s an argument of, ‘Is marijuana performance-enhancing?’ I don’t imagine it’s,” he mentioned. “No, I feel it’s prohibited due to well being and questions of safety. However when you smoked a joint on Thursday night time and even Friday night time earlier than the battle, you’re not impaired. Or when you had been enhanced from doing that, you’re not going to be enhanced the subsequent day.

“But that THC will present up doubtlessly over the 150 nanogram threshold.

“So by spitting in a tube, it might solely return three or 4 hours conceivably in that window,” he continued. “And that’s what we would like. We don’t need anybody combating beneath the affect or impaired. And I feel that could be a good interim stopgap measure to determine that out.”

Whereas CBD was deemed authorized to be used in 2018, THC, the plant’s psychoactive substance, stays on USADA’s banned substance listing.