The Great Weed Debate 

Friday October 16, 2015– The conversation continues on whether marijuana should be on the banned list of substances in the sports world. It seems almost weekly MMA fighters are testing positive for it. Most famously Nick Diaz receiving the stiff penalty of a 5 year ban, handed down by the NSAC. Which remains a highly controversial decision, based on 2 passed blood tests and 1 failed test.

There’s definitely room for debate on both sides of the argument. To play devils advocate let’s look at how it could be a PED. What is medical marijuana taken for?

Many patients use it for pain management, helping with appetite, anti nausea, a sleep-aid as well as helping open the lungs and ease  breathing/asthma issues. It’s also used in helping to decrease muscle spasms and to relieve headaches.  Many choose it over other prescriptions because it has little to no side effects unlike many pills.

Let’s break this down on helping with training.

An open air way certainly can be considered a plus. Under USADA rules, albuterol  (and similar medicines) are allowed within certain limits and applications. If you need more than allowed amount you do need to file for a therapeutic use exemption.

Pain relief obviously would be helpful in recovery, daily or on tougher days during camp. In regards to headaches, muscle spasms and joint pain, its helpful when you need to hit the gym and do it all again the next day.

Appetite, well that’s a pro or a con.  When cutting I’m sure you don’t want to be more hungry. However the anti nausea aspect could definitely be a pro.

All of these can be treated with one naturally grown “supplement”. Which is amazing in itself. The problem that occurs with new research and continued success when used in the medicinal sense is this: if it cures or helps you, in some eyes it’s an enhancement. Which then needs regulation.

You can still pass a test with 150ng/ml under WADA guidelines. Which leaves a grey area.  No one is sure how long you need to lay off before fight night. It’s not an exact science in that aspect. Is it two weeks? Three? No way to know. Due to the fact that it stores in body fat, you can be off it, lose/cut weight and there it is again.

Clearly there is a lot to be looked at and considered with medical marijuana. If a fighter chooses a more natural route to ailments, shouldn’t that be legal? If they want a solution that is non habit-forming and basically multi purpose shouldn’t that be considered healthier than other options?

It is definitely not what you would normally consider a ped. There’s obviously more dangerous PEDS that cause long-term problems and can be habit-forming. So why isn’t it allowed?

What are your thoughts?

By: Korey Lane

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