UFC fighter Nate Diaz’s well-publicized rematch with Conor McGregor may be in the books, but the Stockton slugger is already involved in another battle with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) over his vaporizer use at the UFC 202 post-fight press conference.
The vapor cloud seen around the world hit the air just minutes after Diaz lost by a majority decision to McGregor, who he had previously smoked via rear naked choke at UFC 196. There was much to be said about the controversial fight, which many believe could have gone to Diaz. But soon after the press conference began, all journalists were tweeting about was the UFC’s number 5 ranked Lightweight blatantly puffing cannabidiol oil (CBD) from a vape pen during the live streamed event. Badass.
Since UFC fighters are subject to the same testing as olympians, Diaz’s public display of vaporization is a little like Michael Phelps hitting a dry herb vaporizer from the podium during the medals ceremony. Although CBD is not psychotropic like the marijuana from which it’s derived, it still violates USADA’s anti-doping policy. In fact, Diaz may now face a career-threatening penalty for vaping the banned substance, begging the question, what’s the BFD with CBD?
What Does Vaping Cannabis Oil Do?
CBD, also called Cannabidiol, is one of over 60 compounds known as cannabinoids found in marijuana. It makes up a whopping 40% of cannabis extract, making it one of the most popular cannabinoids to vape, next to THC. Most of all, CBD oil has gained attention for its ability to heal.
“It’ll make your life a better place.” Diaz told reporters when asked what was in his vape tank. And he was right. There is a long list of CBD oil benefits. Loading your vaporizer with CBD can help fight anxiety and depression, and ease symptoms of chemotherapy for cancer patients. There have also even been clinical trials using CBD oil to treat schizophrenia and epilepsy. In this case, cannabidiol helps with inflammation, making it ideal for athletes like Nate Diaz.
As long as CBD is made from industry hemp, not medical marijuana, it won’t act on the same CB1 receptors as its cannabinoid counterpart, THC. That means users can reap the health benefits of cannabis without getting high.
So why can’t Nate Diaz enjoy a little CBD in his vaporizer? Is it just because it comes from an illegal plant that this miracle compound is banned from use in sports? Isn’t that like putting an age-limit on barley for being an ingredient of whiskey?
No Pain, No Game
CBD is banned because of its analgesic effects. One of many CBD health benefits is pain relief, and USADA believes painkillers fulfill all the requirements for a doping substance. If a fighter can take more punishment, it’ll give them a competitive edge over their opponent. Of course--get ready to scratch your head--codeine, an addictive narcotic, didn’t make it on the banned list.
These fuzzy anti-doping laws have pressed Nate Diaz up against the cage. Under World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list, which USADA abides by, athletes are not to use more than 150 nanograms of CBD, or any other cannabinoids found in weed, 6 hours before or after competition. Since the UFC 202 presser happened directly after the fight, Diaz could find himself in the heating chamber, with a year-long suspension, if he puffed more than the allowed threshold.
Does Nate Diaz care? Probably not. Fighting McGregor brought him from $40k to $12 million per fight. He could retire today and buy PAX vaporizers for every USADA staff member and their families.
Vape like Nate
What we all really want to know is, how can we be as badass as Nate Diaz? You can start by getting yourself a solid oil vaporizer pen. Ironically, Diaz vaped with a unit similar to the KandyPens Slim, perhaps the best vaporizer for the discreet enjoyment of CBD and other oils. Slim and compact, with a buttonless 510 threaded battery that only activates when drawn from, this kind of portable vaporizer is perfect for undercover vaping--as long as you’re not vaporizing on live television. Ready to vape like a Diaz? Don’t be scared, homie!