There has been a lot of discussion in recent years surrounding cannabis usage in professional MMA.
A study was recently conducted by The Athletic and it showed that 45.9% of those polled use cannabis for both recreational and recovery purposes, which doesn’t surprise UFC VP Of Athlete Health & Performance Jeff Novitzky.
“I think that sounds pretty accurate,” he said (via Bloody Elbow). “I’ve never polled our roster — it’s all anecdotal — but I have had many, many, many discussions. It’s probably the No. 1 topic of questions that I’m asked from fighters.”
The study conducted by The Athletic also shows that 76.5% of those polled use CBD for recovery purposes and 4.7% have kicked the habit of using cannabis.
Novitzky also believes that the usage of cannabis by professional MMA fighters doesn’t enhance their performances at all.
“There’s an argument of, ‘Is marijuana performance-enhancing?’ I don’t believe it is,” he said. “No, I think it’s prohibited because of health and safety issues. But if you smoked a joint on Thursday night or even Friday night before the fight, you’re not impaired. Or if you were enhanced from doing that, you’re not going to be enhanced the next day.”
Cannabis is still on the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) banned substance list as of this writing.