UFC Announces Changes To Anti-Doping Policy As It Relates To Cannabis

The UFC has announced significant changes to its Anti-Doping Policy today and included in those modification were the handling of cannabis and naturally occurring cannabinoid constituents. Most importantly, positive tests over the threshold and decision limit for carboxy-THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, will no longer be considered a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy without additional evidence an athlete used it intentionally for performance-enhancing purposes. All other “phyto” cannabinoids (those derived naturally from the cannabis plant) are no longer prohibited substances under the Policy.

“While we want to continue to prevent athletes from competing under the influence of marijuana, and we have learned that urinary levels of carboxy-THC are highly variable after out-of-competition use and have poor scientific correlation to in-competition impairment,” stated Jeff Novitzky, UFC Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance. “THC is fat soluble, meaning that once ingested, it is stored in fatty tissues and organs in the body and can be released back into the circulation, and consequently carboxy-THC appears in the urine, sometimes long after ingestion. It is therefore not an ideal marker in athletes to indicate in-competition impairment.” He added “The bottom line is that in regard to marijuana, we care about what an athlete consumed the day of a fight, not days or weeks before a fight, which has often been the case in our historic positive THC cases. UFC Athletes will still be subject to marijuana rules under various Athletic Commission regulations, but we hope this is a start to a broader discussion and changes on this issue with that group.”

As an example of the complexities in establishing impairment after marijuana use, a July 2017 report on marijuana-impaired driving from the U.S. Department of Transportation to Congress highlighted the unique properties of THC and the fact that while blood levels are traditionally used as a measure of impairment, there is not an absolute correlation to cognitive impairment. Research continues into understanding what drug testing process most accurately and least invasively could establish impairment caused by marijuana.

The UFC also removed all other “phyto” cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant, from the UFC Prohibited List. These cannabinoids are often found in various CBD products used widely by UFC athletes, and no evidence exists that they would provide any significant performance advantage, the laboratories do not test for these compounds, nor have any health and safety consequences for competing UFC athletes. All UFC athletes are directed to use only those supplements certified by one of the accredited certification agencies. Cannabis Grow Builders has been involved in the emerging legal Cannabis Industry as a builder and developer of grow facilities since 2016. Daniel Stevenson and his team work with Cannabis Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs to maximize the potential in their business while remaining on the cutting edge of constantly changing governmental regulations. Please reach out to us at 916-933-7333, via e-mail at daniel@cannabisgrowbuilders.com

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