UFC Makes History by Removing Cannabis from Banned Substances List

UFC Makes History

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced a major change in its anti-doping policy, becoming the first major sports organization to remove cannabis from its list of prohibited substances. The new policy, which took effect on Dec. 31, 2023, reflects the UFC’s commitment to the health and safety of its athletes, as well as the evolving scientific and social views on cannabis.

A Progressive and Evidence-Based Decision

The UFC’s decision to exclude cannabis from its banned substances list is not a sudden or isolated move, but rather a culmination of years of research and feedback from various stakeholders. The UFC has been operating its own anti-doping program since 2015, in partnership with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and has continuously updated and improved its policy based on the latest scientific and medical evidence.

In 2021, the UFC already made a significant step by announcing that positive tests for carboxy-THC, a metabolite of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, would no longer be considered a violation unless there was additional evidence that an athlete used it intentionally for performance-enhancing purposes. This was in recognition of the fact that carboxy-THC can remain in the body for weeks or even months after cannabis use, and does not reflect impairment or influence on athletic performance.

The new policy goes even further by removing cannabis entirely from the list of prohibited substances, meaning that athletes will not be tested or sanctioned for cannabis use at any time, unless there is evidence of impairment or abuse that could endanger themselves or others. The UFC stated that this change was based on the feedback from its athletes, who expressed their preference for using cannabis over other substances for pain management, recovery, and mental health.

A Leader in the Sports World

The UFC’s new policy on cannabis sets a precedent for other sports organizations and leagues, which have been grappling with the issue of cannabis use by athletes for years. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which oversees the anti-doping rules for most international sports, still maintains a ban on cannabis use by athletes, despite the growing calls for reform and reconsideration.

UFC Makes History

The UFC’s decision also reflects the changing legal and social status of cannabis in many parts of the world, especially in the U.S., where the UFC is based. As of January 2024, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use, and 36 states have legalized it for medical use. The U.S. Congress has also passed the MORE Act, which would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and expunge the records of those convicted of cannabis-related offenses.

The UFC’s new policy on cannabis is a bold and progressive move that acknowledges the benefits and challenges of cannabis use by athletes, and respects their autonomy and choices. The UFC hopes that its new policy will serve as a model for other sports organizations, and will contribute to the advancement of health and safety in combat sports and beyond.

By Benjamin Parker

Benjamin Parker is a seasoned senior content writer specializing in the CBD niche at CBD Strains Only. With a wealth of experience and expertise in the field, Benjamin is dedicated to providing readers with comprehensive and insightful content on all things CBD-related. His in-depth knowledge and passion for the benefits of CBD shine through in his articles, offering readers a deeper understanding of the industry and its potential for promoting health and wellness.

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