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Joe Rogan Thinks Marijuana Is A Performance-Enhancing Drug

Whether or not marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug is a hot topic that’s been debated ever since Nick Diaz got popped for it at UFC 143.

We probably need several educated doctor’s opinions on it to know for sure, but for what it’s worth, I found avid weed smoker and jiu-jitsu practitioner Joe Rogan’s take on it to be quite interesting and not at all what I expected. From Rogan’s Monday appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani:

“I think it is a performance-enhancing drug. If it wasn’t, a huge majority of jiu-jitsu guys wouldn’t be using it before they train. A lot of Brazilian guys use marijuana before they train. A lot of American jiu-jitsu guys use it before they train. And they don’t do it because it hurts them; they do it because it helps them.”

“I think if testosterone is legal, you can easily make the argument that marijuana should be legal under a doctor’s prescription. I do believe that they’re both performance-enhancing substances. I think that testosterone is in fact, more of a performance-enhancer.”

Here’s the thing though, and I need a little help on this because I don’t smoke weed and I don’t “train” or fight. For it to have performance-enhancing abilities, wouldn’t the fighter actually have to be high during the fight to get any benefit from it? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe it’s like steroids where you can cycle off weeks before a fight but still get the benefits from it. Would it not be comparable to being drunk where you only feel the effects of it for a short time after you drank or in this case smoke?

If that’s the case, then I really don’t see anything wrong with it provided fighters aren’t getting high the day of the fight. Problem is I don’t think they can test for it in real-time like they can for alcohol with a breathalyzer.

Anyone care to weigh in who has a little more experience with smoking and fighting?

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  • C dizzle

    Joe Rogans such a douche bag. I do both but I wouldn’t consider marijuana a performance-enhancer. Well, maybe there is room for argument, I notice when I’m running laps I am able to push myslef alot further. As far as strength, my reps stay the same. I’m not the only one in my class who smokes before practice but there are 30 year old guys that just don’t smoke weed. It’s the mental edge and creativity that mixes so well with fighting, but that can be with anything. Whether you’re playing music, videos games, skateboarding, ballet, the list can go on and on. The only thing I can’t get high and do is homework… Its almost impossible.

    • Fprice2013

      I completely disagree. I smoke on the regular and and in NO way does it enhance any physical activities(accept for sex). I have smoked before I surf and I have smoked before I snowboard and the effects are tremendous! First off, when I smoke before a surf I am a bit timid and unsure, my focus is gone and sometimes can feel generally lost out there. When I paddle out sober I charge the biggest sets, pull smoother lines and have no problems staying at the top of the pack. Im sorry, there is NO fucking way that smoking weed can improve jiu jitsu, mma or anything that requires physical excursion. Fact! The fact that Joe Rogan would even dare say that weed helps him in jiu jitsu is him being bias for weed since he’s such a huge advocate of it.

      • MMAFan

        Maybe you are smoking too much, which explains why your focus is gone.

        I agree that pot wont help you improve on pure physical exertion (lifting weights, running, etc, but it can help you tremendously on how your physical senses like reaction and technique. 

        You agree that it can enhance sex, so why not for bjj?  Both require physical senses and technique..

      • Sheath58

        Surfing and Jiu-Jitsu are not the same thing moron. I know dozens or jits guys who disagree with you and since we’re talking about jits ill take their word and mine over a surfers. So stfu

        • herlando1996

          being able to control your high and be able to focus while high not everyone can do. but when you can i believe your focus is in top notch and really does improve your strength and willingness.

  • Bill Schumer

    They could possibly use a saliva test for marijuana if that’s the case, which would only go back about 24 hours.  Other than that there’s really no way to tell when someone smoked without constant evaluation of the levels of THC in the bloodstream.  It could be considered performance enhancing for the focus and pain relieving factors in my eyes, and I completely agree that testosterone is more performance enhancing than marijuana.

  • Danny Trejo

    For training purposes i believe it enhances the mind and body to focus on certain things, like rolling around in submissions, but as far as physically fighting while your baked, that’s a no-go. Weed brings you to a state of relaxation, so I don’t think any pot head wants to get baked and get punched in the face. They want to get baked after they get punched in the face

  • Danny Trejo

    For training purposes i believe it enhances the mind and body to focus on certain things, like rolling around in submissions, but as far as physically fighting while your baked, that’s a no-go. Weed brings you to a state of relaxation, so I don’t think any pot head wants to get baked and get punched in the face. They want to get baked after they get punched in the face

  • elmatador

    yes Danny. It can help you visualize submissions in your mind during training and performance wise. It increases protein synthesis helping fighters to rebuild muscle. Nonetheless there’s no reason it should be illegal. Ron Paul 2012

  • db

    As an avid smoker and someone who trains, I honestly don’t see how it could be a “performance enhancer” You are right in your comparison to alcohol and how long the effects last. I smoke quality bud and a high or buzz of a bowl of weed will only last a few hours, tops. While Diaz may have had it in his system, if he did indeed quit a week before the fight there is absolutely no way he was baked in the octagon. Therefor, if there was any performance enhancing qualities of marijuana then Diaz wouldn’t have experienced any enhancement. Although, when I use pot and do physical activities my high tends to go away at an enhance speed.

  • Jpre

    With this logic, it’s okay to cycle roids throughout the year… just as long as they’re not in your system fight day. So everyone can shut up about Overeem and his 60lb weight gain. He did all that illegal stuff *other times*, not for his fight day. No problem.

  • Jpre

    With this logic, it’s okay to cycle roids throughout the year… just as long as they’re not in your system fight day. So everyone can shut up about Overeem and his 60lb weight gain. He did all that illegal stuff *other times*, not for his fight day. No problem.

    • Jon

      You comparing steroids to marijuana just proves how dumb and ill informed you are. Thanks for letting us all know.

  • Rqw13

    “Cannabis is the best natural expectorant to clear the human lungs of smog,
    dust and the phlegm associated with tobacco use. Marijuana smoke effectively
    dilates the airways of the lungs, the bronchi, opening them to allow more
    oxygen into the lungs. It is also the best natural dilator of the tiny airways of
    the lungs, the bronchial tubes – making cannabis the best overall bronchial
    dilator for 80% of the population (the remaining 20% sometimes show minor
    negative reactions)”. From Jack Herer’s book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Therse plenty more information in it about the POSITIVE effect of marijuana on the body, just cause you smoke it doesn’t mean you know much about it. The biggest way I could see marijuana being a PED is only if you ingested it. Its a plant, it shouldn’t even be considered PE anyways, it can be considered a food source, what other foods are listed as PED? Literally could go on.. the information is out there…

    • Fil

      Good job Rqw13! Personally I truly dont see MJ being PED! I just dont! Im totally surprised they test for it! Makes no sense to me!

  • BHendo

    The lord gave us a clear mind for a reason!  Marijuana use should be banded from all aspects of your life.  If you love the Jesus then you’ll live by his teachings and not soil your temple with those foul substances!!!!!!!!!! 

    • (e)JOSH


    • C dizzle

      Ah ha! Check out this square.. Ima just go ahead and assume you’re a Christian.

      • C dizzle

        Lol prolly shouldn’t have said that, I just think you’re stupid dude.

    • C dizzle

      Ah ha! Check out this square.. Ima just go ahead and assume you’re a Christian.

    • C dizzle

      Ah ha! Check out this square.. Ima just go ahead and assume you’re a Christian.

    • Filparangole

      pls stfu and die!

    • funk master kush

      If you believe in God so much you’d realise weeds a natural plant that’s always been on earth since it was created and has been used since the very first civilisation, there’s nothing chemical we have to do to it like coke or heroin, its 100% NATURAL, so if your going to go on about God and Jesus, realise he created that plant for a reason, also at the start of the bible every herb bearing seed we’re given we’re told is good, God smokes weed, deal with it.

      • Bellicose Bob

        Nothing natural about most of the hydroponic skunk doing the rounds these days. If it’s so natural why does its growth require human input and cultivation? If it’s so natural why don’t I ever see any growing in my back garden? That would be nice- then I could have saved a blinkin’ fortune by now! I think very few people actually smoke the pure and natural ‘weed’ these days as it’s so mild compared to what humans have done with it hydroponically.

        • BellicoseBobIsADumbCunt

          Not all marijuana strains grow in all climates of the Earth, which means people have to grow it hydroponically you fucking dick head.

          • Bellicose Bob

            I’m flattered you’ve created a name in my honour! I do understand what you’re saying though- that’s why I said “…most of…”. I also understand that you’re a very angry bell end. You call me “dumb” yet you can’t follow a little bit of tongue-in-cheek (probably because you’re all tongue-in-rogan’s-bumhole).
            I do like Rogan, though; he is pretty damn funny and easily my favourite commentator from any mma show. He knows what he’s talking about but I just happen to disagree on this MJ issue.

    • SYAHH!!!


  • Diego928

    i smoke but i have never trained high i realy wouldnt care if every single ufc fighter would smoke weed it not like its all that ad for you thats just shit people made up for some reason

    • sandman

      Yeah, just like cigarette smokers saying it isn’t harmful….

      • C dizzle

        Everything you ingest is harmful in its own way. Alcohol can damage you liver, prescription pills can damage the kidneys, cigarette smoke and marijuana smoke can be harmful to the lungs. There’s a difference in abusing and using in moderation. You can’t just assume everyone who uses is an abuser, it’s that type of backwards thinking that’s keeping marijuana from being legalized. I’m not saying it should be sold in stores and available to the public because there are retarded people much like yourself who would blame any DUI related incident on marijuana. I think it should be prescribed by a doctor and only available at dispensaries much like it is in California.

        • sandman

          You obviously are part of the vast majority of pot smokers that won’t open your jaded view to what it’s really about. The medical card was intended to be a money-maker for the government when it would be sold to people suffering from Glaucoma, HIV, Hep-C, Epilepsy, Chron’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.  I can assure you the doctors are prescribing the drug to many who are not suffering from any of those!

          Despite being helpful in easing pain against some diseases, it also has negative effects, like many prescription drugs do. It’s not intended for recreation use. 

          My comment about cigarette smoking is that has been proven many times over how harmful it is, but there is no way the government is going to lose out on the money to be made on sales of cigarettes so they won’t ban it. Marijuana is being legalized for the same reason; money. 

          So put down the joint so I don’t get a headache smelilng that shit and don’t smoke cigarettes near me because you don’t have a constitutional right to jeopardize my health. My not smoking doesn’t harm you in any way, but those who smoke around others put them in danger of illness (including cancer) because they are forced to inhale the smoke. Think about it….

  • Agsmith797

    Cannabis is a complex compound, containing hundreds, if not thousands, of potentially psychoactive compounds. Couple with this with the fact that there are countless strains on the market, and the fact that no two people have the same psychology or physiology, and you’ll soon see that making broad statements about the effects of cannabis is an exercise in futility.

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  • MMAFan

    Joe was actually on the Kevin and Bean radio show this morning on KROQ. 
    He explained it is performance enhancing for regular users who know how
    to take advantage of the benefits that you get from it.  The analogy he
    gave was a surfer who knows what he’s doing on a big wave versus a
    non-surfer would probably freak out and crash on the wave. 

    The way I interpreted it was like this:
    1) Since weed
    enhances the sensitivities, the user is more able to predict an
    opponent’s next move, change in body weight, etc.. If you use the right
    amount, you may be able to control and harness the positives.  If you
    take too much, you become slow and lethargic..

    2) Thus, bjj practitioners can use weed to speed their accumulation of experience.  If you’re able to predict and feel your body weight and opponent’s positioning, it will help you learn faster.

    Now, there is no documented proof that weed will help you advance belts faster ..i.e. brown to black, etc.. I would like to hear more professionals about that subject.

    • Steve Barry

      Cool, thanks for the update!

  • Bellicose Bob

    Don’t understand a lot of the scientific talk on here but I feel very strongly from 10 years of experience of smoking the stuff in question that there is NO WAY you could call it performance enhancing! I now have COPD at the age of 30, I’m gasping for breath after 2 minutes of light jogging/1 minute of BJJ rolling and I bitterly regret ever having gone near the addictive stuff. I’ve quit now. And yes it can be very addictive in as much as you get used to being spaced out and enjoying the sensation it provides after a shit or trying day. Probably the ooooNLY thing it’s good for is perhaps giving you minor epiphanies/moments of clarity on important decision making. But no way could it be said to aid a person in a fight as it makes you lethargic, slows down your reaction time and makes the mind and body sluggish and stoopid. Perhaps when Joe Rogan gets COPD he’ll change his tune. He’s started pretty late so give it time…

  • burncruise

    in high school i ran cross country and did track (400m and 800m). i went to track and cross country state when i was a sophomore and a junior. i would smoke before and after races and practice so that i could run better. weed effects different people in different ways for me it makes me feel super active and crazy for the first hour that im stoned plus i dont feel much pain so i can push myself harder then i would normally be able to. its not until after a race or hard workout that i would crash from the weed. so i do believe that for some people smoking can really help them preform better for others it might hurt them.

  • Roy

    You people saying its in no way a ped are fucking crazy. Why do you think so many athletes and even professional video game or poker players smoke before competitions? Problem is, most of you fools who are basing your opinion on empirical evidence don’t have access to the sativas (head high) or you smoke too much. Try smoking a tiny bit of sativa before you work out. I used to smoke a little right before baseball and I was the best center fielder on the team, and now that I’m in college I compete in flag football and I’m much more focused and fluid in my movements

  • Phil Phats D’Erasmo

    Yeah I came off the streets and stepped right into the boxing ring I was full of anger and aggression and it really worked to my advantage eventually tho I ran into a guy who I couldn’t over whelm with my strength and aggressivness, I needed to learn how to box marijuana helped me slow everything down and feel what I was doing also opened up creative parts of my mind to help with small details and new moves. Marijuana is also great for pain relief fighters are always in pain and so many are addicted or die from the effects of pain killers yeah if you have a broken hand smoking a joint isn’t gonna make a difference but those aches and pains you get everyday from training and competing really helps. And for you New York and California fighting stoners stay away from those blunts use joints, bowls, vaporizers, bongs, or pipes because that tobbacco smoke is very painful trying to breathe through during sparing.

  • steve

    Even if it wasn’t a PED its still illegal, so if you piss hot they cant just look the other way. Too much money on the line to just smoke for fun has to do something to help. I hear that it helps you not feel as much pain while getting punched in the face.

  • Scott Jones

    You don’t have to get any where near being drunk, not even tipsy, to benefit from alcoholic beverages. Same with pot, you don’t have to get high to benefit, if you benefit from pot, – I don’t. But beer is good food, a dietary optimizer, as are wine and liquor on rare occasion in my case. Beer being a regular part, though not necessarily every day.

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  • John

    Ok let’s clear this up. I train in BJJ and Maui Thai I smoke atleast 2 bowls a day and it focuses me. Maybe this isn’t for everyone but when I smoke I get focused as hell and my reflexes are more than what they usually are you have to relax and let your body take over. I’ve learned techniques quicker while being high and I do believe it helps

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