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?
Image via CombatLifestyle.com