Diaz didn’t try to cover up his vape pen use after his majority-decision loss at UFC 202 on Aug. 20. When asked what he was smoking by a reporter at the post-fight press conference, Diaz, a man not known for his loquaciousness, said plainly, “This is CBD.”
Also known as cannabidiol, the substance is one of 113 cannabinoids in marijuana. It should not be confused with THC, the compound in cannabis that can alter one’s mind. CBD has no psychoactive effects.
“It helps with the healing process and inflammation,” a visibly bruised and beaten Diaz told the media. “So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.”
While the USADA continues to mull whether to allow Diaz and others to use the compound, Diaz’s coach has come to the fighter’s defense. Richard Perez even lauded his client for taking what he believes is a more natural route to manage his pain.
“I mean, doctors prescribe you with drugs left and right that are not even good for you,” the boxing coach told Submission Radio on Monday. “And I mean, I don’t do what he does, but I understand what he’s doing. You know, cause it’s for pain. … So I feel like he was being his own doctor, let’s put it that way.”
CBD is considered a banned substance under the USADA’s guidelines, but only when consumed above a certain threshold (150 ng/ml) in connection to in-competition testing. In-competition testing includes the six hours before and after the fight, which fits the time frame during which Diaz openly ingested the vapors.
USADA has not made clear when it plans to make its ruling.