Perhaps the most important time of year for combat sports regulatory developments is the annual meeting of the Association of Boxing Commissions.
This year’s conference is taking place in Orlando, Florida. Day one concluded today and in what was perhaps the highlight talk of the day Harvard graduate Dr. Aliffe cautioned regulators to be open minded when it comes to including marijuana as a banned substance for combative sports. Not only did Dr. Aliffe note that marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug in any traditional meaning of the phrase, but that certain cannabinoids, CBD in particular, are showing promise in potentially reducing the negative effects when a combat or contact sports athlete is exposed to brain trauma.
Dr. Aliffe noted that CBD “It’s non anabolic, non hormonal, its not a performance enhancing drug…this can be a great help to all your fighters regardless of its category or class. Cannabis has a plan for boxers. Forget what you think you know about hemp and cannabis….there was a study in 2014, a brain injury study, that showed that people that tested positive for THC also showed lower mortality…Another study showed that CBD…provides even stronger neuro-protection than TCH….When THC and CBD are taken in a balanced combination – as in a full spectrum Hemp CBD oil, there is a clear synergy in their effect….It has been shown that giving cannabinoids within 4 hours of a TBI event can serve to limit the loss and deterioration of compromised neurons, reducing glutamate toxicity and neuroinflammation.”
It should be noted that jurisdictions that follow the WADA prohibited list have already legalized CBD for in-competition use however given the patchwork of regulation for combat sports across North America this is far from the case in every jurisdiction.
The full stream of today’s presentation has been uploaded to YouTube and can be viewed below. Dr. Aliffe’s presentation starts at 6 hour and 54 minute mark and is worth watching in full.