Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (pictured) is not 100 percent heading into his UFC 207 rematch with Fabricio Werdum. In fact, he’s already scheduled to have back surgery on January 4, just five days after his fight with Werdum.
Instead of pulling out of yet another matchup, Velasquez turned to cannabidiol (CBD) to relieve back pain that is now shooting down his right leg. The 34-year-old uses the spray – which is not a banned substance under the UFC’s anti-doping program during out-of-competition testing, but is during the in-competition window (six hours prior to weigh-ins through six hours after the fight) – because it’s a safer route than taking synthetic pain killers that are addictive.
“It’s the only thing that allows me to still train, and I’m not taking a harmful pain killer into my body that I’ll later become addicted to,” Velasquez told ESPN.com. “I don’t know how everyone is going to feel about me saying this, but this is just one of the hard facts we as fighters have to go through. In the past, in the NFL, players have gotten addicted to pain killers. I don’t want to be an addict of some sort.”
According to HempMedsPX.com, unlike THC, the main mind-altering ingredient found in the Cannabis plant, CBD is non-psychotropic and therefore doesn’t cause a euphoric high.
However, the DEA recently listed CBD as a Schedule I drug.
“Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” the DEA stated on their website.
Therefore, according to the DEA, CBD is in line with heroin, LSD, ecstasy, meth, peyote and marijuana.
Velasquez’s impending surgery will shave down bone spurs that have developed in his spine in order to make room for his sciatic nerve. It’s a procedure very similar to the one he underwent in February.
Velasquez said the back injury has not affect his training by any means, and he credits CBD for helping him get prepared to avenge his shocking 2015 title loss to Werdum.