'I was drugging myself': UFC star Johnny Walker reveals CBD nightmare

‘I was drugging myself for the past three years’: UFC contender Johnny Walker reveals taking CBD products left him suffering from panic attacks and schizophrenia

  • UFC light heavyweight Johnny Walker has detailed his drug-induced hell
  • Walker was advised to take cannabis-derived products to help with recovery
  • However, commercial CBD products also contain small amounts of THC
  • Walker suffered an allergic reaction to THC, and suffered a host of health issues 

UFC light heavyweight Johnny Walker has revealed that an allergic reaction to cannabis-derived health products left him suffering from schizophrenia.

Ahead of his return to action against Ion Cutelaba on Saturday, Walker explained that taking CBD products left him suffering from a range of mental health issues and decreased his quality of life. 

In an interview with MMAFighting, Walker said that he had began taking CBD as a way to alleviate the pain of training to compete in the Octagon, but it would take years for him to link the products to his newfound health issues.

UFC light heavyweight contender Johnny Walker revealed that taking CBD products harmed his mental health

‘I had no idea, and only found out four or five months ago, that CBD has a small amount of THC in it, a small percentage, and I’m extremely allergic to THC,’ Walker said.

‘It gives me schizophrenia, panic attack. I was getting drugged every single day for the last three years and didn’t know. It’s not strong, it’s a small percentage, but my brain is super sensitive for those substances and I didn’t know.’

After entering the UFC riding a wave of momentum, Walker announced himself in the light heavyweight division by defeating Henrique da Silva on Dana White’s Contender Series.

A UFC contract, and three consecutive knockout victories on the biggest stage  followed, but Walker’s status as a potential title contender would be derailed when he lost to Cory Anderson in 2019.

Derived from cannabis, CBD products are said to improve sleep quality, relieve pain, and lessen anxiety in users

Walker has lost three of his last four fights since then, and further explained that his issues with mental health particularly worsened after his loss to Thiago Santos in October, and he later suffered serious panic attacks while on holiday with his fiancee.

‘I went to Thailand and the first week there I had an episode, the [CBD I used] had higher levels of THC,’ Walker said. 

‘It’s not a huge amount, but high enough for my brain. It took me 10 days to get back [to normal], brother. I was messed up for 10 days. My fiancee had to take care of me like a baby. I wouldn’t let her get away from me, I trusted nobody.

‘She was giving me diazepam to sleep but I spit it out, I didn’t trust her. She put diazepam in a pudding and I ate two of them. I slept for half an hour and woke up and she had left for a massage, and I went after her. I took a van, a taxi, I went after her. 

Walker has since stopped taking CBD products and has seen an improvement in his mental health

The 30-year-old Brazilian further explained that he understands CBD can be helpful, but it just wasn’t for him

‘Brother, I gave her a hard time. I woke up in the middle of the night seeing things, woke up and started packing my bags saying I wanted to go home, that I couldn’t stay there anymore. It was a tough episode, brother, and I knew it wasn’t normal.’

After doing some research on the possible side effects of CBD, Walker realised that his symptoms were indicative of an allergic reaction to the products, and has since stopped taking them entirely.

‘When I stopped using [CBD] I became more confident and trusted people more, could focus on a goal and get early to the gym. My life is 100 percent better now, brother, I was drugging myself for the past three years and I didn’t even know. I’m simply healthier now, head in the right place, able to make plans and everything is working out.

‘I’m not saying [CBD] is like that for everybody, it’s good for anxiety, but not for me, who has hyperactivity (ADHD). THC wasn’t good [for me] and I didn’t know.’

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