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The UFC is going green. With the help of Aurora Cannabis, one of Canada’s most prolific legal weed producers, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will soon begin a multi-million dollar research initiative into the benefits of cannabidiol, or CBD, in athlete recovery.
According to Yahoo Finance, the global partnership between Aurora and UFC will use clinical studies featuring contracted fighters to investigate the relationship between CBD and pain management, inflammation, injury, exercise recovery, and mental health.
“This global partnership places focus squarely on the health and well-being of UFC's talented and highly trained athletes,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth wrote in a news release on Tuesday.
In the years since CBD has gained popularity in legal cannabis markets, athletes at both the professional and amateur level have espoused the near-miraculous effects of cannabidiol. But with the substance officially banned in most professional sports leagues — and clinical research still years behind current anecdotal evidence — the UFC/Aurora partnership is groundbreaking in its approach. The two companies will collaborate at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas to undergo the research.
“Since the day we opened the Performance Institute, our primary goal was to offer UFC athletes the best possible training, nutrition, and recovery services,” UFC President Dana White said in the press release. “This partnership with Aurora is an extension of that goal, and we're looking forward to collaborating with Aurora to find new ways to improve the health and safety of athletes who compete in UFC.”
In a similar move towards cannabis reform, the NFL recently announced the construction of two joint committees to explore the potential of incorporating medical cannabis into professional football, with both groups featuring representatives from the league office and the Players Association.
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