The UFC mixed martial arts organisation has launched a clinical research programme with Aurora Cannabis that will examine the use of hemp-derived CBD as an effective treatment for its athletes.
The studies will seek to advance the science on CBD use and athlete health and wellness, as well as drive product development under new US sports performance brand ROAR Sports.
Aurora Chief Executive Terry Booth said the company would work with UFC to launch the first "hemp-derived CBD products that are backed by scientific research".
The partnership is designed to explore the key health and recovery needs of elite athletes in mixed martial arts. The data conducted during the research programme will be used to drive the development of science-backed, hemp-derived CBD topicals that UFC said will be “safe and reliable”.
Their aim is that new products will help combat the use of untested CBD treatments by both high-performance and non-professional athletes. Any resulting product will be launched in the US under the ROAR Sports brand, which will serve as the official CBD product of UFC.
Dr. Jason Dyck, Chair of Aurora’s Global Scientific Oversight Committee, will lead the multi-phase clinical study at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas alongside Dr. Kelly Narine, Aurora’s Vice President of Global Research and Medical Affairs; and the team of sports performance experts at the UFC Performance Institute, led by Dr. Duncan French, UFC Vice President of Performance.
The study will use active UFC athletes on a voluntary basis to help establish peer-reviewed, publishable research. UFC said that products will be developed in full compliance with US federal law and UFC’s anti-doping programme.
Aurora Chief Executive Terry Booth said: “Our partnership with UFC is about committing to the science that will educate and advocate. We are going to work together to change the way people think, to change the industry, and to launch the first hemp-derived CBD products that are backed by scientific research. The brand-building and product development are all part of our move into the US, and in collaboration with UFC, and we intend to play a major role in that market.”
French added: “Collaborating with Aurora is the best way to educate ourselves and our fighters about the impact of CBD on MMA athletes and our sport. We want to apply science and see where it leads us. Ideally, these studies will give us the clarity we need to determine n the effectiveness of hemp-derived CBD on athlete health and injury recovery.”
Aurora, which recently announced a partnership with UFC, is a Canadian firm.