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UFC Partners with Aurora Cannabis to Study CBD



[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]U[/dropcap]ltimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Aurora Cannabis announced their partnership to promote research on hemp-derived CBD products, according to a July 24 press release.

The first glimpse of the project was revealed last May. The research for Aurora Cannabis will be led by Dr. Jason Dyck, Professor at the University of Alberta and a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Medicine.  Duncan French, PHD is the UFC VP of Performance, will work with Dyck and will spearhead the research at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“This is a ground-breaking deal, not just for the UFC but for sports and humanity in general,” UFC President Dana White said in a news release on the UFC website. “When you think about this, the amount of money that’s going to go into the testing and the research of this deal is going to affect our athletes, then it’s going to spill into the NFL, the NBA and soccer. And eventually into just regular people like us that workout every day or deal with chronic pain. I believe that this thing really is the future and when we see things like this we’ve always been first to dive in.”

For Phase one of the project, researchers will attempt to understand cannabis usage by collecting data and information. Phase two will tackle looking at clinical efficacy of CBD involving volunteer athletes to test the initial data discovered in the earlier phase.

“It’s huge. In my world the number one priority is directing athlete toward safe things to take,” Novitzky said. “Whether it be supplements, CBD products or food products, CBD is here to stay and jumping on this early teaming with a company like Aurora and being able to provide our athletes with safe and tested products is giant.”

Scores of UFC fighters have asked the UFC to update the way it handles athletes who consume medical cannabis. like Per Eklund, Michael Chiesa and Rose Namajunas. In 2016, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued UFC Fighter Nate Diaz a warning because he vaped a CBD pen at a press conference. Later, Diaz brandished a blunt on live TV. Diaz’s brother Nick is also an outspoken cannabis advocate, after getting banned for the sport for testing positive for cannabinoids.

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