UFC Fighters Will Be Guinea Pigs for CBD

At least thirty UFC fighters plan to participate in a clinical trial examining the effects of CBD for pain relief in the high contact sport. The study is part of a partnership between the mixed martial arts league and Canadian-based company Aurora Cannabis, CNN reports. 

Aurora and UFC officials say they hope the studies will show the effectiveness of CBD and specific formulations of the compound in areas such as wound care, recovery, injury, pain and inflammation.

The efforts would be first of their kind in the research of how elite athletes could potentially benefit from cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, according to Dr. Jeff Chen, director of UCLA's Cannabis Research Initiative. The subject is an increasingly hot one in professional sports leagues.

The results of the study could prove valuable for other sports leagues. Both the NFL and NFLPA have expressed interest in researching CBD’s pain management effects. However, current NFL rules would preclude use of CBD because it contains trace amounts of THC. If detected in the system, a player could face suspension.