UFC and CBD: Rules and Regulations

A female UFC fighter getting ready to fight wrapping boxing tape around her hands.

Even as an increasing number of athletes turn to CBD for pain management and relief, many sporting organizations have been skeptical of CBD usage or even outright banned it because of its association with marijuana. While the debate rages on, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has already taken a progressive stance on its athletes’ CBD usage.

In this article, we will explore the UFC’s CBD policies and why CBD is becoming so popular among professional athletes. At EndoCoast, we’re passionate about natural, science-backed solutions for pain management, stress, and more, and athletes are some of our products’ biggest advocates. Keep reading to understand why CBD is such a powerful emerging therapeutic remedy for professional athletes around the globe.

A female UFC fighter rests on the outside of the ring.

The UFC’s History of Pain Management

When you think of brutal, bone-crushing sports, mixed martial arts (MMA) is up there at the top of the list. UFC’s MMA matches conjure images of bloody faces, broken bones, and bruises. It’s only natural, then, that MMA athletes need a long-term, reliable method of pain management that keeps them in the ring.

Unfortunately, this need for pain relief is too often linked with prescription drug abuse. Highly addictive and risky opioids are often prescribed in excessive doses for injured athletes, which can lead to life-altering dependence or even death by overdose. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) classifies opioid abuse as an epidemic and estimates 128 people die daily from opioid abuse (including both prescription and non-prescription use).

In March 2019, the UFC launched a public service campaign to raise awareness of opioid addiction among the general public. This coincided with the signing of the “SUPPORT For Patients and Communities Act,” federal legislation created to help with opioid treatment and recovery as well as efforts for prevention and public information.

With the opioid crisis as enormous and tragic as it is, it makes sense that the UFC is desperate to find alternative remedies for athletes who have to combat chronic pain as part of the job. After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD was effectively legalized across the country, and sporting organizations began to look into its possibilities. In particular, UFC’s CBD usage came into the forefront.

A female scientist in a white coat poses in front of her lab equipment.

The UFC and CBD: Groundbreaking Research

In July 2019, the UFC collaborated with the Canadian company Aurora Cannabis to conduct clinical trials using their athletes to test whether or not hemp-derived cannabidiol could be an effective solution for pain management.

This partnership is expected to last eight years and could play an enormous part in advancing CBD research for professional sports. Both the UFC’s CBD usage and CBD usage of athletes around the globe will benefit from this long-term study.

Phase 1 of the study, which began in late 2019, was designed to collect information, and Phase 2 has barely begun. Professional athletes, those in the CBD industry, and CBD advocates or skeptics are all eager to learn the results of the UFC’s CBD study as it plays out over time.

As evident from this study, the UFC not only allows CBD but outright promotes their athletes to use it. This decision aligned with the stance taken by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency). Up until recent history, WADA had held firm to the position that any drug linked to marijuana or THC be banned outright. That changed after the 2018 Farm Bill when public perception of CBD began to shift after the legalization and de-stigmatization of marijuana in many U.S. states, along with a rapidly expanding body of scientific research.

After science definitively revealed CBD to be distinct from psychoactive THC, WADA became one of the first international sports organizations to acknowledge CBD as separate from marijuana and THC. This began a chain reaction of CBD reconsideration in professional sports.

While some organizations like the NCAA outright ban CBD, many sporting organizations, including the UFC, NFL, and NHL, are beginning to take another look into the positive properties of CBD as new scientific findings emerge. During the clinical studies with Aurora Cannabis, UFC and CBD are forging a unique relationship that is only expected to strengthen over time.

A collection of EndoCoast’s high-quality CBD products posed on the sand.

The Importance of Lab-Tested, Safe CBD

Because CBD is largely unregulated, many companies can take advantage and slap “CBD” on their products in order to capitalize on its skyrocketing popularity. If you don’t do your research before purchasing a CBD product, you could end up using something that contains harsh sulfates, chemicals, or pesticides—or even something that contains no CBD at all!

That’s why proven CBD lab testing is so important not only for UFC fighters’ CBD but for every CBD user. If you can understand how your CBD product was made, and see the lab results to back up every cannabinoid and substance that’s gone into your product, you can guarantee you’re getting what’s really effective.

EndoCoast is passionate about helping people find a safe, effective remedy for chronic pain. If you’re an athlete or know an athlete that wants to treat aches or inflammation without succumbing to risky medication or opioids, we encourage you to give our natural, holistic pure CBD products a try.

Questions? Contact us or read our CBD Learning Center for more information.