Late last month, Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB)(NYSE:ACB), Canada’s second-largest publicly traded cannabis company, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, jointly announced plans to enter a multi-year, multi-million-dollar partnership to advance research in support of the medicinal benefits of CBD for high-performance athletes.
UFC has a huge following globally, boasting more than 300 million fans worldwide across more than 170 countries in 40 different languages to over one billion TV households and is one of the fastest-growing sports leagues anywhere.
For those who aren’t all that familiar with what MMA involves, professional MMA fighting means months and months of intense training that, more often than not, culminates in a live PPV cage fight in front of an audience of hundreds of thousands of spectators. Notwithstanding the actual fight itself, the training alone can be grueling, requiring fighters to work hard and recover fast to keep pace with the rest of the competition.
The recovery aspect is a huge part of this process, and now the UFC, with its UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada, in collaboration with UFC’s own sports performance team and Aurora Cannabis are hoping they can learn more about the role that cannabis — more specifically, CBD — can play in the healing and recovery process.
Cannabis has long been linked to a host of medicinal benefits, not the least of which are its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
But now, more research is coming out to suggest that its users are able to receive the benefit of cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties by way of consuming solely CBD (chemical compounds within the cannabis plant) without having to deal with any of the unwanted psychoactive properties that come from THC (another compound found in cannabis).
It’s believed that CBD could possibly play a big role in helping high-performance athletes to recover stronger and faster. The fact that CBD originates from an organic, natural grow process may be more appealing to some users when compared to certain other over-the-counter pharmaceutical solutions.
The future is bright green
As it stands right now, Aurora is one of the largest and fastest-growing cannabis companies in the world with a funded production capacity of over 500,000 kilograms per year.
With countries around the world — most notably, the United States — revisiting their own plans with cannabis legalization, it certainly seems as though demand for this drug won’t wane any time soon.
Meanwhile, CBD offers a new and exciting growth market within the traditional confines of marijuana consumption.
In an era where more emphasis is being placed on activity, exercise, and an overall feeling of “wellness,” this could be an opportunity that investors may want to pursue further.
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Fool contributor Jason Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.