The idea of mixing sports with anything related to cannabis would seem insane only ten years ago, but that is precisely what is happening in the world of MMA.
Mixed Martial Arts has always been a sport ahead of its time, dedicated to not only showing off the limits of what the body can achieve but also embracing change.
The latest innovation that the world of MMA has adopted is CBD, a famed cannabinoid found in cannabis plants.
But how exactly did this happen? How did CBD get mixed up in the world of MMA?
Why Are MMA Companies & Fighters Interested in CBD?
In most professional sports in the USA and across the world, cannabis products are considered with extreme skepticism. To many companies, anything cannabis-related is somehow dangerous and unfit to be consumed by their players.
However, the use of products containing CBD has been shown to have a number of valuable health benefits that sports players, such as MMA fighters, can undoubtedly make use of.
For example, one of the most common reasons for taking CBD is to help treat inflammation, either as a result of an injury or a medical condition. Innumerable studies, such as this one by Nagarkatti et al., have demonstrated that it can act as an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
This is useful for conditions like arthritis or other inflammatory illnesses, but the key reason why MMA fighters care about it is to do with injuries.
One of the biggest impediments for fighters getting back in the ring after a bout is healing time. After sustaining an injury – even a mild one – fighters might take days or weeks to heal before they are ready to fight again.
CBD can not only help make the healing process more comfortable; it can reduce the inflammation those injuries caused, making the fighter’s healing period a lot more bearable.
This, alongside all of the other benefits that CBD can offer athletes, makes it obvious why MMA fighters are interested in exploring CBD’s uses.
In fact, many MMA fighters are already using CBD with the full support of their partnerships and companies.
What MMA Companies, Sponsors, and Championship Leagues Are Doing About CBD & MMA Fighting
Whenever athletes start using CBD – or anything related to cannabis for that matter – there is usually a fair amount of controversy. Either the fans don’t like it and complain, or the teams and championship leagues themselves have a problem.
However, major MMA organizations endorse CBD, going so far as to recommend particular brands to their players.
One of the largest MMA brands, Bellator MMA, actually partnered directly with a CBD producer, cbdMD, to recommend specific products to their athletes.
Furthermore, the biggest MMA organization out there, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, pledged to partner with a clinical study for the specific purpose of scientifically exploring the effect CBD could have on athletes.
After the study is completed, it is likely that the UFC will start recommending CBD wholeheartedly to its players.
All of this started in 2016, thanks to Nate Diaz, a famous MMA fighter. After his renowned rematch with Conor McGregor, he was seen during a live interview vaping some CBD oil. He later took the time to explain it to the interviewers and discuss why he smoked it.
At the time, CBD was not allowed for MMA fighters due to anti-doping rules. However, after his interview came out, the MMA changed its rules to allow for CBD use, as it felt the rules surrounding cannabis consumption didn’t make sense.
So, while it is lovely that so many companies are exploring CBD and pushing the boundaries around its use, remember that were it not for Nate Diaz, it would never have happened at all.
Final Thoughts on How CBD Got into the World of MMA
The introduction of cannabis products into a new professional sporting organization is always a pretty big deal. Thanks to the tarnished reputation that anything cannabis-related has to endure in the USA, when a major sport accepts something like CBD, it has the power to change so much.
The partnership between MMA and CBD oil is still only just beginning, but the future is bright, and it looks like people will be taking all kinds of CBD while fighting MMA in the years to come.
You can find CBD products for sale pretty much all over the place online, such as retailers like Provacan. So, whether you want CBD oil or CBD capsules, it is always easy to find what you are looking for online.