Studies have shown that Americans are slowly starting to become more active on a daily basis, which means that more people than ever are trying to find relief after a good, hard workout. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 20% of the adult population in America is physically inactive on a daily basis. I’m going to direct this blog to our hard working athletes and how they are reaping the benefits of everyday CBD usage since we all know that the pros of being fit and healthy can come with some cons as well. “The body achieves what the mind believes”.
Let's set the scene; UFC 202-8/20/2016, Conor McGregor VS. Nate Diaz, ending with a split decision in McGregor’s favor. After the fight was over, the men retired to the post-fight conference where Diaz began to smoke on his CBD infused vape. Back then, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) considered CBD a banned substance so Diaz’s use of this product had many people questioning what consequences would come from this and had other people debating that he was exempt from any regulation violations because it was after the match and after the drug screening. This instance opened up new doors that would allow fighters and all other professional athletes to use CBD with no penalty because soon after that conference the WADA took CBD off their banned substance list. This made CBD’s popularity skyrocket, so more and more fighters began using it to enhance and speed up their recovery process.
The NFL actually has a very rocky history when it comes to CBD. Just like other sports franchises, the NFL tests for all types of drugs including THC, but they also have been testing players for CBD as well. However, recent issues from the athletes has brought renegotiating the use of CBD back on the table in the industry. With many of these athletes suffering from chronic pain and opioid dependency, they found it unfair that the NFL went against federal drug laws and kept them playing while being in serious pain, only to recklessly distribute controlled substances. 1,800 players are initiating lawsuits against the NFL due to this negligence.
“It’s time for the NFL to change its archaic standards to better protect its players. For too long, I’ve watched my teammates and good friends battle with opioid addiction and leave the game with a long road still ahead; it’s time to make a change.”
– Eugene Monroe, former offensive tackle
“I think in due time, the NFL is going to realize that CBD is not a performance-enhancing drug. If anything, it helps with anxiety, helps with concentration, it helps with pain.”
– Ebenezer Ekuban, former defensive end
The NBA also has had a hard time understanding and allowing their athletes to use CBD without consequences. Unlike The NFL, The National Basketball League has no intentions of removing CBD from their prohibited substances list until 2023-2024. Just like Nate Diaz and the 1,000+ NFL athletes, Al Harrington, former Center and Power Forward for the NBA, also believes that lifting the ban of CBD and cannabis in general starts with the players bringing the positive effects to light.
“I know that — in order to get things done because I’ve played in the league so long — it has to start at the players,” he said. “That’s when barriers can be broken down. The day-to-day pain management issues that players deal with can be dealt with through cannabis,” Harrington said of athletes who are often prescribed pain relievers following surgery, including highly addictive opioids. “Something that is all natural and nowhere near as harmful as the stuff that they’re using now.”
Without a doubt, CBD is still a touchy subject in the sports industry but slowly paving a path to become more accepted one day and one athlete at a time. Many different studies and surveys have proven the serious benefits that come with athletes actively using CBD for pain relief to speeding up the recovery process after a long game/match. Hopefully one day all sports franchises will welcome CBD with open arms in the best interest of their athletes.