Athletes everywhere are turning to CBD oils after their workouts during recovery and healing phases. American football is known for being one of the most intense and high impact sports often leaving players with injuries that could last a lifetime. Athletes are prescribed opiates to manage their pain, but opioid-based painkillers have deadly risks associated with them. With more and more states legalizing cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, many are looking into hemp as a new means to relieve pain. Athletes are now flocking towards cannabis and hemp as they push for safer alternatives for pain treatment. CBD for pain management is very popular among sports players while at the same time, it is gaining mainstream attention.
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one out of 113 active cannabinoids found in the genus Cannabis. This cannabinoid has been extracted from the plant and is able to be consumed in different forms like CBD oils, CBD edibles, and CBD lotions. Unfortunately, CBD is banned under the substance abuse policies in many major league sports associations. These associations include the NFL, MLB, and NBA. Major League Baseball has the strictest policy that could lead to a lifetime ban if they test positive for the compound more than four times.
There have been some positive advancements in recent years such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removing CBD from its banned substance list in 2018 making it legal to use in sports like martial arts and boxing. Many believe that by athletes using hemp derived products and CBD for sports recovery, cannabis acts as a gateway drug that will lead players down a dangerous path. This unsubstantiated belief is becoming less relevant as research shows that alcohol, which is legal in all 50 states, is more detrimental to one’s health than cannabis. The majority of Americans agree with cannabis legalization. This would hopefully allow sports players to use CBD for athletic recovery.
The Debate on CBD For Athletes Continues
CBD for athletes is garnering attention as former and current players coming together advocating for CBD awareness. Current NFL player, Seantrel Henderson, has been suspended from the league for using CBD to help treat the pain from Crohn’s disease. He is unable to use painkillers as they would worsen the symptoms. His doctor then recommended that he try CBD products for pain relief. Former NFL quarterback, Jake Plummer, is a huge proponent of CBD use. He has been using CBD oils to manage pain caused by his injuries and even believes CBD has played a role in his recovery from several concussions.
Steven Curr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, has asked for the NBA to remove cannabis from their banned substance list. CBD awareness is growing and getting more attention from the public. There is a good chance that in the near future athletes will be given a choice to either medicate with opioid-based painkillers or go the more natural route with CBD and other cannabinoids.