The NFL is currently at loggerheads with many of its current and former players. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended rescheduling the entire cannabis plant and several of its key components, including CBD, effectively recognising Hemp and Marijuana’s medical potential. More importantly, The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), that controls drugs in sport, removed CBD from its list of banned substances in January 2018. Several major American and global sports leagues followed suit and changed their policies on CBD use by professional athletes.
The NHL, MLB and PGA Tour have relaxed their regulations regarding CBD use as an aid for recovery or a natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory agent.
Therefore, it is quite ironic that in one of the American sports which is most prone to injury for professional and amateur players, and the most prevalent to find addiction to opioids, CBD is not at least available as an alternative option in the NFL. Injuries in the NFL often include knee ligament injuries, foot and ankle injuries, shoulder injuries, shin splints, torn muscles and head injuries.
Although medicinal research is ongoing - CBD appears to offer a range of health benefits and could be used as a non-addictive and non-psychoactive alternative to opioids.
However, the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been resistant to medicinal cannabis use. In response, in 2017 a lawsuit was filed by 1,800 current and former NFL players against the league for violating federal drug laws by encouraging misuse of painkillers resulting in high rates of opioid addiction among former players.
Hopefully, for these players - the wind of change is blowing.