Former NFL player Martellus Bennett recently mentioned on a Bleacher Report podcast that he believes nearly 90% of all NFL players use cannabis to treat the aches and pains that come with playing a full contact sport. This news along with the horrible fact that is the over prescription and overuse of highly addictive pain killers among NFL players is leading many to perceive cannabis as an safer, alternative anti-inflammatory for athletes in all sports.
BIG3 Completely Embracing Cannabis
Though Bennett and many other NFL players use and support the use of cannabis as a pain reliever, the league itself is proceeding cautiously when it comes to the acceptance of cannabis. One professional sports league that has been incredibly open about their use is actually the upstart BIG3 Basketball League started by rapper and actor Ice Cube.
BIG3 is a three-on-three basketball league featuring many prominent former NBA stars like Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups. But what is most unique about the new professional sports league is not the style of play or the players, it’s their progressive view on cannabis use. In a June press release, BIG3 officials stated, “Despite many states around the country making efforts to decriminalize or legalize cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally, professional athletes who could benefit medicinally are prevented from doing so by league outdated mandates.’’
Moving forward, BIG3 will allow its players to use CBD, the main anti-inflammatory compound in cannabis. CBD is a highly effective substitute for other, more addictive pain killers as it works to lower inflammation in the body and has little to no side-effects when taken correctly. Al Harrington, one of the star members of BIG3, has long been a proponent of CBD use and actually owns his own cannabis company, Viola Brands.
CBD Will Begin To Have A Large Role In Professional Sports
The BIG3 will likely not be the only league to unlock the use of CBD for its players benefit. According to Huffington Post, “While other leagues dole out suspensions for positive marijuana tests, the MLB’s current policy doesn’t, no matter how many times a major league player has tested positive.”
The NFL and its players association have also begun research into the benefits of cannabis and will likely continue to do so for some time. The increase in acceptance and research into the positive benefits of cannabis use for professional athletes is no mirage. Pro-sports leagues are beginning to realize that the therapeutic use of a plant is a far better option than addictive and dangerous painkillers.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He spends his free time playing guitar and walking on the beach. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.