Gronkowski, the Pro-Bowler for five times, had announced his retirement in March. The famous athlete recently said that he has been using CBD (cannabinoid) in his own rehabilitation process, and that he was highly impressed with its results. Gronkowski said he is collaborating with Abacus Health on a line of new CBD products that will be curated specifically towards recovery processes and will be all-natural.
Gronkowski, 30, said he had suffered from several injuries and underwent a total of nine surgeries during his tenure of nine seasons catching bullets from Tom Brady. He further explained that he was in constant pain and needed a change in his life, so he turned to CBD products which helped him manage his pain better and in a safe manner.
Proponents of CBD products say that they could help athletes with inflammation, pain and even life-threatening brain injuries, however, because of CBD’s relationship with marijuana, it has a stigma attached to it. For years people have associated cannabis with deadly side effects, but it wasn’t until a few years earlier that people discovered a compound named cannabinoid with anti-psychoactive properties in cannabis.
CBD is a hemp derived substance with non-psychoactive and anti-inflammatory properties. It has garnered the trust of many people with its medicinal benefits. People all around the world use CBD for treating various ailments including stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, seizures in epilepsy, Tourettes and even cancer.
Not only is CBD good for mental health, but is also super effective and potent in treating physical injuries and pain. According to the World Health Organization, there have been negligible reports of severe side effects of using CBD. Despite this, government agencies and law enforcement officials have to be careful while legalizing CBD as many people would try to breach regulatory policies and sell lower-costing drugs labelled as CBD.
CBD has been banned in many sports venues due to its association with THC – the psychoactive compound found in marijuana which causes users to experience a feeling of euphoria or as many call it, the ‘high’. Pure CBD oil does not produce any such mind altering effects and is known to be safe for consumption in a regulated amount.
The World Anti-Doping Agency, which tests Olympic and World Cup athletes for substance use/ drugs has cleared CBD from its list of prohibited drugs. However the United States Anti-Doping Agency warns athletes that taking CBD or its products could be risky as extracting pure hemp oil is extremely difficult and there are high chances that even the most promising brands could be unintentionally selling products containing a few traces of THC here and there that could land up in a positive test for drug use, in turn, affecting their career.
There are around 115 other cannabinoids than CBD that are likely to be extracted from hemp plant while extracting CBD, and this is what worries the USADA the most.
Several other major sporting leagues still stand firm on their decision to ban any substance related to marijuana, be it be non-psychoactive or psychoactive – it might be the legends related to cannabis that are paving the shape of the sports industry. Some of the most eminent leagues that still prohibit use of CBD include NASCAR, NCAA, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. Punishments for positive drug test varies from one league to another.
CBD is also banned by Gronkowski’s ex-employer, but several former players have come out to urge the NFL to reconsider its decision regarding CBD.
Currently, the NBA also bans the use of CBD, but David Stern, the former commissioner has suggested to remove it from the list of the league’s banned substances.
The National Hockey League tests players for marijuana use, but doesn’t punish them for failed tests.
According to the United States federal regulations, hemp-derived CBD is legalized and can be cultivated, processed, sold and used without any legal infringement. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibits the use of CBD in any edible food supplements and warns companies from promoting their CBD products with claims of medical benefits.
Curaleaf, a popular brand amongst consumers, recently was warned with a proper letter from the FDA saying that they have to halt their marketing strategies that entail medical claims about CBD products and pull out any foods or drinks infused with CBD from the market. Till the time the FDA clears CBD from its list of controlled substances or creates a regulatory framework that ensures safe and healthy consumption of CBD, consumers must remain alert and take CBD products only after consulting with their doctor or a physician.