NFL Inches Closer to Allowing CBD Products

Sometimes it feels like the NFL is a separate island or entity independent of the rest of us or even our government. While the FDA is working on determining rules for the marketing and sale of CBD products, the National Football League is deciding its own rules for itself. A recent forum was held where both the NFL and the Players Association met with CBD companies to hear them out about current research concerning CBD benefits. Similarly, late in 2019, the FDA met with CBD companies in a public hearing to see what they had to say in a similar fashion.

Many active and retired football players are advocating for CBD for many reasons. Current NFL policy is to ban the ingestion of any substance derived from hemp or the cannabis plant. Current penalties can be quite severe if a player comes back positive for THC after taking a drug test. Suspensions can result in millions of dollars lost from a player’s contract depending on repeated violations. Retired players struggling with a variety of conditions are hoping CBD can make a difference. As a result of the meeting the NFL issued a white paper.

In the white paper sent to teams' medical staffs, the committee says, "CBD is a promising compound, but the extent of its use in the United States outpaces the level of evidence...."

Athletes involved in all kinds of sports are either taking CBD or at least looking into it. Internationally, rules have loosened up a lot allowing even Olympic athletes to take products containing cannabidiol. WADA regulates substance abuse for most major international sports leagues including the Olympics and it has changed its policy to allow CBD consumption. Even the U.S. Men’s Triathlon team is planning on using CBD for these upcoming Summer Olympics being held in Tokyo, Japan. For the most part, other sports leagues around the U.S. have also changed their policy towards CBD, or are simply turning a blind eye, although testing positive for THC is still in violation of the rules.

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