On the eve of the Super Bowl, let’s take some time and think about how the NFL could be more responsible towards those players that sacrifice their health and so much more. They have had opportunities to embrace CBD, but have fallen short.
If the National Football League (NFL) became more accepting of Hemp derived CBD, it would do wonders for America’s acceptance of both cannabis and hemp.
Football is literally a sport where guys get knocked in the head and pushed around for our entertainment. Dealing with things like pain, anxiety and inflammation is just part of a football players job.
There were a few recent events where the NFL could have loosened its policies a little bit. The NFL had it’s chance to be a leader in CBD and Cannabis reform but it squandered it. Here is how!
This all started May of last year, when the NFL Players Association announced their intention to form a Join Pain Management Committee. This intention of this committee was to examine alternative therapies and pain management treatments that would be allowed by the NFL. With new treatments always becoming available, the committee would aim to make joint practices for all NFL teams on adopting new treatments.
They considered medical marijuana and Hemp based CBD. Nothing came of it!
GW Pharmaceutical’s was able to pass the first approved cannabis derived drug called Epidiolex. Epidiolex is a CBD based oral therapy that was able to reduce the frequency of seizures in certain types of epilepsy.
President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill and in doing so he took out any “gray area” that the already existing CBD industry may have been operating under. This opened up a number of CBD products that could be easily available to NFL players.
The NFL put together a committee to see if CBD was good enough for the treatment of NFL players, and there was a great deal of progress in the acceptance and availability of CBD. But the NFL missed it’s chance to be a leader in this movement.
After an NFL-NFLPA meeting with manufacturers f CBD products, the NFL maintained that the meeting was “educational”, but still maintained that there wasn’t enough information to prove a link between CBD use as a pain management tool.
Two White Papers the NFL sent to its teams medical staffs stated that limited evidence exists that CBD might be effective for neuropathic pain. The white papers also discredited studies that might show otherwise.
An NFL press release states the following about these white papers:
“Of course, cannabis remains a banned substance under the NFL Policy for Substances of Abuse. In addition, the potential problems associated with cannabis, from acute impairment of driving, addiction, and exacerbation of psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, make it a substance to approach with extreme caution.”
The NFL had it’s chance to be a leader in this front! But is missing its opportunity, while it’s players are suffering.