The BIG3 reported at the end of June that players in the 3-on-the-3 league of former NBA players are now allowed to use CBD for pain management and recovery, making the BIG3 the first U.S. professional sports league to openly allow CBD use.
For all of the sport-deficient folks, the BIG3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league which features mostly retired NBA players including some of the basketball world’s most recognizable all-stars, hall of famers and word champions.
It was founded by infamous rapper and entertainer O’Shea Jackson Sr., better known as Ice Cube, and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. The second season of the league began a few weeks ago in Houston, and features players like Amare Stoudemire, Baron Davis, and former Denver Nuggets Kenyon Martin and Nate Robinson.
And if you haven’t gotten the skinny on what CBD, or cannabidiol, is, here is a brief rundown: CBD is one of over 100 chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant helping people of all ages and health conditions with everything from pain, anxiety, inflammation, gut health, mood improvement, and so much more. The compound has been medically proven to diminish pain, limit muscle soreness and tightness, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, making it an ideal supplement for athletes to incorporate into their daily routines.
CBD For The (Sports) Win
The decision for the BIG3 Sports League to permit CBD use was primarily based around the fact that it is being taken to support the health of the pro players, more specifically assisting in the pain management and recovery process of sports-related injuries.
Knowing the powerful cannabinoid is capable of significantly reducing pain and helps speed up the recovery process is all the more reason to get CBD into the hands of these athletic professionals.
The final say was delivered shortly after CBD was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substances list earlier this year, which isn’t all that surprising given that half the states in America do allow medical marijuana, which, to be clear, is completely separate from CBD.
Furthermore, several states (9, plus Washington D.C. to be exact) including Colorado, Washington, California and Alaska, have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Aka no doctor’s note necessary in those areas.
A Little CBD/Pro Athlete Background
Because a slew of NFL players have abused pain-relieving opioids and anti-inflammatory drugs like Toradol for dozens of years, many of them believe CBD, which is not addictive in the least, would offer a much healthier – not to mention non-damaging – alternative for dealing with pain caused from playing sports and getting banged up on the reg.
Both former and current NFL players have called for the legalization of marijuana in their league over the past several years, most likely due to the plant’s therapeutic properties known to erase nerves (pre-game jitters, in this case) and rid muscle soreness and body aches.
But again, CBD is not the same thing as marijuana – it is an essential oil extracted from the cannabis plant and contains less than 0.3 percent THC – the cannabinoid responsible for getting people high. Translation: CBD will not and can not get users high. It is more and more being categorized as a health and wellness supplement meant to improve overall well-being.
Recently, former Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall discussed his using CBD daily to cope with his symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE, the degenerative brain disease linked with repeated trauma to the head. Marshall shared his struggles in 2016 with the Daily News as part of a three-part series on marijuana and sports, stating, “My quality of life has improved because of (CBD).”
This is great news for both the CBD industry and the sports world. Stay tuned to see where the in-demand cannabinoid will show up next and whether other major league sports organizations will follow suit.