Exploring Cannabis Use in Sports: The NFL Needs Cannabis

George Khoshaba

During the 2021 off-season,

the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association,) & NFL agreed to change the league's marijuana policy. Now players are required to test once a year for the devil’s lettuce at the start of training camp, and players who test positive are subjected to a fine & suspension (that are significantly less than it was in the past). Somewhat moving in the right direction, NFL athletes are getting closer to being given the opportunity of using cannabis as a just way to lengthen their careers. And this isn’t just an opinionated baseless claim, A recent study found 50% to 90% of NFL players use cannabis for pain management & performance enhancement.

The NFL Needs Cannabis

There's a handful of athletes that play or have played in the league that praise the plant

for its pain-relieving therapeutics such as Rob Gronkowski, Von Miller, Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Martivas Bryant and Ricky Williams to name a few. With NFL athletes being such huge superstars and cannabis still being an incredibly sensitive subject within the league, it makes it difficult for athletes to be open about their relationship with cannabis while actively playing.

 Former NFL Star Marshawn Lynch's Cannabis Company 'Dodi Blunts'

The retired star tight end Martellus Bennet played a couple of successful seasons for the Chicago Bears in his 10-year career

Shit, I mean making 10 years in the NFL itself is a huge accomplishment. Enduring many gut-wrenching tackles throughout his time in the league, he had medical marijuana to thank for allowing him to keep going. Rob Gronkowski, a former NFL athlete notorious for being hindered by concussions, turned to CBD after his exit from the league. Being put on the typical opioid cocktail it seems most NFL players are given to deal with their sport-induced pain, it wasn't until after Gronkowski left the league that he was able to experience the true benefits of the plant.

“My first true experience with it — when I was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, this stuff works!’ — is when I jammed my three toes and they were black and blue. I throw the cream on and, boom, it temporarily relieved the pain. I got to go through the rest of my day”. Players like Bennet and Gronkowski are clear examples of how a little cannabis use can be beneficial in NFL athletes' recovery treatment.

Former NFL Star Rob Gronkowski's CBD Brand CBDMedic

During the 57th Super Bowl halftime show

We saw Rihanna, another avid cannabis consumer, stun fans across the world tuning into the Super Bowl just to watch her much-anticipated halftime performance. It seems that whether or not the NFL accepts it, stoners keep finding their way into the league.

 NFL Super Bowl Half-Time Show Performer: Rihanna

Amongst the 5 major leagues in America, football is the sport that is the toughest on one's body out of all American pro-team sports.

From the opioid addiction that many players go through, to the brain trauma from the hits, or just the physical stress the body takes as an athlete, its easy to reach the conclusion that the NFL needs weed.
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