The CBD health craze has been making splashes in the media over the last couple of years. Since the substance was legalised in the US by the 2018 Farm Bill, celebrities and health experts alike have been promoting the substance on every channel imaginable.
It is no surprise, then, that professional athletes around the world have started paying attention. Football is no different – many professional football players have started taking CBD as part of their daily routine. The problem is: it’s still not safe for them to be public about it.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active agents found in marijuana plants. The substance has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which allow you to reap the benefits of medical cannabis without the risk of becoming intoxicated. The substance is also a lot safer than pharmaceutical options, with minimal potential side-effects, no risk of addiction, and no risk of causing last damage to the body.
If you’re wondering “hold on, isn’t marijuana a banned substance?” you are absolutely correct. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is in charge of the list of banned substances used by sports organisations around the world, and it still bans “all natural and synthetic cannabinoids,” including cannabis, hashish, natural and synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (THCs), and any “synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effects of THC.”
However, the organization has a specific exception in place for CBD. The exception was introduced in 2017 and has been in effect since 2018. All professional athletes today are allowed to use CBD at will, assuming the competitions they participate in follow the WADA ruling, and most competitions do.
CBD in football
FIFA and many other major sports leagues have allowed athletes to use CBD, following the WADA decision. However, the number of professional football players who have come out in support of CBD usage is still small.
The reason behind the relative silence is easy to understand. Athletes are often expected to deal with pain in silence, and the use of painkillers among pro players itself is rarely talked about. The size of the problem became clear when, in 2017, 1800 former American football players sued the NFL for feeding them cocktails of pharmaceuticals to help them keep playing. This practice damaged the health of many players, most of whom only started feeling the consequences after they retired.
Right now, only one major league player has been loudly in favor of CBD usage among football players. The player in question is Megan Rapinoe, who is an Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion. She was also elected the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
An accomplished player, Megan has made CBD part of her daily routine and will openly talk about it. This is one of the many causes she chooses to support when she is not on the field. She promotes CBD usage among athletes and, together with her sister, works to help make these products more acceptable in the mainstream.
CBD is also starting to make waves in the world of sports through sponsorships. Back in 2019, the Portland Thorns FC became the first NWSL team to be sponsored by a CBD brand. Since them, athletes in many different fields have landing CBD sponsorships, including many prominent MMA fighters. If you are interested in trying CBD yourself, check out the information on Cibdol’s CBD Encyclopedia to learn more about the substance.