Football And Weed: Former NFL Players Weigh In On Why Many Are Getting Involved With CBD Companies


The discussion about cannabis and sports isn't new. The conversation gained more relevance than ever late last year after the World Anti-Doping Agency, in charge of drug testing among Olympic athletes and usually sets the criteria for anti-doping in most sports across the globe, removed CBD from its list of banned substances. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the main chemical compounds present in, and often extracted from, marijuana.

More recently, the North American Premier Basketball League, or NAPB, became the first American professional sports league to allow players to use CBD products to medicate.

While other natural and synthetic cannabinoids like THC remain prohibited, CBD is allowed starting this year.

Pretty much in-sync with this move out of the World Anti-Doping Agency, numerous football players have been coming out of the proverbial cannabis closet recently, openly advocating for cannabis use among athletes. While some have been vocal about marijuana use, others have focused their efforts on the acceptance of the use of CBD, a non-psychoactive component found in the cannabis, hemp and hops plants, among others.

Related Link: Why GW Pharma's Epidiolex Results Could Shape The Future Of Cannabis-Based Therapeutics

As former Super Bowl champion turned cannabis entrepreneur, investor and advocate Marvin Washington told Benzinga, CBD is especially valuable for athletes seeking an alternative to opioids for pain management. “Most ailments and illnesses come from having some sort of inflammation in the body,” he explained. “CBD can do the same thing as opiates, acting as an anti-inflammatory,” without the nasty side effects opioids have.

“We also know that CBD is a neuroprotector and antioxidant for the brain,” Washington added, pointing out how important this can be for sports like football, soccer and lacrosse, where head trauma is a widespread problem.

“CBD can help these athletes feel better during their career, ultimately prolonging it. Then, when their career is over, they don’t leave the game with any addiction or health issues,” he said, ultimately justifying his involvement with CBD-products maker ISODIOL INTERNATIO ISOLF.

More Ballers Getting Aboard

Marvin Washington isn't the only former player involved with a company that develops and produces CBD products. Other former NFL players with whom I had the chance to talk about getting involved with CBD companies include Ricky Williams, Eben Britton, and Eugene Monroe.

Benzinga also discussed the topic with former NCAA All-American Rodney Peete, going into his commitment to InSpirit LLC, a company that makes CBD products derived from the hemp plant.

“Just before I was going in for a knee replacement, I was given a tube of Inmotion Hemp Pain Crème,” Peete said. “I absolutely love this stuff, and it definitely helped my recovery.”

It's now the turn of former NCAA football players to get into the CBD business. And Treyous Jarrells, a former Colorado State running back who had to quit football in order to be able to continue to medicate with cannabis, seems to be kicking off the trend.

The whole ordeal of my story made me a face of the cannabis industry; a relevant face,” Jarrells told Benzinga last year, while discussing his all-organic cultivation products.

Now, Jarrels is getting into CBD, as he joins a new team -- Green Roads. He has become an athletic consultant at the company, a known manufacturer and supplier of CBD products, developing and running its sports division, Green Roads Athletics.

Related Link: Wonder Women Of Weed: Yvonne DeLaRosa Green, The Latina Revolutionizing Conscious Commerce With Cannabis


Why Ballers Like CBD

“A lot of people getting into the cannabis industry nowadays just think about dollars and cents, dollars and cents,” Jarrells told Benzinga. “But there’s a much bigger goal: to heal people naturally.”

“We are trying to bring new things to the athletic realm. We want to give athletes an alternative to opioids, stimulants, painkiller shots and things like that,” he added.

Listening to Jarrells, it seemed like every former football player getting involved in the CBD space had a very similar motivation: helping other athletes stay away from addictive painkillers that have terrible side effects.

“The thing is, many athletes don’t want the psychoactive effects of cannabis and THC, only the pain relief from CBD. This is why so many players are leaning to CBD (cannabidiol) companies,” Jarrells said. “There is also a larger stigma associated with cannabis as a whole plant. Right now, you can’t get cannabis across all 50 U.S. states; even states where medicinal cannabis is legal have a lot of restrictions and loopholes patients need to go through to get their medical marijuana cards. So, it’s easier and it looks better for an athlete to get involved with a CBD company.”

Jarrells is committed to getting CBD therapeutics and phytoceuticals to as many professional sports leagues and colleges as possible. With this goal, he founded CannaEndorsers, a company focused on bridging the gap between celebrities, former athletes and current professional athletes and the marijuana industry.

“I believe in the whole cannabis plant and believe some day athletes will have access to it but, for right now, it’s better to get CBD normalized: that’s the way in for cannabis,” he said.

“I’m getting another former NFL player, Willis McGahee, into the industry soon – not as an advisor, but as an endorser."

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