In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking global havoc and shutting down businesses and sporting events, the NFL Players Association just voted and approved their new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The new CBA passed in a narrow vote and will bring some major changes to the league. Notably among those changes are updates to the leagues drug testing policy.

New CBA = Green Light for CBD

The CBA eliminates suspensions for a positive marijuana drug test. That’s a huge shift in attitude towards the substance from years prior. We believe it’s also a huge step in the right direction. In a time of increasingly risky opioid addiction, athletes are not immune to the risks. MLB pitcher for the Angels Tyler Skaggs is just the latest heartbreaking story of how dangerous opioid abuse is. While the NFL is not completely un-banning marijuana use (other non-suspension consequences like fines are still likely) this move paves the way for a day when cannabis use is not only allowed, but encouraged for football players and all other athletes.

Another change to the drug testing policy is also interesting and should result in more widespread use of CBD. Tests for marijuana will now have a higher threshold for what constitutes a “positive”. This threshold level is now at a point where players should not hesitate CBD out of fear for failing a drug test. Even with the old standard, failing a marijuana drug test from using hemp-derived CBD was unlikely – now it’s very unlikely.

Change for the Better

We hope that teams, players, trainers and coaches alike consider the benefits that CBD can bring to the sport. These new changes to the CBA should spur more acceptance of CBD for athletes, many of whom have already been advocating for cannabis. Ricky Williams, former Dolphins running-back, was notorious for his marijuana usage and insistence that it shouldn’t be outlawed. More recently Rob Gronkowski, former Patriots tight-end, has been outspoken about how CBD helped him heal and recover without resorting to other painkiller drugs.

What’s Next?

The secret about cannabis is out: it’s beneficial. Whether you’re a pro-athlete or a casual morning walker, CBD is a great way to get all of those benefits with none of the “high”. The day when cannabis brands are major corporate sponsors of athletes and sport leagues may not be far off. Just think: Anheuser-Busch’s flagship brand Bud Light is the “official beer of the NFL” – can’t you envision Nuvamed being the “official CBD”?

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