Jun 15, 2021
As Cannabis Products Rise in Popularity, Organizations Pause At Acceptance

With the explosion of cannabis products bleeding over to the sports medicine industry as the once-illegal drug is becoming legalized in individual states, some professional leagues aren’t ready to jump aboard the bandwagon.

Last week, the NFL said it wants more studies of how cannabis affects fitness because, at the moment, there’s no scientific evidence that the products work or that they’re safe.

A recent article in Bloomberg.com highlighted a conversation about cannabis with Dr. Kevin Hill, a co-chair on a pain management committee for the NFL and its players’ association.

cannabis“There is a growing body of evidence that suggests it’s a little bit more risky than people think,” Hill said to Bloomberg.

He cited concerns about the purity and potency of cannabis products, as well as potential interactions with other drugs that players take, according to Bloomberg. There’s also concern that the high doses of cannabis products needed to treat pain can cause liver damage.

The World Anti-Doping Agency may now allow for CBD, but bans THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The NCAA, however, broadly bans all “cannabinoids.”

Despite the murky waters of what can and can’t be used by amateur and professional athletes alike, cannabis products have exploded in popularity and have even been marketed as a new form of sports medicine.

» ALSO SEE: Data Shows NBA Injuries Are Up

“We know CBD and cannabinoids can help with overall well-being, and it is very encouraging to see the dialogue about athletic use of these products come to light,” Michael Cammalleri, cofounder of BioSteel, told Bloomberg in an email.

Kadenwood, a company that makes the Level Select line of CBD products marketed to athletes, said year-to-date online sales have grown 74%. It recently started a new ad campaign featuring PGA golfer Rickie Fowler, Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer and former MLB star Steve Garvey, according to Bloomberg.

“We are seeing increased awareness and acceptance of CBD products to help with recovery and performance across sports categories,” Erick Dickens, chief executive officer of Kadenwood, said in an email to Bloomberg.

To read the full story from Bloomberg.com on the rise of cannabinoid products and the pause from athletic organizations, click here.

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