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From the NBA to the MLB, cannabis makes news in the sports world


MLB Commissioner Rob Manfried. Photo by Arturo Pardavila III for Wikimedia Commons

As the first year of legal hemp and CBD within the United States draws to an end, the spread of cannabis into popular use continues to impact culture and everyday life.


Recently, this sweeping cannabis fever has made an impact on professional sports leagues. With a change to official Major League Baseball policies toward cannabis use and a flurry of professional athletes advocating for similar policies in their own leagues, hemp and CBD seem unstoppable.


Earlier this month, the MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred announced the league will no longer test players for marijuana use to screen them before playing. [3]


Cocaine and opioids will be added to the list of prohibited substances, but many at the annual MLB conference were surprised at marijuana’s removal from the screenings, according to reporting by the Undefeated. [3]


The move by the MLB is a massive shift as people become more aware of the benefits of hemp and CBD products as well. For many full-spectrum CBD oils that contain trace levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, drug tests can be a reason potential customers are hesitant.


This population of gun-shy folks who hope to try CBD includes athletes. Preliminary studies have shown CBD’s potential as an anti-inflammatory agent, and while more research is needed to show substantiated medicinal effects, the potential is hard to refute.


Thousands of happy CBD fans report that they use the cannabis compound for their chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety and insomnia, all of which are common among athletes.


In any event, the benefits haven’t been lost on other pro athletes.


According to reporting by the Washington Post, Al Harrington of the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and others has been advocating cannabis acceptance within the NBA as a result of the MLB announcement. [1]


“I think the day-to-day pain management issues that players deal with can be dealt with through cannabis,” Harrington told the Post. “Something that is all natural and nowhere near as harmful as the stuff that they’re using now.” [1]


The Stamford Advocate reports that former National Football League running back and Heisman winner Ricky Williams left the NFL to pursue a cannabis career and was punished for it. [2]


Williams lost millions of potential contract earnings from league play to pursue his business, but now looks back at a sports scene far more understanding of cannabis businesses, enterprises, sponsorships and use. [2]


Sources

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/12/25/nba-cbd-marijuana-al-harrington-weed/

[2] https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/business/article/Ricky-Williams-Rushes-Into-The-Green-Rush-14910389.php

[3] https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2019/12/13/what-baseballs-new-pot-policy-means-in-oregon.html

[4] https://theundefeated.com/features/why-major-league-baseballs-rule-changes-on-marijuana-matter/

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