It’s not just your friends and favorite wellness gurus who use CBD and therapeutic cannabis as part of their daily routine; professional athletes are coming out with stories about how and why they use cannabidiol as part of their wellness practice.
From NFL players using CBD in lieu of addictive opioids to treat brain injury, to famous trainers who rely on its anti-inflammatory properties, to retired stars investing in CBD wellness brands, athletes are playing a significant role in the green boom. Do you recognize any of the names in this list?
- Caleb Marshall, dancer, coach and online fitness trainer. Caleb Marshall of The Fitness Marshall uses CBD to alleviate anxiety and soothe soreness from constant, intensive dance cardio while on tour. He was quoted in SVN Space Magazine saying that it helped anxiety that had been “completely out of control” and had affected his day-to-day functioning. Marshall currently takes 15 milligrams of CBD in the morning and 30 milligrams at night to manage anxiety and inflammation, in addition to topical muscular salves and creams for a chronically sore body. He says, “My anxiety is at a completely different place than it was when I started taking CBD daily, so I have no plans of stopping.”
- Terrell Davis, NFL player. A former running back for the Denver Broncos, Davis is now focused on the world of cannabis, and specifically CBD. The star American athlete has been recorded as saying that his career would have been longer if he had had access to CBD earlier on, but he was sidelined (literally) by a knee injury. “I’ve been on CBD for well over a year now, and I can tell you that my body feels great. I have no more inflammation in my body, my knee, and my joint pain is gone. My migraines — I haven’t taken migraine medicine for over a year,” he told Westword. Davis is now investing in CBD brand Defy, a sports wellness beverage.
- Ricky Williams, NFL player. Williams is a medical cannabis advocate. He once stated that his “personal goal is to elevate the legitimacy of cannabis as a medicine and the respect of medical professionals for cannabis users.” Williams was suspended from the NFL for using marijuana, and was subsequently slammed by the media and forced by the NFL to attend a substance-abuse program. In reality, Williams had severe social anxiety, which was exacerbated by the limelight inherent to professional sports, and he turned to cannabis for its therapeutic effects. Williams was once a spokesperson for Paxil, a pharmaceutical drug for anxiety and depression, but more recently he has said that cannabis was “10 times better than Paxil” for his personal condition.
- Derrick Morgan, NFL player. After reading about a concussion-caused brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is common in NFL players, Derrick Morgan started looking into cannabidiol to help. Discovering the famous case of 5-year-old Charlotte Figi, who received help from the Stanley brothers of Charlotte’s Web in Colorado to stop her seizures with CBD, Morgan was inspired to research further. Since then, he’s become an activist hoping to create policy change within the NFL so players can have access to medicinal cannabis. In an article in the Denver Post, he was quoted saying, “All I’m asking for is research. I’m not asking to let guys smoke weed and get high. I’m not asking for that. I’m just asking for the NFL and the NFLPA to take a look at the research.”
- Eugene Monroe, NFL player. Monroe, an offensive lineman turned cannabis activist, is a pioneer for policy reform within professional sports. Passionate about stopping the overprescription of addictive opioids to athletes, particularly when it comes to CTE, Monroe says, “I’m calling for the NFL to remove marijuana from the banned substances list; fund medical marijuana research, especially as it relates to CTE; and stop overprescribing addictive and harmful opioids.” On his website, Monroe claims that “opioids are freely and regularly given to NFL players who experience chronic pain from sports-related injuries.” CBD has been shown to have similar efficacy as opioid pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, but with no addictive side effects. Currently, Monroe serves as an athletic ambassador for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.
- Nate Diaz, MMA fighter. Professional mixed martial arts fighter Nate Diaz made headlines in the summer of 2016 when he casually used a CBD vaporizer pen during a press conference. Bringing CBD to the media early on — roughly two years before it was completely legal nationally — helped propel CBD into the spotlight in a positive way, particularly for athletes. At that point, not many people knew what CBD was, but in the press conference he used his time in the spotlight to provide some public education. “It helps with healing process and inflammation and stuff like that,” he said. We can imagine that someone who gets punched for a living might need some anti-inflammatory CBD after a fight.
- Gina Mazany, UFC fighter.Gina Mazany is also a professional mixed martial artist with the UFC, and recently has touted her affinity for CBD. “There are so many ways that CBD can benefit everyone in one way or another, but if people are using a product that they aren’t going to make money off of then they are not going to allow it, or make it seem like an evil thing,” Manzany said in an interview. According to reports, she uses CBD to reduce her anxiety and improve her sleep quality.
- Liz Letchford, tonal trainer and San Francisco-based fitness icon. Liz Letchford uses CBD for reducing inflammation, as well as relieving stress from a hectic schedule of clients, filming and writing her doctoral thesis. In an interview with SVN Space, Letchford noted that she recommends CBD to her clients and fans, which has helped integrate CBD into the fitness and wellness community.