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CBD Oil in the BIG3

This Pro Sports League Said Yes To CBD Oil

CBD oil popularity among sports enthusiasts continues to grow at an astounding pace, with some professional athletes going so far as to launch lines of CBD products. Still, most professional leagues ban their athletes from using CBD oil, too afraid to brush up against the federal government and the confusing laws that govern CBD.

That was, until now, because a major professional sports league recently become the first in the world to okay the use of CBD oil by its players.

Those familiar with the top major league sports in the U.S. — Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer may be disappointed to find out that none of the “Top Five” will allow their players to use CBD oil. However, a relatively new organization known as BIG3 is stepping up to the plate.

The Big...What?

BIG3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league which was launched at the beginning of 2017. The league, which features mostly retired NBA players, was created by rapper/actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. In April of this year, the league announced a deal with Adidas to provide uniforms, apparel, and fan merchandise with the hope that the sport will be around for awhile. Opening day tipped off in Houston last week to a sold-out crowd of more than 16,000 fans, according to ESPN.

Somewhat surprisingly, the new league is not the first sports organization to wise up to the benefits of CBD oil. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), a group working to keep amateur athletics on the level, officially removed CBD from their list of banned substances at the beginning of 2018. But the BIG3 is the first professional sports league to allow the use of CBD for pain management and recovery. On June 30th, BIG3 announced that the use of CBD by the league’s players would be allowed effective immediately.

Changing The Game

Sports writer Jeff Garcia said that BIG3 is working to change the game. “From the launch of the BIG3, the league has always been about changing the game of basketball for the better, with the tone set early on by musical icon Ice Cube as Co-Founder and Co-CEO, former Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask as Chairman of the Board, two-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Clyde Drexler as Commissioner, and most recently by Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, who became the first female head coach of a men’s professional sports team,” wrote Garcia in a report for local NBC news outlet News4.

“Today’s announcement is one more example of the BIG3’s innovation -- from new rules on the court like the 4-point shot to incredible in-arena offerings and access to players and coaches that create the ultimate fan experience,” he added

Garcia pointed out that, although many states around the country have been working to decriminalize or legalize cannabis, “pro athletes who could benefit medicinally are prevented from doing so by league outdated mandates.”

A Safer Alternative

A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in 2011 claimed that 52 percent of former NFL players reported using opioids during their career, and 71 percent of those reported abusing the drugs. The hope of organizations such as WADA, WHI, and BIG3 is that the use of CBD will reduce the need for dangerous and addictive opioids for the treatment of pain.

Earlier in 2018, The World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence concluded that CBD does, indeed, have medicinal benefits, is well tolerated, and exhibits no indication of the potential for addiction and abuse.

“The BIG3 is uniquely positioned in professional sports as a player-powered league that looks at our players as partners, not property,” said BIG3 Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jeff Kwatinetz in Garcia’s report. “As a testament to our relationship with our players, we listened to their feedback on CBD, as well as feedback from professionals in the regulatory and CBD industry, and decided to take this major step to support their health.”