What do basketball, football, hockey, soccer, and baseball have in common? They’re all popular sports with professional leagues. In professional sports games, many athletes are under pressure to be the best and to win for their team. Along with this comes different hurdles, setbacks, and injuries. Rather than consuming pharmaceutical pain-killers, Cannabidiol (CBD)—a natural cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant has attracted significant attention. Up until recently, no professional U.S. sports leagues allowed their athletes to legally consume CBD. Recently though, BIG3, a U.S. professional basketball league decided to allow their players to legally use CBD.

BIG3 Allows Their Players to Consume CBD

Moreover, although Cannabidiol (CBD) is medically beneficial, it’s not necessarily viewed this way in the professional sports industry. Originally, BIG3 league didn’t allow their players to legally consume CBD. However, recently, a progressive move was made. Specifically, as of July 4th, BIG3 allows their players to consume CBD products. The players can use CBD for managing and relieving aches and pains. They can also consume CBD to gain help during the different recovery processes they undergo.

It’s possible for basketball players to suffer from injuries and physical setbacks. When this occurs, it could help to have a natural form of medicine available like Cannabidiol. Although there are different reasons for CBD consumption, its medicinal properties really stand out. Some of CBD’s medicinal properties include its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-spasmodic benefits. Also, CBD can help individuals recover from various injuries and ailments.

Reasons Why BIG3 Allows Their Players to Consume CBD

Not only is CBD non-psychoactive, it’s also valuable to our health. Over time, different research findings have shown the potential of this plant and its many cannabinoids. Aside from CBD’s profile of effects, it isn’t addictive, nor does it deliver harmful side effects. Whereas, many pharmaceutical medications and pain-killers like opioids have quite the opposite effect.

BIG3 League’s co-founders are familiar with the dangers of pharmaceutical pain-killers and the damage they can cause. This fact further motivated them to unbiasedly examine the benefits of CBD and how it could positively impact their players’ lives.

BIG3 League’s Official Decision to Legally Allow CBD Usage

On July 4th, the U.S. basketball league finalized their groundbreaking decision. BIG3 League’s founders mentioned that they made their decision after the World Anti-Doping Agency removed Cannabidiol from its list of banned substances earlier this year. Furthermore, the following was stated by the league regarding cannabis and CBD usage in professional sports, “Despite many states around the country making efforts to decriminalize or legalize cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally, professional athletes who could benefit medicinally are prevented from doing so by league outdated mandates.”

In addition, BIG3 League’s co-founder and co-CEO, Jeff Kwatinetz expressed the following statement in a company press release:

“The BIG3 is uniquely positioned in professional sports as a player-powered league that looks at our players as partners not property. 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.”

Since word got out about BIG3 League’s decision, other athletes have shared their opinion. Also, this decision caught the attention of other professional sports leagues.

Background of BIG3 Basketball League

BIG3 league is a professional sports league that was created by the famous rapper and entertainer, Ice Cube. The BIG3 league consists of former professional NBA players who play 3-on-3 basketball. Ice Cube is one co-founder and CEO of this league and his business partner is Jeff Kwatinetz. The BIG3 league features numerous ex-NBA stars who wish to lengthen their basketball career.

The league’s duration is ten weeks, and the first game kicked off in Houston, Texas. Each regular-season date will include four consecutive games. Therefore, every team will play weekly. Then, the league’s playoffs will take place on August 17th. From there, the championship will take place on August 24th. For viewing purposes, individuals can watch the games on FOX or via live streaming.

The Impact BIG3 League’s Decision Has On Other Professional Sports & Athletes

Now that BIG3 allows their players to consume CBD, other athletes have expressed their opinion on this move. In particular, DeAndre Hopkins, a popular NFL player reported to TMZ Sports that the NFL should follow behind BIG3 League’s decision. He told TMZ Sports the following, “I don’t think it would hurt.”

When NFL players get injured, the norm is to get a doctor’s prescription for pharmaceutical pain-killers like opioids. However, this form of treatment acts as a band-aid. It can also deliver several other side effects and an increased likelihood of addiction and/or dependency. For example, two Houston Texans players, J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson experienced the significant damage pharmaceutical medications can cause. DeAndre Hopkins witnessed firsthand the destruction these medications caused his friends and teammates.

After experiencing little relief from pharmaceutical medications, Deshaun Watson began consuming CBD. Deshaun noticed the positive impact it had on his injuries. He believes CBD medication can effectively ease and reduce pain. He reported the following to TMZ Sports about the status of CBD usage in the NFL: “I only think it would help if they do. You look at all the problems with heads. I don’t think it would hurt for us to try something else and see what can help players.” DeAndre Hopkins and many of his teammates support lifting the NFL’s ban on CBD usage.

Likelihood of Other Professional Sports Allowing CBD Consumption

Recently, the NBA and NFL mentioned that they’re willing to look into Cannabidiol further. They also expressed that they’ll further examine the current issue of CBD not being allowed as a pain-reliever. However, before any real changes occur, the issue would need to pass through several stages. One of these stages consist of the issue being collectively debated and discussed with other sports’ unions.

Since BIG3 allows their players to consume CBD for pain and recovery-relief, what impact will this decision have? Will it influence other professional sports league to do the same? Only time will tell. For now, let’s appreciate this groundbreaking move and the significance it represents within the U.S. professional sports industry.