Why FIFA Helps Remove the Stigma on Cannabis

Every four years, the FIFA World Cup occurs, and dozens of professional athletes represent their home country. Although not all countries make it to this tournament, this is one event that attracts attention from all over the world. During the last FIFA World Cup, globally, 3.2 billion viewers tuned in. Then, during the 2014 World Cup finals, more than one billion people watched. This year’s FIFA World Cup is going to be much different than the other ones though. For the first time, the 2018 World Cup athletes can legally consume cannabidiol. Even though CBD is grouped with marijuana as a Schedule I substance in the U.S., there’s an exception with this year’s World Cup.

Major Sports Leagues Against CBD Usage

In most major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB, the usage of cannabidiol and forms of it are prohibited. If professional players are caught using CBD, they could get suspended or even fired. However, CBD is completely non-psychoactive unlike THC. For this reason, different people of various ages consume this cannabinoid for medicinal purposes. As time goes on, CBD is gaining more attention and popularity for its non-psychoactive effects and medicinal value. People consume CBD for their own reasons, which includes receiving relief from a disease, medical condition, and/or illness.

When it comes to professional athletes, it’s possible to experience different injuries, muscle soreness, aches, and pains. Some athletes even experience adverse side effects from certain prescribed pharmaceutical medications. Currently, pharmaceutical medications are allowed and used by many athletes in different sports leagues. However, many medications can become addictive and harmful. It’s also possible for athletes to become dependent on different medications, which can lead to additional problems. For this reason and several others, more athletes are turning their attention towards a natural alternative—cannabidiol.

Reasons for Legal CBD Usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Moreover, in the past, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) grouped marijuana and derivatives of it under the banned substance list. However, recently, the WADA officially removed Cannabidiol from this list. As a result of this move, this is the first FIFA World Cup that allows athletes to consume a cannabis derived substance. For this year’s FIFA World Cup, the only cannabinoid that can be consumed is CBD. Currently, THC remains on the WADA’s banned substance list.

Regardless, more studies are revealing additional medicinal properties of cannabis and Cannabidiol. Different research findings also point to how CBD can positively impact people’s lives. Thus far, it has been found that CBD contains a wide variety of medicinal properties including but not limited to the following: anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anti-anxiety, anti-tumoral, and many others that can be useful for both athletes and other individuals.

Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has referred to CBD as, “…generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile.” In particular though, the neuroprotectant properties of CBD draw many professional athletes in especially due to its non-addictive make-up. For those who have suffered from concussions and head trauma, CBD can be an ideal treatment method.

Powerful Move by FIFA World Cup Committee

To this day, CBD usage is prohibited in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and other U.S. based sports leagues. However, recently, legal CBD usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been announced. Due to CBD’s strong medicinal value, the FIFA World Cup Committee allows its participating athletes to consume this cannabinoid if they see fit. It’s crucial for the World Cup athletes to consume CBD that contains no traces of THC though. Otherwise, it can result in them getting banned from the competition immediately.

So far, no FIFA World Cup athletes have announced their experience and/or plans in consuming CBD. Regardless, this is a huge step in a progressive direction in the world of professional sports. As a result of this groundbreaking move, many attitudes and viewpoints of CBD may change. This may be the case especially for those involved in the professional sports industry.

Legal CBD Usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup & Allowance of Medical Cannabis Brought in By Fans

Moreover, this year, the FIFA World Cup is taking place in Russia. According to The Moscow Times, The Eurasian Economic Union will permit futbol fans to bring medical cannabis substances into the stadiums. However, these individuals must have proper medical documents with them. The reason for this is to prove the substance’s medicinal value and that the person can legally consume it. Additionally, Russia has other regulations for this year’s World Cup. Specifically, futbol fans can bring different illicit substances into the stadiums aside from medical cannabis including cocaine and heroin.

This decision has been questioned and criticized by many thus far. However, Russia’s 2018 World Cup Organizing Committee claims that the drugs will be heavily regulated. The same committee stated that law enforcement officials will be scattered around the stadiums. The purpose of this is to verify each medical document for proper authenticity and accuracy.

In addition, Russia’s Federal Customs Service issued a statement regarding other requirements for bringing in these drugs. Fans who bring drugs into the stadiums will be required to fill out a customs declaration before entering the stadium. All individuals must also bring supporting medical documents with them, which must be written in Russian.

Overall, if fans want to take advantage of this opportunity, they must go through different bureaucratic hoops in order to legally do so. However, it’s possible, and The Eurasian Economic Union of Russia has granted this right to travelers.

Legal CBD Usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup: What This Means for the Future

Although most professional sports leagues are against cannabis and derivatives of it, the FIFA World Cup Committee has made a powerful move. Since cannabis and CBD contain numerous recognized medicinal benefits, and it’s used by people all over the world, it was time for a change. The change was made very recently too, and it’s one that may be remembered for years to come. Do you think legal CBD usage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup was the right move to make? What impact do you think it’ll have on other professional sports leagues?


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.