Rob Gronkowski, former Patriots tight end, is taking on a new venture in retirement. On Tuesday, Gronkowski talked about his support of CBD product usage for pain and recovery. He is advocating for NFL players to use these products.
In his nine year career, Rob Gronkowski has suffered a multitude of injuries. An injury-plagued career is one of the factors in what many believe to be Gronkowski’s early retirement.
Gronkowski did field questions on a possible return to football (giving an answer that still left his pro career door open for now). But a return to football would mean giving up a product he seems to believe work, because it is currently banned by the NFL. Not to mention he says he is not emotionally ready for a return.
Yet if Gronkowski believes so heavily in this product, maybe there is some room to ask why and how could it really benefit players in a league as physically straining as the NFL.
CBD products surely won’t be the “cure all” for Gronkowski’s pain. Many people for many different reasons, however, have used CBD oils for pain management. According to VeryWell Health, CBD oils are used for everyday pains like migraines and lower back pain. Other people use CBD for more severe illnesses, like pain from cancer and fibromyalgia.
The biggest difference between CBD products and marijuana is that CBD products do not contain THC. Without THC, there is no “high” or psychoactive results from the consumption of the products.
Currently, the NFL has a strict substance policy banning CBD, or any marijuana-related products. If players test positive, or if they find themselves in a substance-related legal situation, they face fines and suspensions.
It remains unclear whether CBD oils and products will alleviate pains like advocates say they do. VeryWell Health states that most CBD testing has been done on animals. The effects on humans are not well-known or understood. The lack of knowledge on CBD’s effectiveness certainly doesn't help Gronkowski's case.
On the other hand, many states have made efforts to legalize majiuana and marijuana-related products. If the NFL were to someday fall in line with what is already going on, it would be interesting to see how they handle recreational usage.
With little scientific analysis, it is hard for anyone to firmly say the NFL’s stance on CBD products is wrong or right. For now players have to stick to the rules in place. With more testing and analysis of the benefits, the NFL may someday need to reevaluate their substance policy as it stands.