In June 2021, the NFL made headlines pledging $1 Million dollars to cannabis research and on Feb the 1st, 2022, the NFL officially announced the recipients. Out of 106 proposals submitted, two teams from the University of San Diego and the University of Regina in Canada were selected by the NFL and the NFL Players Association’s Joint Pain Management Committee to investigate the effects of cannabinoids on pain management and neuroprotection from concussion in elite football players.
“We’re always interested in trying to improve our approach and our treatment for acute and chronic pain in NFL players, and we always want to make sure that our players are receiving the most up-to-date medical consensus around any of these treatments.”-NFL Chief Medical Officer, Dr Allen Sills / Associated Press
Over the 2021 season, the NFL made approximately $9.8Billion in revenue with 32 teams receiving a record breaking $309 million each. Despite making strides, the one question that lingers for the cannabis community; Is this Enough?
Progression & Infused Offseasons
In recent years, retired and active elite football players have come to the forefront to advocate for cannabis and apply pressure to change outdated policies. In 2021, the NFL loosened their stance on cannabis consumption during the offseason providing for infused offseasons. Retired and active NFL players have been advocating for Cannabis to help with healing, inflammation, anxiety, speed up recovery and get better sleep. In a sport where career security hinges on health, NFL athletes have been forced to take extreme measures, relying on opioids and pain medications to cope with injuries as well as stay game ready. The new guidelines allow players to consume Delta 9 THC-Carboxylic Acid during the offseason from April 20 to Aug 09.
Former NFL Players Leading the Charge
Cannabis athlete, NFL legend, thought leader and entrepreneur Ricky Williams has launched Highsman, a unique premium cannabis lifestyle brand focused on empowering professionals, athletes and sports enthusiasts.
Ricky Williams ultimately discovered the healing properties of Cannabis mid career, partnering in the plant to help manage pain, injuries and the stresses of being an elite professional athlete. Eager to learn more, Ricky Williams traveled to the Himalayas in pursuit of a deeper understanding of the plant and its healing properties. After years of research and development, Ricky has officially announced the rollout of Highsman;
With NFL playoffs underway, it’s important to shed light on prevalent issues that current and past athletes are enduring. Athletes like retired NFL icon and super bowl champion Darrelle Revis, are sharing their journeys with PTSD and the profound effects cannabis has provided.
Shortly after retiring, Revis revealed he was diagnosed with PTSD, which changed his perspective on mental health. Normalizing the conversation, Revis joined Brandon Marshall, Chad Ochocino, Channing Crowder and Jared Odrick, on the I Am Athlete Podcast, to talk about his journey, mental health and the pivotal role plant based modalities are playing in his life.
2022 has provided an opportunity for athletes and individuals around the world to lead a movement and normalize the Sports Cannabis Conversation. Retired NFL Icon, Super Bowl Champion and entrepreneur, Marvin Washington is pushing the conversation forward, using his platform to advocate for cannabis and athletes around the globe.
Marvin Washington is a former defensive end, who played eleven seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, the San Francisco 49ers and is a Super Bowl Champion.
Today, Marvin Washington continues to make an impact on and off the field, shifting the cannabis conversation as well as creating a host of educational initiatives for athletes of any background.