In 2018, former Green Bay Packer Cullen Jenkins had surprising news: He was taking CBD oil to help relieve his pain and inflammation and help him sleep. It was, he believed, a much healthier alternative to the alcohol dependency he’d developed just to get a good night’s rest, after years of destroying his body playing in the NFL.
Back then, at least in Wisconsin, most of us were not well versed in this extracted part of the cannabis plant.
Four and a half years later?
“Now you can buy it at the gas station,” said Dr. Cecilia Hillard, an expert in the area of cannabinoids.
With the acceptance and availability of CBD oil, what about its use in the sports world, both for professional and recreational athletes? Is CBD oil beneficial?
Hillard is the associate dean for research and director of the Neuroscience Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Her expertise is in this field, and she said that while there is scientific research that points to benefits of CBD oil use, there are also very stern warnings for the athletes who use them – specifically, athletes who are tested for banned substances.
A lot has changed since Cullen Jenkins’ revelation
A lot has changed since Jenkins’ story ran in 2018. The CBD market accounted for $4.7 billion in total sales in 2021, according to Major League Baseball, which recently became the first major professional sports league to form a sponsorship agreement with a CBD company.