Leonard Marshall, former Giants defensive end, is excited to hear the news from the BIG3 basketball league: the organization has decided to allow its players to use cannabidiol (CBD) for recovery and pain management. He told the Daily News, “I think it’s a major move.”
It is major indeed; the BIG3 is one of the only sports organizations boldly supporting CBD use. Marshall’s own organization, the NFL, as well as the NBA and MLB, still ban the use of CBD by their players. Although the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) no longer classifies CBD as a banned substance, most sports franchises are hesitant to legalize its use because of its relation to marijuana, and the social stigma associated with pot use. Vocal advocates like Marshall can do much to bring about change on this matter.
Marshall is the first NFL Hall of Fame nominee who also happens to be a CBD oil advocate. In 2003, he was diagnosed with CTE. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, often found in athletes and military veterans, degrades brain cells over time as it spreads. CBD is naturally anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective. It can offer relief for CTE sufferers, and some doctors believe that regular CBD use may prevent CTE altogether.
Now that his stint in the NFL is over, Marshall has made a career out of raising money and spreading awareness for CBD use. Because of its incredible benefits for the brain, Marshall advocates for all NFL players, current and former, to have access to CBD oil. He has not only volunteered for many nonprofit organizations, but also founded several of his own. His foundation Brain Trust Unity helps other concussion victims and raises awareness about the effects of head trauma.
Hemp-derived CBD oil is completely legal, and unlike marijuana, it is not intoxicating. CBD boasts multiple benefits. It curbs several types of anxiety, including social anxiety and panic attacks. The oil can also offer relief from neurological issues such as seizures. CBD even helps fight cancer, and it can ease symptoms — pain, nausea, and vomiting — associated with cancer and chemotherapy. Advocates like Marshall recognize CBD as a viable alternative to opioids and other strong painkillers.