Pro Sports and CBD: Is the NHL Onboard
Although the NHL’s former and current governing bodies are cautiously and slowly altering the perception of players using CBD in the NHL, professional sports in general still have a long way to go.
Cannabis is not currently prohibited in the NHL, and players who are found using substances related to cannabis are not immediately fined or suspended as they would be in other leagues like the NFL or MLB. Instead, if a player tests positive for cannabis use, the NHL does not make that information public, and no action is taken unless it is established that the player needs treatment for substance abuse.
Even though the NHL has a somewhat tolerant stance toward cannabis use, some executives have stated that a history of use would still be detrimental to anyone with a promising career in the league.
According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the league is satisfied with its current health program and would consider making changes in the future if necessary prior to the drug’s legalization in Canada.
“The NHL and the NHLPA may eventually reach a non-binding agreement regarding marijuana use among league players,” according to Don Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players Association.
Some players seem more willing to try cannabis, especially CBD, for medicinal purposes and as a way to mitigate some of the physical harm their bodies endure while playing on the ice.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said, “You don’t want to be taking pain medication and Advil all the time.” “Many extremely knowledgeable doctors are looking into it. I believe you might want to hear them out if everything is safe and checked off the list “.
In order to cope with the stress, anxiety, and pain that came with fighting, Riley Cote, a former Philadelphia Flyers tough guy, told Sportsnet that he used marijuana while he was a player. Additionally, he mentioned that he knew several league members who also used marijuana.
Cote now oversees a wellness program for treating former and current athletes, and he claims that CBD products could be used as a therapeutic tool. It’s about assisting these men in waking up the following morning, according to Cote, “so they can feel functional enough, good enough, and enjoy their families without worrying about the pain and anxiety and that vicious cycle that typically leads to mental health issues.”
Another former NHL player who is now an executive told Sportsnet that he believes that between 60 and 70 percent of the league’s players currently use marijuana, which he claimed could lead to the league’s future acceptance of the drug.
The league has made progress in at least researching the substance, despite the stigma that still prevents players and executives from publicly endorsing or admitting their use of CBD. The NHL Alumni Association and Canopy Growth collaborated on a clinical study in March to examine the potential benefits of CBD for the treatment of post-concussion neurological problems.
Although the long-term effects of CBD use have not yet been thoroughly investigated, the clinical study will use a group of about 100 former NHL players to investigate the effectiveness of cannabis on post-concussion symptoms like PTSD and depression. Glenn Healy, a former player and the president of the Alumni Association, stated that “at least now, we’re going down the road of being the first sports entity to look at it, we give a shit, and we are going to get some answers.”
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