The BIG3, a 3-on-3 basketball league made up of former NBA players, will allow its athletes to use cannabidiol, or CBD, for pain management, making it what’s the league says is first pro sports league in the country to approve the use of the cannabis compound.
CBD comes from the cannabis plant, but doesn’t include THC, the ingredient that produces the “high” of marijuana.
The league said in a statement Tuesday that CBD was legal for players to use effective immediately. The league’s season began last week.
— BIG3 (@thebig3) June 27, 2018
“This announcement follows the removal of CBD from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) banned substances list which went into effect at the beginning of 2018,” the league said in a statement. “With this decision, BIG3 is now the first professional sports league in the U.S. to allow access to CBD for use in pain management and recovery.”
The league was created by music producer and actor Ice Cube.
“Despite many states around the country making efforts to decriminalize or legalize cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally, professional athletes who could benefit medicinally are prevented from doing so by league outdated mandates,’ the BIG3 said in its statement, referring to other professional sports leagues where the substance remains banned.
Several former NFL players have lobbied to be able to use either CBD, marijuana, or both, and one potentially current player, Mike James, has asked the league to let him use cannabis, but so far, the American football league doesn’t allow it.
The BIG3 took note of the argument many former NFL players have made – that if CBD works for pain management it could be safer for players than the powerfully addictive opioid painkillers many are subscribed.
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