Cannabidiol campaign presses for change in NFL cannabis regulation

Capelli D'Angelo

Rex Grossman points out the defense scheme before the snap (Photo Credit: Wikipedia).
Rex Grossman points out the defense scheme before the snap (Photo Credit: Wikipedia).

Members of the NFL have teamed up with CW Botanicals and the Realm of Caring to fight for a change in the industry’s cannabis regulations. According to the Denver Post, When The Bright Lights Fade is a campaign organized by scientists, current and retired players to press for an increase in the NFL’s current THC limit so that players can safely treat symptoms with cannabidiol (CBD).

The fight for legal use of CBD can only be won if more research on the drug takes place. The team plans to experiment with effects of CBD on retired players to find clinical proof that the oil is safe to use.


“We’re talking about something with a safety profile that looks like vitamin C, but because it comes out of the controversial world of cannabis, people immediately associate it with a dangerous drug,” said Joel Stanley, CEO of CW. “Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

In 2014, the NFL increased the THC limit for players from 15 ng/ml to 35 ng/ml. CW’s chief communications officer, Ryan Kingsbury, is certain that players can use CBD without testing above the limit. 

“I’m confident it won’t, but I don’t want to tell a guy who has a multi-million-dollar deal that it won’t,” Kingsbury said.

Eugene Monroe, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle, is the only active NFL player involved in the movement. He has donated $10,000 to the cause, but refuses to experiment with the pain reliever in fear of testing hot during the season. 

This fear leads majority of players to use opioids instead. However, these medications are highly addictive and often result in long-term health effects. 

Eben Britton, former offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, claims that all players are prescribed some form of anti-inflammatory medication to ease pain. If they want to stay in the game, some form of pain relief is necessary. 

In 2011, Washington University released a study claiming 52 percent of retired players are still prescribed opiate-based medication, 71 percent of whom report abuse. Hundreds of players around the world are treating symptoms with dangerous medications. To read more about the campaign promoting safe CBD use, read the full story

Collegian Green Report Blogger Capelli D’Angelo can be reached online at