Former NFL veteran Marvin Washington and other athletes explain the benefits of CBD

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Lifelong athletes are almost certainly going to run into injuries through the course of their playing days. As wear and tear sets in pulls and tweaks often become tears and breaks. From the professional athlete to the recreational league players, the love of the game propels individuals to play until their bodies say no more.

Jose Nunez played professional baseball in the Dominican Republic. A few years ago during his playing days, Nunez was like most people, unaware of CBD entirely. Instead, he trained and conditioned like his teammates and others in the league. Both of Nunez's hamstrings gave him trouble throughout his career. However, once such tear would force Nunez to decide if he wanted to go under the knife to potentially extend his carrer. Instead, he opted to retire from professional competition. Today, he lives in New York City and continues to play recreationally. He credits CBD for lessening his recovery times after games which have helped his performance on the field.

Professionals are far from the only athletes benefitting from CBD. Nick is an early 30s recreational hockey goalie for numerous street and ice leagues in New York City. Playing mostly as a goalie since a child in upstate New York, he has begun to experience increased pains to certain joints and body pains in recent years. In the past few months, he began using CBD after games. In addition to helping him recover after games, he noticed some of the additional benefits to using the cannabinoid. "CBD has made a difference for me with pain relief after physical sports but also for headaches as well. I thought I had a migraine coming for sure, but taking some CBD actually helped suppress some effects coupled with normal migraine medicine."

Speaking with an NFL Veteran and CBD Expert Marvin Washington

Marvin Washington was once best known for his long-running career as a defensive end in the NFL for the New York Jets and other teams. Today, however, Washington may be known more for his work in the CBD space as an educator and with the company Isodiol.

Playing in the NFL long before knowing about CBD, Washington told 420 Intel that pain began in training camp and ran through the entire season, affecting each person on the team. The pain would be immense. It was not uncommon to see men in walking casts all week mustering through the pain to play on Sunday and Monday night. “In normal civilian life, it might be an eight-week injury," he explains, "In football, it’s a week or few days.”

Washington explained that players, including himself, would use anti-inflammatories and other pain pills to battle their injuries during the 1990s. He doesn't blame teams or its physicians for their pain management suggestions. Instead, he points the blame at pharmaceutical companies who he says misled doctors on how to get players back onto the field, which is the overall name of the game. “As an NFL player, the best ability that you have is your availability. You have to be available to practice to play." Washington elaborated that by his fourth or fifth season in the league he had learned how to manage his pain thanks to veterans on the team. "I could write my own ‘script - what it took to get me to play from Sunday to Sunday and what I may need after the game to bounce back for the next practice.”

Washington mentioned that today's NFL players follow similar practices. When asked about potentially failing a drug test for cannabis or other medications, he dismissed its impact on most players. “The thing with the league’s drug test is that it’s not a drug test. It’s an intelligence test." Washington added, "You know when it’s coming. It’s coming once a year in the month of July, within the first two weeks of training camp. So guys know when the test comes. If you fail, you either have a serious problem or aren’t that smart.”

Years after his playing days concluded Washington discovered CBD, something today's players know all about and ask him for advice. “We were pretty much in the dark ages," said Washington about his knowledge during his playing days. When people ask him about how CBD affected him, Washington points out that it was a building up process for him. "It had to get into my body and my endocannabinoid system. Once I started using consistently over time, I could notice in my work out and how I felt. For me, it was like oil for the Tin Man.”

Will Other Leagues Allow CBD?

To date, the only American professional league to allow CBD consumption is the Big 3. Both Washington and Nunez point to varying reasons why the leagues in their respective sports have not approved CBD use. Nunez believes that while regulations are the largest hurdle, stigma and a lack of education has been a contributing factor as well. After discovering CBD for himself, Nunez understood that he could help educate his profession as well as the everyday person. “After discovering the benefits of CBD, I knew it was my mission to share the knowledge with the people around me and others.” Recently, he began his own CBD venture, Yerba Organics, to help advance CBD because Nunez his "passion to create a CBD product that should be easily available to the common consumer.”

Washington believes that the NFL could change its policy if the 2018 Farm Bill is passed. Additionally, he noted how the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) does not consider CBD to be a performance enhancer but does with Adderal and Ritalin. Currently, the NFL allows for therapeutic exemptions for the two drugs but not CBD. This is one issue he is sure that the players will address soon enough. "The current collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its body of players, the NFLPA, is up in 2020. So, I know they’ve come up with a policy to at least let players use CBD.”

Washington and Nunez currently work on opposite sides of the CBD spectrum, with Isodiol an established name in the space while Yerba Organics is just beginning. Yet, both note how little the public knows about CBD and strive to educate them. Whether a pro athlete, Sunday league competitor or just an everyday person, the benefits of CBD have the potential to improve the body and its recovery time. Take it from the athletes themselves. You’ll be hearing from more soon enough.

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