Pro Athletes’ CBD Use Is Coming Under Scrutiny

The NFL said it wants to see more studies of how cannabis affects fitness

Professional athletes are turning to cannabis products to help them manage pain, but leagues such as the NFL aren’t yet ready to get on board.

Last week, the league said it wants to see more studies of how cannabis affects fitness. At the moment, there’s no scientific evidence that the products work, or that they’re safe, NFL officials said. Additionally, elite professionals aren’t your average jock — a lot of money is at stake and the NFL wants to know exactly how cannabis will affect their performance.

Kevin Hill, a doctor who co-chairs a committee on pain management for the NFL and its players’ association, sounded a note of caution: “There is a growing body of evidence that suggests it’s a little bit more risky than people think,” Hill said.

He cited concerns about the purity and potency of cannabis products, as well as potential interactions with other drugs that players take. There’s also concern that the high doses of cannabis products needed to treat pain can cause liver damage.

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