In recent months, one of the active compounds of industrial hemp, cannabidiol (also known as CBD), has been making headlines with several professional athletes coming out in support of the product as a potential supplement to help in a variety of ailments that plague people in the sporting industry. CBD is non-psychoactive and is becoming increasingly mainstream with wholesaler Walmart now carrying CBD products. Industrial hemp derived CBD has also captured attention within professional football and mixed martial arts.
CBD has increasingly become demanded given large-scale attention, including from mixed martial arts fighter Nate Diaz. Following his loss to featherweight champ Conor McGregor back in August, Diaz held a press conference in Las Vegas where he consumed CBD. At the press conference, Diaz said that he uses CBD before and after fights, and even in his training regimen.
To further explore this new demand source, the Hemp Industry Association’s Conference in Denver, September 17-20, featured former NFL players, neuroscientists and a non-profit organization that have teamed up to research and promote the potential benefits of CBD.
The HIA conference hosted a panel discussion, titled CBD, Pain & the Brain, that featured former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer and wide receiver Charlie Adams. The panel also included Associate Professor at the University of Houston, Dr. Jokubas Ziburkas and Geoff Whaling, an active member of the not for profit organization Realm of Caring.
According to Whaling, Realm of Caring has partnered with Johns Hopkins University as well as the University of Pennsylvania to help clinically research the neuro-protective properties of CBD when incorporated into a healthy diet. Prior to discovering CBD, Plummer described how he had trouble standing up after sitting for long periods of time, or would experience pain in his joints trying to get on the floor to play with his kids. After discovering and taking CBD, he said that now he “feels more alert, more spry.”
While there are still challenges and many unknowns around CBD, both Plummer and Adams said on the panel that they would like the NFL to look into incorporating CBD into the diets of its players. One hurdle is that CBD may contain trace amounts (less than 0.3%, which is the legal federal maximum) of THC. Some players are nervous that trace amounts of THC could lead to a failed drug test, having a material impact on their career. According to Whaling, Realm of Caring and John Hopkins University have teamed up to look into this challenge. They are conducting a study to measure cannabinoid use and the THC levels that come up in urine.
Athletes in the world of the mixed martial arts and NFL have begun to speak out about use cases involving CBD, and large wholesalers like Walmart are making CBD products available to the nation. Accordingly, there is support for more insight into the potential benefits that CBD has on several ailments. That said, while Seed CX finds these case studies, personal anecdotes, and the research therein to be promising, it should be noted that medical trials are ongoing, and as of print, have not confirmed the therapeutic properties of CBD.
CBD is the base-pricing factor for the Seed Hemp Extract contract.