The BIG3, a three-on-three basketball league comprised of mostly retired NBA players, has allowed the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for pain relief and recovery. The decision will make the BIG3 the first U.S. based professional sports league to allow CBD. The BIG3 says the decision follows the removal of CBD from the World Anti Doping Agency’s banned substances list.
“The BIG3 is uniquely positioned in professional sports as a player-powered league that looks at our players as partners not property,” BIG3 co-founder and co-CEO Jeff Kwatinetz said in a press release. “As a testament to our relationship with our players, we listened to their feedback on CBD, as well as feedback from professionals in the regulatory and CBD industry, and decided to take this major step to support their health.”
Kwatinetz repeatedly referenced the opioid crisis, saying that CBD is a less dangerous alternative when it comes to pain management. He said the league had been discussing this decision for “at least six months.” The support for cannabis in sports is growing, with current and former NFL players calling for medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids in addition to the NBA Player’s Union calling for medical cannabis for pain relief and recovery.
Al Harrington, a 16-year NBA veteran and current co-captain of BIG3’s Trilogy has long been an outspoken proponent for medical cannabis and CBD. Harrington is the CEO of Harrington Wellness, a line of upscale CBD-based wellness products, as well as the founder of Viola Extracts.
The second season of the league co-founded by Ice Cube began last week in Houston. Ice Cube wanted the BIG3 to change professional basketball and with the allowing of CBD products, could change the professional sports landscape.
“We always change the game,” Cube told TMZ Sports in NYC. “We ahead of the game.”