Marijuana has been trending, especially in recent times. The legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada was a milestone. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the cannabis-derived drug for the very first time. The past few years have been memorable for marijuana users.
Illinois too legalized the consumption and sale of recreational marijuana, as recently as last year. The move was done following the complete legislative procedure. All of these resulting actions resulted in the growing sale of marijuana
Looking at all the developments of the past, the upcoming year has a lot of expectations of the marijuana industry. There are so many predictions and assumptions about the market, but one of the major expectations is from the National Football League (NFL). Since Major League Baseball (MLB) relaxed its policy regarding the use of marijuana or cannabidiol (CBD), all eyes are now on the NFL. Experts claim CBD is a non-psychoactive drug and hence it has some of the best properties that are known for its medical benefits. There have been questions regarding the same, asking why the NFL is not allowing its players to use CBD. Since it is the most-watched sports, change in their policy would mean a lot and would set a new milestone. But the NFL is firm on their stand of not allowing the players to use CBD.
NFL could be a game changer
The initiative was first taken by the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) when they announced their intentions to form a Joint Pain Management Committee that would examine alternative therapies and pain management treatments. They had the aim to look out for alternatives regarding pain management treatment. The committee considered the use of medical marijuana and CBD along with other alternatives.
Considering CBD as an option by the committee is justified since it has much medicinal significance. This could turn out to be a dramatic change in the history of the sport. The NFL is compared to MLB, as they recently removed CBD from the list of banned substances. The NFL’s decision could very well change the dynamics of the game, for the players as well as the viewers.
Since it is about the medicinal use of CBD, one name definitely comes to mind. That is GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, it was the first approved cannabis-derived drug. GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex is a CBD based oral drug, it has helped to reduce the frequency of seizures significantly. The drug was helpful to patients with two rare types of childhood-onset epilepsy. The decision to approve the Epidiolex was a great thing since it has helped so many people. This also shows the medical benefit of the CBD.
In defense of CBD, one more thing should be mentioned, and that the Farm Bill 2018. Donald Trump signed the bill and permitted to produce hemp-derived CBD. This has led to growth in hemp farming since the hemp-derived CBD was to be used in multiple products, the market too was expecting a lot.
NFL Missed the golden opportunity
When everyone was hoping for some positive news from the NFL, they came up with a statement declaring no change in the policy. The news turned off the moods of many. This could have been such a great step for the marijuana industry.
All the progress went in vain, the committee was disappointed too. This was a golden chance for the NFL to make the changes in their drug policy.
Although the NFL stated that the proposals and suggestions were respected, and it did prove to be educational, the committee has concluded that there will be no changes in the current drug policy of the league. The reason behind the decision was the lack of information and research conducted on CBD. They were not sure about the connection between CBD and pain management. The NFL once again reminded everyone that marijuana and its associated cannabinoids remain illegal under the League’s current drug policy.
If this was not enough, the two white papers that NFL sent to its team’s medical staff recently worked as an ultimatum. It was mentioned that due to a lack of research and evidence CBD is not approved yet. They also pointed out the fact that the sample size of the studies conducted was way too small to be considered. Also allowing such products could lead to addiction and many other problems for the players.
The final words in those white papers were, “As the decision is made, CBD is still considered as a substance of abuse. The NFL policy stays unchanged and no player should opt for the use of CBD. Adding to it, there was an indirect warning for the players for not using the CBD since it has many side effects, such as addiction, psychiatric disorders, or depression.”
FDA too considers CBD not safe
This is not the first time that the people were left disappointed. The FDA too did the same thing last year, when they announced the possible approval of CBD used in dietary supplements. The FDA announced last year that CBD could be used in food and beverages, but the decision never saw the day of the light. People were hopeful that the decision would help the market grow.
While the country was unhappy with the delay in the decision, a leading authority on food and prescription medicines came up with a report, saying CBD has the potential to cause harm. This was a major setback as the report was supported by the FDA and thus they too believed the same. The report was regarding the possible ill effects of CBD, which got affirmation from the FDA. Although FDA approved GW Pharmaceuticals’ lead drug, it was due to the presence of the healing properties.
Looking at the entire issue, the former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb came up with a statement upsetting the people. According to Gottlieb, the FDA generally takes two to three years of research before releasing any product in the food chain. The case here is different since CBD is a very complicated substance, it seems the FDA might take some more time to conduct the research. He also added that since it is regarding the safety of the people more precautions are taken by the authorities, which could result in strict evaluation.<
In the end, one thing is clear, neither the FDA nor the NFL came up with any positive news. Both of them disappointed the people, and the market. The expectations of exponential growth in the CBD market failed. This means the market could see a decline in sales, until the organizations decide in favor of the product nothing could bring up the sale.