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Gronk Spike: CBD Could be the NFL’s Next Big Thing


Former Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski recently revealed some pretty disturbing details about the injuries he suffered over the course of his career, specifically after he and the Patriots won this year’s Super Bowl. 

Instead of celebrating victory, Gronk “could barely walk,” he told NBC News. “I couldn’t even think. I was in tears, in my bed, after a Super Bowl victory.”

Super Bowl bruise

It was revealed that two weeks after the Super Bowl, Gronk needed to get 1 liter of blood drained from his quad after suffering internal bleeding stemming from what looked like an innocuous hit. 

Football is a violent game played by ever-evolving athletes that hit harder, jump higher, and run faster. It’s a completely different game than the one it started from, yet, one thing that hasn’t evolved with the game is pain management.

Despite more vicious injuries occurring more frequently, the remedy given to these modern-day gladiators remains the same as the one given to players almost half a century ago: pain pills and, because you’re a football player, a tough mindset that promotes playing through pain. 

But a quiet revolution is brewing in sports leagues, thanks to some not-so-quiet proponents of cannabis (Ricky Williams, for instance) and its second cousin, CBD. 

CBD is a compound found in marijuana and hemp plants, one that, when isolated from THC, does not produce a high in humans. Touted for its medicinal benefits, CBD has been hailed as a cure-all for ailments ranging from hangovers to epilepsy to pain relief.

Abacus Health

Simply put, it’s being marketed and sold as a panacea. And while the science hasn’t caught up with the hype, the future looks promising for CBD, and that’s why athletes — like Gronk — are championing the chemical compound. 

Gronkowski, who retired from football at just 30 years old, underwent nine surgeries during his nine seasons in the NFL. His body was ravaged. And what did he turn to? Not the bottle, not pills, not hyperbaric chambers, and not extensive, frostbite-inducing cryotherapy that will freeze your feet (cough, cough, Antonio Brown). 

rob gronkowski cannabis

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for CBDMEDIC

No, Gronk turned to CBD, partnering with Rhode Island-based Abacus Health, a CBD company. Together, Gronk and Abacus Health have teamed up to promote CBDMEDIC, a signature line of ointments, oils, and sprays designed to help relieve virtually every pain under the sun. 

At a CBDMEDIC press conference, Gronkowski pleaded with the big sports leagues, saying, “I’m here today to appeal to the sports governing bodies of the world to update their position on CBD, whether that’s the NBA, MLB, or NFL.” For reasons unknown, the violent and aggressive NHL and its players were not mentioned. 

Other NFL stars

While Gronk may be CBD’s most famous champion, he’s definitely not the first. Take Terrell Davis, the Hall of Fame back for the Denver Broncos who had a notorious migraine issue and a laundry list of injuries that ultimately derailed his career. 

In 2017, Davis co-founded DEFY, a CBD-infused sports drink in the U.S. that has greatly improved the quality of his life. 

Davis told CNBC, “I feel about as good as I did when I played. My knees, I have more flexibility in my joints right now. For a year and a half now I’ve had one migraine, and I didn’t have a full-blown migraine, so it’s helped me in that respect.” 

There isn’t a shortage of players supporting CBD and its purported healing benefits. The holdup today remains NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s inability to listen to his players’ wants and needs. As of now, Goodell remains fixated on the legality of CBD and how cannabis could be potentially addictive. All the while, he hasn’t played a down of professional football in his life and is willingly ignoring the organ that keeps the NFL alive — its players.