Each sporting league has different rules and perceptions of CBD, though consumption remains mostly outlawed for actively professional players.
That’s why it’s more common for former professional athletes to share their successes with using cannabidiol — whether it’s for muscle recovery, positive mindset, or performance.
The World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances in 2018, but national sporting organizations have been slow to embrace the compound.
However, the regulations don’t stop professional athletes from investing in hemp-focused sports companies. Investments, product endorsements, and brand sponsorships involving athletes and CBD are starting to emerge.
Notable Black professional athletes — current and retired — have been speaking up to shift the perspectives of CBD in sports, from gymnasts to basketball players. And there's a particularly significant context.
In the War on Drugs, Black Americans have been disproportionately affected. Black cannabis users are 4 times as likely to be arrested for cannabis use, even when usage rates are comparable to white Americans.
The success of Black-owned cannabis businesses is essential to building a more equitable market.
Here are four decorated, well-known Black American athletes supporting CBD:
24, Gymnast/Olympic Gold Medalist
Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas is a Black American three-time Olympic gold medalist who invests in support of CBD for athletes. An artistic gymnast, she became the first African American to win the Olympic individual all-around championship in 2012, among other significant accolades.
Gabby Douglas has reportedly invested in MotiveCBD — a sports-focused company offering topicals and capsules to aid the musculoskeletal system of athletes, as reported by Leafly. Gabby Douglas is on Instagram at @gabbycvdouglas.
41, Former UFC Fighter
Daniel Ryan Cormier is a former professional mixed martial artist and two-time Olympic wrestler. Also known as Daniel “DC” Cormier, he’s both a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
47, Former NFL Football Player
Terrell Lamar Davis is a former American football running back who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017. He won two Super Bowl championships while playing with the Denver Broncos from 1995 to 2001.
He currently touts a Powerade-esque CBD performance drink called DEFY. After CBD changed his life, Terrell Davis formulated the flavorful, science-driven collection to aid athletes in the process of muscle recovery. Terell Davis is on Instagram at @therealterrelldavis.
31, NBA Basketball Player
Kevin Wayne Durant is a current professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association. He currently plays the position of small forward/power forward for the Brooklyn Nets (previously playing for Seattle, San Francisco, and Oklahoma), so he doesn’t use CBD himself as it’s still not permitted in the NBA.And yet, through his work with Thirty Five Ventures, his capital investment firm for startups, Kevin Durant funds the Dutchie delivery platform for compliant dispensaries alongside Snoop Dogg and others. It processes 10% of legal cannabis sales worldwide, according to GeekWire. Kevin is on instagram at @easymoneysniper.