Patriots

Patriots

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski revealed his "next chapter" on Tuesday: a partnership with a Cannabidiol (CBD) company. But what exactly is CBD and what are some of its benefits?

Gronk detailed in his emotional press conference just how beneficial CBD can be for recovery, though there's still plenty to learn about the product and the booming industry as a whole. That's why we recently chatted with Boston Hempire CEO Brandon Gadles and his business partner, Kevin Coyle, to learn more about CBD and everything it has to offer.

Boston Hempire, located in Hanover, Mass., is an online wholesale and retail distributor that specializes in natural and organic CBD flower.

What is CBD?

CBD is the second-most prevalent component of cannabis (marijuana) and is derived from the hemp plant.

Gadles and Coyle note the most common misconception of CBD is it will cause a "high" like marijuana. That is not the case as CBD products contain less than 0.3 percent THC and are non-psychoactive.

What are CBD's health benefits?

The predominant benefit of CBD is its use as an anti-inflammatory. It's comparable to Advil and other forms of Ibuprofen, although CBD is safer on the liver. CBD helps relieve bruising and swelling as well as joint pain and arthritis. It's also proven to have medical use for those with epilepsy.

 

Along with its physical benefits, CBD can act as an antidepressant. Some use CBD to manage stress and anxiety or improve sleep.

CBD also can act as an appetite accelerator. "My mother gained five pounds in chemo while using CBD," said Gadles.

Is CBD legal?

Yes, CBD is federally legal as long as it does not contain more than 0.3 percent THC. All of Boston Hempire's products fall under this category as they are derived from hemp and are legal at both the federal and state level.

CBD is legal in Massachusetts, but its legality varies in other states. To find out if CBD is legal in your state, go here.

What about CBD in sports?

PGA has cleared CBD, but other leagues such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB have yet to follow suit. As knowledge of CBD's health benefits continues to become more prevalent, it would not be a surprise to see these organizations become more lenient with CBD in the future.

Boston Hempire CEO Brandon Gadles notes CBD's emergence as a "huge benefit to the nation's opioid epidemic," which has reached the NFL. Many players depend on pain medications because of the league's harsh stance against cannabis.

How long will CBD stay in my system?

This depends on various factors such as one's weight, serving size, and prior usage history.

The general rule of thumb is CBD will not last in an individual's system for more than one week. The use of CBD products usually won't lead to a positive drug test due to the minimal amounts of THC, though users should still take caution.

So what's the future of CBD?

CBD's long list of health benefits is impossible to ignore, though misconceptions about the product due to its association with marijuana have led plenty to be skeptical.

The CBD industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, but Gadles emphasizes the importance of getting assistance from medical professionals to rid CBD of any stigma that may still be associated with it.

"We need confidence from doctors in order to give people the confidence to take [CBD]," Gadles told NBC Sports Boston.

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