Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said Tuesday that he is partnering with a Woonsocket maker of CBD products that the retired football star credits with relieving his chronic pain from a bruising career.
Gronkowski, who walked away from the NFL in March at age 29, said at a news conference in New York that he will advocate for professional sports leagues to allow active players to use CBD products, which are generally banned.
â€śFor the first time in more than a decade, I am pain-free, and that is a big deal,â€ť Gronkowski said. â€śIâ€™m here today to appeal to the sports governing bodies of the world to update their position on CBD, whether thatâ€™s the NBA, MLB or NFL. Itâ€™s just time.â€ť
Gronkowski added that CBD â€śwould have made a huge difference for me, I believe, during my playing career.â€ť
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical found in cannabis plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THCÂ â€” another chemical found in cannabis plants â€” CBD is non-psychoactive.
Many CBD products derive the chemical from hemp, a cannabis plant that has lower levels of THC than marijuana, offering users the perceived health benefits of cannabis without a â€śhigh.â€ť
â€śWhile CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinsonâ€™s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drugâ€™s benefits is still limited,â€ť according to the Mayo Clinic.
Gronkowski is taking an ownership stake in Rhode Island-basedÂ Abacus Health Products, which merged with a Toronto firm earlier this year. The combined company operates under the Abacus name but trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Abacus makes topical ointments and plans to launch a line of edible products next year, in partnership with Gronkowski.
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.