Klay Thompson Becomes First Active NBA Player to Back CBD Brand

    • CBD use in professional sports has been a hot topic in recent years.
    • The NBA has long banned the use of marijuana and its byproducts.

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Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, soccer superstar Alex Morgan, motorsports mainstay Travis Pastrama and skateboarder Paul Rodriguez are launching a CBD brand called Just Live, The Undefeated reported

Thompson, who sat out the 2019-20 NBA season while recovering from an ACL injury, is the first active NBA player to back a CBD brand. 

Despite pushback from current and former players, the league has long banned the use of marijuana and its byproducts, which include CBD. The league did not test for recreational drugs in the Orlando bubble, however, and league officials had previously expressed a willingness to reconsider the NBA’s policy. 

“The stigma behind [CBD] has always been it’s a drug or something you are smoking. But it comes in so many forms. The NBA is pretty progressive, as it’s shown over the summer with social justice and in other aspects. The NBA is leading by example by being progressive-minded. It’s great for sport,” Thompson told The Undefeated. “There are so many natural properties. It doesn’t have to be smoked. It can be applied as cream or used as pills, and it has hot-cold remedies as lotion. It’s a natural way of healing.”

Thompson added that he thinks CBD is a “great” option for pain relief and other benefits, like getting better sleep, especially when compared to the harsher substances athletes often use. Just Live’s products include topical treatments, supplements, tinctures and gummies.

“Not only in basketball, but in other sports guys are dependent on alcohol, opioids, or painkillers or some type of drug that doesn’t often help. You can take this naturally, and it applies to any athlete in the NBA from any demographic as a great natural way to relieve pain and enjoy a nice night of sleep,” Thompson said.

CBD use has been a hot topic in professional sports in recent years.

Two weeks ago, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield became the face of CBD brand Beam — and his venture capital fund had previously invested. But his public endorsement sparked the NFL Players Association to circulate a letter warning about potential rule violations for dealings with “cannabinoid products.”

Agents and marketing reps had inquired with the NFLPA, upset about Mayfield’s deal. Under the agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players are prohibited from endorsing or appearing in ads “for alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or cannabinoid products.”

In late 2019, MLB became the first major American professional league to remove natural cannabinoids — THC, CBD, and marijuana — from its list of “drugs of abuse.”

For the NBA, retired veteran player Al Harrington has been among the most vocal to push for the league to allow for CBD use.