Former Ohio State football star and Fox Sports analyst Chris Spielman is the latest athlete to enter the ever-expanding and occasionally controversial world of cannabidiol, a supplement used to treat all manner of ailments.
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, comes from cannabis but contains no THC, the intoxicating ingredient in its cousin marijuana.
While science and medicine have yet to fully embrace CBD, millions of people use it and swear by it. Spielman said he agreed to put his name on a line of cannabidiol products from the Kansas-based company CBD Health Connection after he used the cannabis extract to alleviate aches and pains.
Cannabidiol products aimed at athletes have proliferated in the past couple of years. Last year the Westerville-based Motive Wellness LLC introduced a line of CBD products specifically marketed to athletes.
Professional athletes and former pros like former NFL linebacker David Ahrens, former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer, former NBA point guard Jay Williams, former boxer Mike Tyson, and U.S. Women’s Soccer star Megan Rapinoe have advocated for the supplement or signed deals to endorse CBD products.
Spielman, who played in the NFL from 1988 to 1999 for the Detroit Lions, the Buffalo Bills and then the Cleveland Browns, stayed in contact with other former players through the years. When lingering pain from injuries sustained during his playing days flared up, they encouraged him to try cannabidiol.
“I got to the point where I didn’t want to take any more over-the-counter medication,” he said, referring to anti-inflammatory medications like Tylenol and Aleve. “A lot of (former football players) are trying CBD oil, so I started trying it.”
Multiple surgeries and a body ravaged by football resulted in frequent pain for the former Buckeye.
“I have a fusion in my neck, a hip replacement, I’ve had broken fingers,” Spielman said. He said he was initially skeptical, but found the CBD oil alleviated the pain. “For me it takes the edge off, and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Spielman said his products are aimed at anyone experiencing nagging pain, a group that includes athletes and anyone suffering from conditions like arthritis.
The Spielman CBD line includes a tincture of CBD for 49.95, a bottle of CBD freezing gel for 39.95 and a CBD pain patch for 29.95.
Over the years, studies have come to differing conclusions on the efficacy of CBD. Some research found it useful for anxiety and minor pains, while other studies found it no better than a placebo.
The extract acquired something of a cult following in recent years, with users taking the supplement to treat anything from chronic pain to ADHD.
Spielman acknowledged that the extract won’t work for everyone.
“I can only speak for my experience and what I wanted to do,” he said. “I’ve found that, for pain relief, this has been just as effective (as over the counter drugs).”
He encouraged anyone experiencing aches and pains to try it after consulting with their doctor.