Former Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski announced a partnership Tuesday with Abacus Health launching a line of cannabidiol (CBD) products, which is sure to be good news for the cannabis industry that has seen some decline the past few months.
Gronkowski, a five-time Pro Bowler and a future Hall of Famer, retired after winning the Super Bowl this year after suffering a number of significant injuries over the years. Gronkowksi said CBD products have changed his life by helping manage the pain of essentially getting into a car wreck for 16 Sundays a year, not including preseason and playoff games, of which the Patriots played in a lot of during his nine-year career.
“I immediately made CBDMedic part of my recovery,” Gronkowski said of his post-retirement treatment, according to a story by CBS Boston. “And now for the first time in more than a decade, I am pain-free. And that is a big deal.
Gronkowski, 30, cited his nine surgeries and countless injuries in deciding to retire.
“(The injuries) took an absolute beating on my mind and my soul. I was hurt both mentally and physically, day in and day out,” he said. “I decided to walk away from the game for one reason: I had to recover.
“I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down and I didn’t like it. And I was losing that joy in life. Like, the joy. I’m sorry right now,” Gronkowski added later, fighting through tears. “But … I really was. And I was fighting through it. And I knew what I signed up for and I knew what I was fighting through, and I knew I just needed to fix myself.”
Gronkowski said the results of using CBD, which is a nonpsychoactive ingredient found in cannabis that doesn’t get you “high” like THC, have convinced him to become an advocate for allowing active professional athletes to use CBD.
“It’s just time,” he said.
Cannabis of any kind, even nonpsychoactive CBD, is currently on the NFL’s banned substances list. Gronkowski said his father introduced him to CBD in March of this year, and he says he’s been pain-free “for the first time in over a decade.”
Gronkowski shared his plans to launch the CBDMedic line of products in conjunction with Abacus Health Products in 2020, and the product will be “all-natural” and “fitness-oriented.”
Gronkowski said CBD has been such a lift for his health, he won’t rule out a return to football — just not right now.
“I’m just in the first stage right now,” Gronkowski said. “When that time comes down in the future, if I have the desire to play football again, if I feel passionate about football again, if I’m feeling I need to be out there on the field, I will go back to football.
“As of right now, that is not the case. It could be the case in six months; it could be the case in two years; it could be the case in three years; it could be the case in three months. But I truly don’t see it in the foreseeable future in like a week or a month.”