Brett Favre can still recall how it felt when Reggie White sacked him before they were teammates in Green Bay.
“Reggie sacked me, and I knew I separated my shoulder,” Favre told Sporting News.
The former Packers quarterback can also still recall the multiple injections that followed at hafltime and after that game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Milwaukee County Stadium on Nov. 15, 1992. That was just the seventh of Favre’s 297 consecutive starts during a 20-year Hall of Fame career. Now, the NFL’s ultimate Ironman is wondering whether a product pushing into more NFL conversations would have helped throughout his prime.
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“When the injection wore off I was in tremendous pain,” Favre said. “Would the CBD products have helped? I don’t know how much, but it could have given the circumstances. You take what’s available at the time.”
CBD — or cannabidiol — is one of the ingredients in marijuana, and CBD products are being sold as an alternative to pain medications. On Wednesday, Favre announced a partnership with Green Eagle, a company that produces CBD products ranging from cream and roll-ons to sprays and liquid capsules. The products are 100 percent THC free. That is the other main ingredient in marijuana.
Favre, 50, is one of the former NFL players now endorsing CBD products as an alternative source of pain relief — and that has been a learning process for the Hall of Fame quarterback. For as many endorsements as Favre has done in the past, this one was unexpected.
“Not that my opinion is mainstream in America, but if you’re like me you can’t help but go somewhere here or there and see something CBD-related,” Favre said. “My thought had been, ‘That’s probably a bunch of pot smokers.’ That’s not the case.”
Favre learned more about CBD in talking with Green Eagle CEO Joseph Smadja, and he used the products to prepare for a half-marathon with his wife and daughter last December. He was surprised by the results.
“It’s way ahead of the market here,” Favre said. “It’s mainstream in various facets. That helped with the credibility. There is zero THC, which is the drug people put in brownies or whatever. Me being an advocate of a non-addictive pain reliever — it’s what I thought was a good fit.
“At some point it will be readily available in mainstream sports,” Favre said. “How soon? It’s hard to say.”
Favre isn’t the first NFL player to enter the CBD space. Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski endorsed CBD products during his brief retirement. The NFL also relaxed some of its marijuana-related policies as part of the latest collective bargaining agreement. That could pave the way for CBD products in the future.
Favre, who dealt with painkiller and alcohol additions throughout his career, believes CBD will be a safer alternative that grows in popularity over the next several years.
“I’ve never smoked marijuana,” Favre said. “It’s not my thing. I was addicted to pain pills, which was bad enough, and I certainly think this is a welcome relief and alternative to pain pills.”
Green Eagle emerged in 2020 as one of those companies joining the CBD marketplace. For Favre, the benefits of the substance have helped him in his post-retirement career. He believes active players can enjoy the same benefits.
“The NFL and sports in general should look into it for general stuff,” he said. “If you tear an ACL, go to a doctor and get it fixed. For aches and pains, tendinitis, things like that? Absolutely, it works. It’s good. It benefits all.”