August 3, 2021



Terrell Davis Hopes to Make CBD the NFL’s Alternative for Painkillers

3 min read

  • Terrell Davis started his own CBD product DEFY after discovering the chemical’s natural benefits.
  • DEFY is the world’s first mainstream CBD beverage that can be consumed through drinking.
  • Davis hopes his product and others can help phase out pain relievers in the NFL.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Terrell Davis first tried CBD after a workout in 2017 and it freed him from the pain relieving habits he had adopted during his NFL career. Now, as the founder of his own CBD drink DEFY, his goal is to help make it a staple of the recreation of NFL players.

Davis, who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos from 1995 to 2001, was initially skeptical of CBD and other cannabis products. But that changed when he realized what it was like as a former athlete struggling with pain from his playing days.

“When I left the game, I was struggling physically, constant pain, inflammation. I was taking quite a few pain pills, I was taking anti-inflammatory drugs every day, so I was just looking for something better, a better alternative. Davis told Insider. “It worked for me almost immediately. After days, if not almost immediately, I started noticing the effects. I was really impressed with what I saw.”

After trying it out for himself, Davis realized what it could do for his other counterparts in the NFL and professional sports at large, which motivated him to start his own brand.

“I know there are a lot of players, a lot of people who have the same ailment as me, and now I have a chance to tell them about it,” said Davis. “But the problem was, there wasn’t a brand that I could show them and say, ‘Hey man, you should use this.’ That’s when the idea came up in my hand that was gold standard, got everything right, backed by science, and was really something we could see in NFL lockers. “

Davis hopes DEFY and similar products can phase out prescription pain relievers in the NFL

The NFL announced on June 8 that it would invest $ 1 million in research into pain management and cannabinoids, which will mark a major shift in the league’s approach to cannabis.

Previously, the league had severely punished players if they tested positive for marijuana or similar substances such as CBD. Use of the products has also been a major cultural taboo among NFL players, including Davis.

However, in some states there are legal hurdles preventing the national distribution of certain CBD products, including DEFY. CBD is only fully legalized in 15 states, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has advised against consuming CBD as a food or drink.

But now that the NFL is researching the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and related substances, Davis wants to be at the forefront when it comes to offering players quality options.

“We are closely monitoring this and will likely file our application for it,” said Davis. “Our job is to try to be as effective in the National Football League or in professional sport and then in society as a whole. To remove those stereotypes, to remove the stigma of CBD.”

Davis believes an alternative to the League’s now widely available prescription pain relievers is needed. In addition, Davis has experience with drugs such as Vicodin and Toradol, which can lead to addiction and organ damage.

Toradol, in particular, has a high risk of internal bleeding and kidney problems – including kidney failure – if used for long periods of time, which many NFL players do.

In 2017, more than 1,500 former players filed a class action lawsuit accusing the league and its teams of repeatedly using pain relievers such as Toradol before and during matches, without disclosing long-term risks and side effects. Plus, Toradol reportedly wasn’t even the only pain reliever pushed to players.

“What was good for us 20 years ago, we thought it was good, and now we know it wasn’t. You use what you use based on what you have available and based on what works, ”said Davis. “When they get the stamp for [CBD], then we hope DEFY is high on the list to be in those locker rooms and be products that the players can take and feel safe and say it works and they don’t worry about addiction or harm need the body or organs. “