Ice Cube’s BIG3 Becomes First U.S. Sports League To Allow Cannabidiol (CBD)

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Photo: Jonathan Daniel/BIG3 (Getty)

Many know Ice Cube as a famous entertainer. They may not know he’s also a business mogul who runs a new basketball league “changing the game” on — and now off — the court.

Cube’s BIG3 is a fun 3-on-3 pro basketball league that has rosters full of former NBA players. There’s a four point shot, a 14-second-shot clock, and it’s certainly a novel concept gaining fans fast. But the league is also gaining approval for Cube’s latest move — allowing players to use cannabidiol (CBD).

“This is a no-brainer decision,” league co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz said, via James Herbert of CBS Sports. “This is a medical decision. It is a medical and a humane decision. To not allow athletes to use CBD and instead to force them to use opioids is irresponsible and perhaps even disgusting. It reflects an attitude of not caring about player health.”

“Hopefully us doing this for our players will also send a message out there that we need to make decisions not based on politics but based on medical data and actually treat each other humanely,” Kwatinetz added.

For some reason, this move by the former Friday actor doesn’t surprise us…

In all seriousness, though, it’s a step in the right direction for people battling addiction or a litany of other conditions. In case you’re unfamiliar with CBD, it’s a chemical found within cannabis known to treat things such as pain, anxiety, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. Remedy Recovery is a San Francisco-based rehabilitation facility that also commended the mogul’s move towards allowing CBD with his athletes.

Here’s just a few recent snapshots from Twitter.

Although players in virtually every other sports league aren’t allowed to use it — and it’s technically not legal at the federal level — the DEA even noted they’re not going after anyone who can benefit medically from CBD.

Cube noted that CBD is “medicine,” while talking to TMZ. He also said BIG3 is “ahead of the game,” and that other leagues will have to adjust their policies, as well.

Josh’s Take

I’ve done stories on families who have been forced to move states in order to legally obtain hemp-based medicine to help their children. I would like to think any rational person in this country can decipher between a harmful and helpful chemical. This is simply a smart move by Mr. Cube, and I hope other leagues will follow suit.

I’ll tell you right now, the NFL will be last. But that’s another story for another day.

Nice work, Ice.


Josh Helmuth is a sports reporter in St. Louis who contributes to Mandatory. He likes to smoke ham. Follow him here

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