Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins played 13 seasons in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Washington and told TMZ Sports he used Vicodin, alcohol and other pills to help with pain during his career.
"You feel the pain all the time, and you're constantly trying to find ways to deal with the pain," he said.
Jenkins said he used to take four Advil and two Tylenol before practices and two Vicodin before games but is pill-free in retirement and has shifted to cannabidiol after suggestions from family.
"Cannabidiol [CBD] is one of the 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis but doesn't have any psychoactive effects," TMZ wrote.
Jenkins said the NFL should look into it, asking, "Why not at least give it a look?"
Project CBD offered further explanation, noting, "The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for patients looking for relief."
It listed inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy and other neurological disorders as conditions and issues CBD can potentially help patients manage.
The United States government has sponsored much of the scientific research on CBD.
Despite dealing with the pain he described, Jenkins, 37, played at least 11 games in every season but one.
He won Super Bowl XLV with the Packers, where he played the first seven seasons of his career, and finished with 49 career sacks. He notched at least three sacks in nine different seasons.