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Former NFL player Chris Hetherington has officially introduced the first orange-derived CBD oil, Peels, that promises a more consistent, pure, and stable texture, as well as zero trace of THC compared to regular CBD products extracted from hemp plants. CBD is a natural stress and pain management supplement for professional athletes like NFL players. Click to learn more about the benefits of CBD. Former football players turned to CBD to deal with post-NFL health issues, and now many of them endorse brands or have their own CBD brand.

Former NFL Player Launches First CBD Products Made From Orange Peels

Peels has raised $4 million from Connecticut-based private equity group KarpReilly LLC.

Your next CBD products are here, and they’re made from orange peels.

Former NFL player Chris Hetherington has officially introduced the first orange-derived CBD oil, Peels, that promises a more consistent, pure, and stable texture, as well as zero trace of THC compared to regular CBD products extracted from hemp plants to the U.S. through its direct-to-consumer website.

The launch was made possible after Peels received a $4 million investment from KarpReilly LLC., a Connecticut-based private equity group that has also funded various food and beverage companies, including PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator program’s latest winner Spudsy, and functional beverage brands KOIA, LifeAid, KeVita, and Iconic Protein.

Molecularly Identical To Cannabis CBD

Former NFL player Chris Hetherington is the founder and CEO of Peels.

Peels claims it uses a proprietary process called Cyclic Terpene Assembly (CTA), which combines highly aromatic compounds, terpenes, from orange peels with a naturally occurring organic compound olivetol under heat and pressure in the presence of a catalyst to produce a CBD oil that allows for better absorption due to its crystalline structure.

“Our product is legally labeled as CBD [because] its cannabinoid is molecularly identical or bio-identical to cannabis- and hemp-derived CBD in every way,” Hetherington explained, hence, “they act in the body in the same way, and have the same effects and benefits without the impurities and variability associated with regular CBD products.”

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Using orange peels to produce CBD also has a more positive environmental impact especially around sustainability, according to Hetherington. He said: “Orange peels are one of the most commercially available resources because they are often discarded as waste.

“Rather than using arable farmland or millions of gallons of water and toxic pesticides required to grow hemp, we found that we could use a byproduct of the citrus industry that was unused in the processing of citrus into food and beverage products. Our product is contributing to the circular economy of citrus production, and is significantly more sustainable than hemp-derived CBD.”

Making CBD More Accessible To Consumers

The long-term goal for Peels is to democratize the CBD market, projected to reach $19.5 billion in size by 2025 with anticipated FDA’s approval of CBD as a food additive next year, by making it more accessible to the general public since CBD items remain largely excluded from most grocery stores, and under tight scrutiny by professionals who are periodically drug tested, including athletes, first responders, and government workers.

Peels’ goal is to eventually make CBD products more accessible to the public.

“Peels removes any concerns about failing a drug test. Our mission is to provide the safest, purest, most effective CBD products on the market and to make them a staple in consumers’ daily wellness ritual,” said Hetherington.

He added: “We also hope that Peels can help play a role in alleviating the misconceptions around CBD and its negative association with cannabis and THC. There are still consumers who do not know the difference between hemp, cannabis, marijuana, and CBD. Contrary to what people have thought for many years, not all cannabinoid use is about the psychoactive experience. Some cannabinoids like CBD aren’t known to produce that effect at all.”

From Digital First To Retail

The citrus nature also provides a better chance for Peels to enter brick-and-mortar retailers’ food and dietary supplements aisles in the future due to fewer regulatory hurdles than traditional CBD, and the company plans to launch a CBD immunity shot over the next month with several other product formats being developed in its short-term pipeline.

However, Peels will launch as a digitally native brand, focusing on direct-to-consumer and subscription strategy for now, which will enable it to have more control over the entire customer journey, from discovery to loyalty, Hetherington noted.

“We aim to develop direct feedback loops with customers and get a better pulse on market trends to make data-driven decisions moving forward,” he said.

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“This will also give us a much greater opportunity to listen to our consumers, inspire two-way dialog for a high-engagement experience and foster an avenue to educate consumers on our products and science through our website and various marketing and communication channels.”

Hetherington said: “In 2022, there will be significant opportunities for growth with additional capital as we expand our product offerings, distribution, and partnerships.”

Benefits of CBD for NFL Players

There has always been a lot of debate over what people in the sports world can take to help them improve their performance and help them recover faster. This includes the American football field, or NFL, too.

CBD is a natural substance demonstrated to provide a range of health advantages. Reduced anxiety and improved mental health are just a few of the benefits. CBD can be especially beneficial to professional football players since it helps reduce inflammation and pain.

This can improve a player’s performance on the field and lessen the number of injuries they sustain. Soon, we’ll take a look at the many benefits of CBD products for elite athletes and how the future looks for these supplements.

Football Players Injuries: Dangers & Consequences

According to research, head and brain injuries are particularly common among NFL players. A study released in July 2017 showed that more than 99 percent of football players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Repeated brain damage leads to progressive brain tissue deterioration and an aberrant protein called tau. The following are some more common head injuries suffered by NFL players:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussions (TBI)
  • Cerebral Contusions
  • Intracranial Hematomas

But sports injuries don’t stop there. According to a recent New York Times survey, present and retired NFL players misuse opiate painkillers at a higher rate than the overall population.

All of the injuries that football players receive, you see, are pretty painful. And what better way to get back in the game as quickly as possible than with heavy prescription painkillers? The problem is that narcotic medicines are generally distributed like candy in the NFL.

And, given that NFL players have grown in size in recent years, their prescribed medicines are far stronger. In time, this could cause serious health problems for active and retired players alike. That’s why it’s essential to find a natural way to relieve pain and tension.

What is Cannabinol

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with anti-inflammatory, pain management, neuroprotective, anti-anxiety, and analgesic effects. Experts link CBD and other cannabinoids to various health and wellness benefits, including sleep aid, stress reduction, and pain relief.

CBD is very different from THC and has medicinal characteristics that can help athletes without concerns about drug testing or the altered attitude THC causes.

CBD immediately interacts with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in the human body. This organ regulates and influences appetite, mood, pain, and inflammation.

CBD vs. THC

CBD and THC are both chemically comparable to the body’s natural endocannabinoids. Neurotransmitters that act in the brain are known as endocannabinoids. However, how these molecules are organized is responsible for their different effects. They attach to receptors and induce diverse responses in the body by imitating endocannabinoids.

The THC component is most famous for the high sensation it produces, which is a psychoactive response. It’s worth noting that this high is the very reason why THC is banned in many states. However, CBD acts differently on those receptors. So its effects are unique, and it will not get you high.

CBD’s “non-psychoactive” moniker has sparked debate in specific medical circles, even though it technically acts on the same cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain as THC.

On the other hand, CBD is a “non-psychoactive” molecule, which does not cause the high that we associate with THC. Although CBD may contain tiny (and legal) THC levels up to 0.3%, it is not enough to cause a psychoactive effect.

CBD Oil

Many confuse CBD oil with hemp oil, which leads to many misunderstandings. Hemp oil does not contain CBD or THC, but it is high in fatty acids like omega 3, 6, and 9 and, like olive oil, is excellent in cooking. On the other hand, CBD oil is derived from the resin of the cannabis plant and then diluted with coconut or hemp seed carrier oils.

Every oil bottle is infused with active CBD, a non-toxic chemical derived from industrial hemp. But, there’s much more to CBD’s popularity than what meets the eye.

To begin with, organic CBD oil is non-toxic, which means it won’t get you high even in large quantities. According to the World Health Organization, it’s also well-tolerated (WHO). Although there are some possible side effects, they are minor and disappear fast.

Secondly, you can add CBD oil to your daily routine and diet without worry. This is because of CBD’s versatile nature as a health supplement. So, you can easily swallow a few CBD drops directly on the tongue or with food and drink, regardless of your schedule.

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There’s also a variety of CBD concentrations to choose from. While some people prefer the gentler effects of a low-concentration formula, others may benefit from high-concentration oils.

Benefits of CBD for Professional Athletes

The risk of unpleasant injuries and inflammation is exceptionally high for individuals who participate in sports regularly. Even if there are no physical injuries, pain and inflammation are unavoidable in sports like the NFL.

Over the last few years, ongoing research into the benefits of CBD has served to highlight the numerous advantages it provides. CBD is well-known for its potential to combat pain, and many people are hailing it as the next generation of medications.

Furthermore, CBD has potent anti-inflammatory qualities, making it perfect for people who suffer from inflammation due to injuries or other related conditions. This is in addition to other advantages such as anxiety reduction, improved sleep, and stress relief.

Pain Management

According to research, CBD can treat pain and reduce inflammation, which could be beneficial for athletes who engage in strenuous activity.

In addition, a 2018 World Health Organization report shows that unlike other pain-relieving cannabinoids such as THC and opiates, CBD does not appear to have the potential for misuse or dependence.

Relieving Stress

Many argue that the most important advantage of CBD for athletes is stress relief. Work and rest are meticulously balanced in the best training plans, keeping your nervous system on the narrow line between freshness and overtraining. That’s why many professional football players have most likely faced the challenge of dealing with stress and anxiety.

Natural Adaptogen

Reishi mushrooms and echinacea are the two most famous traditional adaptogens, but CBD has now joined this roster of stress-relieving, performance-enhancing plants. This is because the benefits of CBD meet the requirements.

Adaptogens safeguard the neurological and neuroendocrine systems from becoming overworked. Moreover, according to a 1969 study, Adaptogens must be stimulatory – without creating adverse effects. That is precisely what CBD does!

CBD promotes equilibrium by stimulating our endocannabinoid system (ECS), a signaling network of endogenous cannabis-like chemicals. The type of health and vitality that comes with ECS activation is the type that allows homeostasis to be maintained.

While research in this area is sparse, we know that most plant adaptogens regulate energy balance and upregulate fat burning through activating enzymes like AMPK. It’s possible that combining CBD and other adaptogens has synergistic benefits too! In other words, the two sorts of drugs might be able to aid one other’s performance.

Other Benefits of CBD for Pro Athletes

CBD can help prevent seizures in children and adults and aid with general pain management. CBD can also assist active users in avoiding issues with their muscle and joint health. For elite athletes, using CBD means that they can resume their normal activities without further challenges.

Furthermore, CBD can enhance energy levels when taken in moderate amounts throughout the day. Many people who participate in sports and fitness activities consume it before a workout.

Given the numerous benefits that CBD may provide to individuals interested in sports and athletics, it’s no surprise that so many NFL players have been eager to have it approved for use to aid their wellness and performance.

CBD Side Effects

Even when used in extremely large dosages, CBD rarely causes severe adverse effects. “CBD was tolerated in all individuals, with no symptoms of toxicity or major side effects,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

If there were any adverse effects, it was mainly due to CBD interacting with another drug that the person was taking at the same time. Always seek medical advice before using CBD, primarily if you use other medications.

Drug Test Results

Many football players are concerned about their medical supplements showing up on drug tests, and understandably so. Standard drug tests seek molecules related to THC so that THC will show up on the screen.

THC can also be found in trace levels in CBD products, but only up to 0.3 percent. Even though such a small amount would never be enough to cause any psychoactive side effects, it will almost certainly show up on a drug test.

The Future of Medical Cannabis

Despite the authorities’ disapproval, there is optimism that one day, the NFL and other professional athletes will be permitted to medicate as they like. After all, there are now many people who share the common goal of using CBD oil however they want!

Pro athletes have teamed together to help shift the narrative by learning more about the science behind cannabis. Many are even researching funding different CBD programs to help the legalization process. There were only solitary voices of individual athlete advocates before. However, the industry has now grown into a powerful force for good.

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Things are changing. They are evolving, albeit not as quickly as some would want. Who knows, we may even see cannabis interwoven into all major sports, and not just the NFL, in a few years.

Final Thoughts

Medical researchers have discovered that CBD produces physiological, behavioral, and biochemical effects that benefit athletes. A key factor in this is CBD’s potential to reduce inflammatory pain associated with tissue damage, as well as neuropathic pain caused by nerve stimulation or injury.

Overall, CBD could be game-changing for endurance and action athletes exposed to intense and high-impact exercises. CBD products could also help elite athletes who spend long hours on training sessions, which can cause inflammation, irritation, and damage.

Former NFL Pros Enter the CBD Industry

This Sunday, millions of Americans will dedicate a day to football by gathering around the TV with snacks and friends to watch the 54th Super Bowl. The NFL athletes we watch have dedicated years of their life to football – at practices, in games, and in conditioning. However, years of football is hard on the body. On the field, injuries occur each season; off the field, retired players have become vocal on health issues they’ve dealt with since leaving the NFL. Recovery is an important part of NFL players lives, and CBD’s applications for recovery and pain relief are growing in popularity. Several former pros looking to recover from their careers have joined the CBD industry, and their voices are powerful testimonials for the therapeutic effects of CBD, especially as a natural pain killer. CBD brands with a former NFL pro’s endorsement can foster credibility despite not being allowed to make specific health benefit claims.

CBDMEDIC partnered with Rob Gronkowski after his retirement in 2019. CBDMEDIC’s product line is primarily focused on topicals for pain relief, which fits well with Gronk’s use cases. Gronk is probably the most famous athlete to have publicly endorsed CBD; he won championships with the New England Patriots. He also suffered several injuries that required surgery. About CBD, he has said “I wish I had been able to use CBDMEDIC while I was playing. It would have made a huge difference in my pain management during my career, and I know it can help many others who are looking for safe, pill-free solutions to managing pain.”

After realizing the physical and mental benefits of CBD, former Seattle Seahawk, Lofa Tatupu, started his own CBD company. ZoneIn currently offers full spectrum CBD tinctures and capsules and has attracted investments and endorsements from several other former NFL players. Tatupu said, “Injuries, concussions, and surgeries took a toll on my mental, physical, and emotional health. Fortunately, I came across CBD. Within days of taking it, noticeable changes had occurred. Positive changes!”

Since his retirement from the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007, Kyle Turley has been diagnosed with several neurological health issues, including CTE and early onset Alzheimer’s. He left the NFL with a pain killer addiction and believes his illnesses are due to the concussions and back injuries he suffered as a linebacker. He saw great improvement in his symptoms through using medical cannabis and subsequently started NeuroXPF, which produces and sells CBD isolate based products in tincture, capsule, and topical formats. Turley is also a very outspoken advocate for cannabis usage for NFL athletes and military veterans. He said, “Hemp Derived CBD has played an important role in allowing me to personally manage pain, cope with CTE-like symptoms, improve my overall health and eliminate the need for prescription opioids that nearly cost me my life due to long term use side effects.”

By having a trusted NFL player praise their products, these CBD brands are hoping football fans will open their minds to CBD. Brands want consumers make the connection that if CBD can help former pro athletes who were tackled and concussed for years, perhaps it can help after a tough workout or stressful day. Current NFL players are not allowed to use CBD, as the NFL does not allow consumption of substances not approved by the FDA. However, the MLB recently loosened its rules on CBD, and former football players are urging the NFL to follow suit. With professional sports players allowed to openly use CBD, brands can get involved with endorsements while they are still on the field. This opens a new opportunity for brands to show fans what CBD can do for players while still playing, not just as they recover after.

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