Earlier today, a tweet from the Northern Illinois athletic department happened to catch our eye.

In what is likely the first public partnership between an athletic department and a CBD company, Northern Illinois announced their partnership with Tru-Releaf for a first-of-its-kind study. The details of that study haven’t been announced by either party yet.

What is Tru-Releaf? Its website shares that it is a natural pain relief lotion aimed at stopping chronic pain with no major side effects and a non addictive formula. It advertises to help with everything from shoulder and lower back pain, to arthritis and migraines as well as leg, knee, neck, and hip pain.

While marijuana is obviously banned by the NCAA, cannabinoids were not included among banned substances from the NCAA in 2018-19, but it does show up on the 2019-20 list at #6.

However, language from the NCAA states that, under some conditions local anesthetics are permitted. Looking at how Tru-Releaf is applied (by rubbing it into affected areas) it could certainly fit under the local anesthetics exception.

The perception of CBD and things like CBD oils have come a long way in the past deacde. Could this become a trend that eventually reaches to the highest levels of college football?

Time will tell, but I have a hard time picturing Dabo or Saban acting as a spokesperson for a CBD product.