This week, retired NBA star Al Harrington announced the launch of a line of CBD products, “created for those looking to enjoy a natural and healthier lifestyle without the need for chemically engineered pharmaceuticals,” according to a statement.
Harrington discovered the virtues of CBD near the end of his playing career. His success with the treatment compelled him to share the benefits with others and launch his company, Harrington Wellness.
"After more surgeries than I care to admit, my knee was shot, and I was in pain all the time," says Harrington. "If I had the benefit of CBDs, like our Harrington Wellness Cream when I was playing, there's no doubt I could have played two or three more seasons in the NBA."
Harrington Wellness was conceived after an online interview with retired NBA Commissioner David Stern. The video (embedded below) has generated over 122,000 views on YouTube and more than one million total views across various websites.
"David and I were talking about the benefits of CBDs and how NBA players could benefit from them," added the former New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets forward. "That interview led to lots of interest and an outpouring of support, so I created Harrington Wellness to fill the unserved niche of upmarket, professional and premium CBD products that are legal anywhere in the country."
It All Began With Viola
Harrington initially discovered cannabinoids when trying to help his grandmother, Viola, treat her glaucoma.
"My grandmother was in constant pain, and she couldn't see. I convinced her that vaping extracts of Cannabis would be helpful to her, and they are," claims Harrington.
As a result of that experience, Viola Extracts was born and named in her honor.
Viola Extracts is a division of The Harrington Group companies. Viola Extracts products are currently available in Oregon and Colorado, and soon in California and Michigan.
The Birth of Butter Baby
The Harrington Group has also announced investment into a third brand to launch this summer. Butter Baby is a female-led, minority-owned business in Los Angeles that produces cannabis-infused edibles. The company boasts an award-winning Cannabutter and fresh baked cookies.
Harrington is quoted in a statement saying, "With Harrington Wellness, Viola Extracts and Butter Baby, we're building brands that will afford our customers a better, healthier and more fulfilling life, as they will be able to trust and have confidence in anything that carries my name."
Coach Abunassar Is Aboard
Joining Harrington is long time basketball skills and performance coach, Joe Abunassar who is best known as an elite players coach. Harrington Wellness hopes that Abunassar’s long-standing reputation and relationships in athletic training and his serial IronMan Triathlon participant stature will help the brand penetrate the sports market.
"CBD’s [sic] are legal, ethical and deliver results. We've had long time pain sufferers use our Harrington Wellness Cream in a series of real-life scenarios, with individuals reporting a reduction or elimination of pain, stiffness and soreness, increased flexibility, and a return of physical performance levels that were previously hampered by the pain they suffered from," said Abunassar. "Personally, I'm looking forward to bringing health and wellness without prescription drugs to so many pain sufferers across the USA."
Cannabinoids and The NBA
There is a big debate going on in the world of pro sports about the use of medicinal marijuana. The NBA, known for disciplining players for marijuana use, is no exception.
When asked whether or not medical cannabis was an option for NBA players, NBA Executive Director Michele Roberts said, “We're exploring it.” He added, “I think there is some movement toward accepting it as an appropriate use to address pain. But we're not there yet."
In a recent ESPN segment, Jalen Rose, former 13-year NBA star turned analyst for ABC/ESPN, and David Jacoby, a commentator and senior producer with ESPN debated the virtues of medicinal cannabis in the NBA.
Coming Summer 2018
The new Harrington Wellness line of upscale CBD products was unveiled this week at a star-studded dinner in Beverly Hills which kicked off the NBA's 2018 All-Star Weekend taking place in Los Angeles.
The company plans to begin manufacturing and marketing in the summer of 2018.