Rob Gronkowski and CEO of Abacus Health Products Perry Antelman. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for CBDMEDIC)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) -- Rob Gronkowski has announced his next move.
The former Patriots star is launching a line of CBD products, and he is openly advocating for other athletes to be able to use the non-intoxicating hemp and marijuana extract to aid in pain management and recovery.
Gronk held a press conference in New York City on Tuesday morning, and announced his partnership with Abacus Health. They're working together to launch CBD Medic, a line of CBD-based products that Gronkowski says changed his life.
Gronk said he had no choice but to retire from the NFL due to the countless injuries he sustained, which led to nine surgeries.
But he says that all changed when he made CBD a part of his recovery plan.
"For the first time in a decade," he told reporters, "I am pain free. And that's a big deal."
On top of launching his line of CBD products, Gronk is now advocating that CBD be made available to any athlete who want to use it. He called on the governing bodies of all U.S. sports, including the NFL, NBA, and MLB, to reconsider their stance on CBD, which is currently on most lists of banned substances.
The 30-year old also addressed the topic of whether or not his road to recovery might end in his return to the gridiron. He even got emotional when talking about it.
"I understand," he said, fighting back tears. "I feel the love. But I want to be clear to my fans: I needed to recover. I was not in a good place. Football was bringing me down. And I didn't like it. And I was losing that joy in my life. Like, the joy. I'm sorry right now."
"But... I really was. And I was fighting through it. And I knew what I signed up for and I knew what I was fighting through, and I knew I just needed to fix myself."
He went on to say he is now working towards achieving optimal health, which includes using CBD—and that a return to the NFL is not in the cards just yet, but the door isn't totally closed.
"When that time comes, if I have the desire to play football again, if I feel passionate about football again, I will go back to football," he said.
One thing is for sure, he's feeling better than ever. Gronk told the cameras; "Now, you can just call me Mr, Recovery. You know you like that name, Mr. Recovery, baby!"
Blunt Talk is a podcast about cannabis hosted by Brit Smith every Monday. You can listen to all previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.
WBZ NewsRadio's Brit Smith (@wbzbritsmith) reports