It's easy to assume that a decent amount of professional football players might use cannabis to help with daily pains, however recently retired player Martellus Bennet shines a light on the situation by saying nearly 90% of players smoke marijuana. In fact he says he finds it surprising when he hears a teammate of his does not smoke. This may be surprising considering that the NFL strictly prohibit marijuana use, but with a little bit of awareness it can be fairly easy to hide from officials. Not only does it take at least 2 cannabis positive tests to cause a suspsension for a player, but it's usually easy to know when your test might be coming up. Players can only be tested between the months of April and August, meaning they have most of the year not worrying about getting the THC out of their body. Cannabis is known anti-inflammatory and recent studies have shown that it can help regenerate brain cells which can be extremely useful for athletes like NFL players who are notoriously hard on their bodies.
Still, marijuana remains on the NFL’s banned list, although it takes two positive tests for the drug before a suspension is issued. After an initial positive test, a player is put in the NFL’s “Stage Two” intervention program, which means for a span of up to 24 months the player faces more frequent testing.
There's also a shorter window in which players can be tested for marijuana and other drugs of abuse: April through August. Once a player passes that test, he won't be tested again for another year.