Suddenly former and current professional basketball and football players are now openly advocating for medical marijuana and/or cannabidiol to help players get through pain without opioid pain killers, relieve anxiety, and recover more quickly.
For NFL players, the issue focuses on concussions. An NFL spokesman has revealed that the NFL now acknowledges a “possible link” between football concussions and CTE, which until recently the NFL had stubbornly completely refuted.
CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that boxers often experience. The issue of CTE has been tossed about in sports journalism circles after a few scientists had discovered CTE in brains from the cadavers of deceased NFL players donated by family members.
As the research progressed with brains donated by bereaved family members, 87 out of 91 were conclusively diagnosed as CTE. And their near to end of life stories followed similar patterns of losing their minds, sometimes going homeless, sometimes killing themselves and others.
This is what sparked the cannabis movement among NFL players. The NFL has made some effort at reducing CTE incidences by enforcing stricter policies regarding concussions. And the cannabis that’s promoted is from the plant, not a dangerous pharmaceutical formula such as the one that put someone in a coma during that drug’s trial.
Twenty-two years ago, Debbie Wilson was struck down in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant by a pick-up truck. Upon impact, she was knocked to the ground head first and then the driver inadvertently backed up over her.
This accident was the beginning of her 22-year journey into unbearable darkness, despair and disability. Initially she struggled with common traumatic brain injury symptoms including forgetfulness, migraines, nightmares, time distortion, depression, paranoia, anxiety and balance problems.
Several years later, Debbie was diagnosed with epilepsy and suffered from seizures, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, chronic depression, anxiety and type 2 diabetes. A cocktail of pharmaceuticals proved ineffective and caused numerous deleterious side effects including damage to her intestines.
In 2010, Debbie was desperate enough to give cannabis a try, a last-ditch effort to find some relief. Within weeks of smoking weed, Debbie noticed a significant improvement in her symptoms.
Yet, it wasn’t until Debbie began to orally ingest a non-psychoactive cannabis medicine or “NeuroEnhancer” (22% CBD 1% THC oil) along with smoking a high THC strain for her epilepsy that she experienced the miraculous healing benefits of cannabis.
I know for a fact that I’m now accessing file drawers in my memory bank that were shut for more than 20 years. My story has not ended yet. I’ve been able to retire my seizure alert dog, my helmet, my diapers and over a dozen central nervous system depressants, pain relievers and antidepressants. So many areas of my body have been helped that it’s not even like I’m the same person.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel recently published a cannabis study in the Journal of Neuroscience Research. Their findings indicate that low doses of cannabinoids, in particular ultra-low-dose tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), exerts a protective effect against cognitive deficits from brain inflammation.
A prior study from Brazil reported that cannabidiol (CBD) “could help ward off neuronal cell death in the face of neurodegradation,” according to Medical Jane online magazine. Previous research demonstrated that an “ultra-low dose of THC (0.002 mg/kg)” protects the brain against cognitive deficits from a variety of insults that would ordinarily cause brain inflammation.
The goal of the Israeli researchers, led by Miriam Fishbein-Kaminietsky, PhD, was to discover if low-dose THC could protect the brain from cognitive deficits after lab-induced brain inflammation. The researchers decided to do a lab study with mice that they injected with “10 mg/kg of lipopolysccharide (LPS),” which is known to cause brain inflammation.
Additionally, the mice were injected with “0.002 mg/kg of THC either 48 hours before LPS treatment or 1-7 days after LPS treatment.” The rationale behind this protocol was to determine whether the timing of the THC dose could protect the mice brains from induced brain inflammation. Three weeks after the injections, the mice were tested.
Fishbein-Kaminietsky said of the study’s results, “An ultra-low dose of THC that lacks any psychotropic activity protects the brain from neuroinflammation-induced cognitive damage.”
The study clearly demonstrated that, although LPS causes brain inflammation, which results in chronic cognitive debilitation, the introduction of THC either before or after injection with LPS prevented inflammation-induced cognitive deficits. In other words, THC acted as both a preventive as well as a remedy against brain inflammation.
The study suggests that minuscule doses of THC can prevent and heal cognitive deficits resulting from brain inflammation and other neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Good news for older patients who often fear the “high” associated with THC.
Okay NFL and NBA execs and owners, if you care about your highly paid athletes health, let them do cannabis healing and quit being so up tight about medical marijuana while getting them hooked “legally” on dangerous, addictive opioid pain killers.