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NFL players benefit from CBD cannabidiols
A group of NFL players in the US has taken to the field with a different goal in mind – they’ve kicked off a campaign for research into the benefits of CBDs as an alternative to traditionally-used painkillers in the National Football League. Led by former Broncos’ players, quarterback Jake Plummer and Nate Jackson, they’re hoping for a quick touchdown in favour of the CBD cannabidiols they believe helped them cope with pain during their careers on the football field.
The two Broncos’ line-up for the When the Bright Lights Fade campaign includes current tackle for the Ravens, Eugene Monroe, and a group of retired NFL players. Plummer told The Denver Post that they, and many other retired and active NFL players, believed cannabidiols provided an effective alternative to the strong painkillers league players received for pain control and could play a role in treatment of concussion and brain disease.
Raising funds to study CBD’s benefits
The aim of the campaign is to raise money to fund studies into CBD. The initial step would involve Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania looking into how CBD is processed in the body to determine how much can be safely consumed over a long period.
CBD cannabidiols are one of the non-psychoactive compounds or cannabinoids in cannabis, the plant genus which includes hemp and marijuana. It does not generate the high that the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in marijuana does. Many, as yet unscientifically proven, claims have been made about CBD’s effectiveness in reducing convulsions, pain, nausea and anxiety, as well as being calmative, anti-schizophrenic and helping to slow the spread of cancer.
Players want proof that CBD helps
The When the Bright Lights Fade Campaign’s ultimate aim is to see whether science can back their experiences with CBDs in regard to injuries received in the course of their football careers, but particularly with regard to concussion and the degenerative disease multiple concussions can cause, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System statistics based between 2002 and 2015 show that on average, more than 12 000 footballers had to visit emergency rooms for treatment for concussion. This was more than double the number for basketball. Soccer came in third in the US, with baseball way down the list at about 2 000 visits.
In January the NFL announced a 58% rise in concussions in the 2015 season over the previous year. The 182 concussions were also the highest since the league started keeping records four years ago.
Looking for options
Nate Jackson says he believes players should have as many options as possible that are safer and more effective than some of the prescription painkillers currently being used. He said the existing regimen of pills and injections have horrible side effects (like lethargy, stomach pain and depression) which can affect performance and players often turned to illegal drugs and risked addiction out of desperation. He believes CBD is one of the better and safer options players are looking for.
Plummer himself says he himself has seen relief, and can even play some handball, after several months of ingesting cannabinoid oils and using a CBD gel.