Cullen Jenkins Reveals CBD Use
Jenkins, 37, has spoken out about his use of CBD as a treatment for the multitude of injuries he sustained throughout his well-traveled career - a career that saw him line up as a defensive tackle with the Green Bay Packers and most recently with the Washington Redskins, before his retirement in 2016.
Playing at the highest level in the NFL is certainly a demanding task, with the average career of a pro footballer lasting less than five years. Following his own 10-year-stretch at the top of the sport, Jenkins decided to take an alternative solution to the chronic pains that had plagued him both throughout his career and in the immediate aftermath.
“When you play as long as I have, you get used to things, how to deal with pain. You get used to taking things. Over-the-counter things, stronger and stronger,” he revealed. “And then when you finish, you need to find ways to cope, but you only know those old ways. So when I finished, I was looking for a new way to heal and treat my body.”
With the physical demands of the sport so intense, most players spend the majority of their careers managing their pain with progressively stronger over-the-counter medications that, if overused, can have some serious and potentially life-threatening consequences.
Having spent the vast majority of his adult life avoiding cannabis, Jenkins had his own reservations about using CBD for pain management with so many stigmas and misinformation still being peddled in our society today.
“For the many years that you play, you’re taught that weed is bad,” said Jenkins. “You don’t want to fail a drug test. You want to stay away from it.”
“At first I was skeptical, but then I tried [CBD], started using it every day, and I felt a lot better. I don’t even take pills anymore”
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Still on the Banned List
While WADA has recently removed CBD from its list of banned substances, the NFL continues to adopt a head-in-the-sand approach when it comes to issues over medical cannabis. Despite repeated calls for more scientific investigation on the benefits of CBD, the NFL has done little to respond or indeed investigate the potential benefits of CBD.
In 2016, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School, wrote an open letter to the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, urging the NFL to investigate the benefits of medical cannabis, but as yet, such pleas have fallen on mostly deaf ears.
Goodell did later admit that there may be a need to investigate the benefits of medical cannabis, but his comments on the subject would suggest that the NFL still holds some fairly archaic views when it comes to cannabis, and progress on the issue remains painstakingly slow.
With the testimony of Jenkins and others suggesting that CBD may provide a solution to an increasingly serious issue, it is surely the societal responsibility of the NFL to at least investigate and research on the potential of CBD and medical cannabis as a treatment option for pain management.
There are a large number of current or former players that are currently unable to manage their pain effectively using existing, conventional methods, and anything that the NFL can do to help improve their main assets’ health is something that surely must be investigated further.
However, with all forms of cannabis remaining illegal at a federal level, it may be some time yet until the NFL gives due consideration to removing CBD from its list of banned substances.
Fortunately, with cannabis now legalized in more than half of the US, attitudes and understandings of this incredible plant are slowly but surely beginning to evolve. Cannabis has now entered much of the mainstream consciousness, as evidenced by the growing number of celebrities who are now willing to admit to their use of the plant, both recreationally and for medical purposes.
This development has lead to more and more people questioning their previous understanding of cannabis, while opening them up to the wonderful benefits that it can provide to our society.
Armed with this knowledge, it is surely our right to demand that we, as a people, be given the opportunity to use what the planet has given us. It is inescapably true that if rules and laws on CBD and cannabis are to change, these changes must come from within the people’s perception of the plant. It is up to us to help convince minds, and demand the necessary changes that will give players like Jenkins the opportunity to live a happier and healthier life.
Our collective voice on this issue must be strong and united. We must strive to inform ourselves and share that information along with personal experiences. Only then will governments, the NFL and other institution begin to sit up and take notice of the potentials of medical cannabis and CBD.
While cannabis’ metamorphosis from an illegal drug to miracle medicine is not yet complete, it is through the sharing of information and experiences that we can hope to bring about the changes that we all deserve.