Recently, the NFL reached out to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) stating that they were interested in teaming up to study how marijuana could potentially be used as a pain management tool (http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/news/nfl-reaches-out-to-players-union-to-study-pot-use-for-pain-w495376).
Apparently, last year, the NFLPA revealed that they were conducting their own independent study of marijuana as a pain reliever. Also, they might be proposing to the League to be more lenient regarding marijuana usage by players.
Initially, the NFLPA did not respond to the NFL’s team-up proposal (I’m assuming the NFL wants some sort of Avengers-style shared universe that’s all the rage right now). And it’s unknown if they have responded yet because the NFL and the NFLPA are like divorced parents that stay together just for the kids.
I believe that marijuana could be beneficial for football players. I’ve discussed in previous articles that marijuana can help with pain management, as well as anxiety and PTSD, two things that NFL players also deal with.
It’s an unforgiving sport that destroys the body. The players are under a great deal of pressure to perform at a high level every single time (an analogy for my failing love life). Also, severe injuries can cause players a level of PTSD. Some, after suffering a vicious injury due to a blind side tackle, will sometimes start to hear “footsteps”. They’ll always “hear” a player coming at them from the blind side about to plant a massive hit on them – even when there’s no one there. It can cause them to panic and ruin a play because they’re avoiding a hit that may never come. A career-ender.
The medical use of marijuana could help them recover from these physical and mental ailments.
But something that the NFL (ALWAYS) shies away from, is the possible treatment/prevention of CTE.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a neurodegenerative brain disease that can be found in individuals who have been exposed to repeated head trauma. So, mostly football players, hockey players, wannabe YouTubers that think they’re making the next “Jackass”, and tall people with low ceilings.
CTE can only be diagnosed with an autopsy, and its symptoms can include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, anxiety, impulse control issues, and sometimes even suicidal behavior. Basically, you’re forcing yourself into a severe mental illness.
CTE was found in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to science (https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/07/25/health/cte-nfl-players-brains-study/index.html).
CTE is the biggest problem the NFL has (not counting the incident from a few years ago when Brett Favre texted a picture of his junk to a woman. Seriously, that damn near triggered the downfall of society. It was the North Korea of dick pics).
And CTE is something that the NFL hates to talk about.
But the fact is, marijuana use could help cure and/or prevent the trauma that leads to CTE. So whatever reasons they may adopt to possibly allow their ailing players to use marijuana, it could help them with their biggest non-Favre dick problem.
Back in 1999, the U.S. government filed a patent that stated CBD is a neuroprotective antioxidant (http://www.google.ca/patents/US6630507).
The neuroprotective antioxidants in the marijuana plant have numerous functions. Two of those functions are that it can help reduce brain inflammation (hello concussions!) and prevent damage related to stress. CBD protects brain cells from damage (so it’s like a helmet under your head), and it can help repair & improve recovery once damage is done. (http://herb.co/2017/01/02/cte-cannabis-treatment).
And some studies have shown that there is a higher survival rate for patients that have suffered traumatic brain injuries when treated with forms of marijuana (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25264643). And if that’s not enough, there have been studies that have proven that ultralow doses of cannabinoid drugs protect a mouse brain from inflammation-induced cognitive damage (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jnr.23452/abstract). To be fair, at the moment, they only allow mice to play in the CFL. But they’re still bigger than Doug Flutie (I kid. Flutie’s the GOAT!).
There are many other unfortunate violent (domestic and otherwise) issues that seem to follow NFL players around. Go back and read the list of CTE symptoms and see if there could be a link. CTE isn’t going anywhere. And right now, the game is on the line. So it’s time to throw the challenge flag and try something else.