APR 20, 2016 5:33 AM PDT

Cannabis for Concussion and CTE?

Hardly a week goes by without some news of new research into concussion injuries. Most of the focus is on the NFL and the injuries players face and the effects former players have talked about. In March of 2016, NFL Director of Health and Safety Policy Jeffrey Miller was the first NFL official to admit that there is a connection between traumatic brain injuries suffered by football players and the neurodegenerative disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. A lawsuit filed by the NFL Players Association had alleged that the NFL knew there was a connection and was not providing adequate care for its players. That lawsuit is still pending, on the basis of the information from Miller on the connection.
 

Could cannabis help with CTE and concussion syndrome?


A group of former players including Jake Plummer who spent ten years playing in the NFL, the last three with the Denver Broncos, has partnered with CW Botanicals, a producer of hemp products and the Colorado Springs non-profit group Realm of Caring which funds research into medical uses for cannabis to bring awareness to the problem of CTE in the NFL as well as other ailments like chronic pain, anxiety and depression.
 
The group has produced a PSA video on the possible benefits of cannabinoids to treat many of the conditions current and former players suffer from. The video “When the Bright Lights Fade” includes information on the issue of pain killers used and how easily players can become addicted to opioids. Symptoms of CTE also include anger outbursts, PTSD, depression and anxiety and treating these conditions with pharmaceuticals is not always effective.

Heather Jackson, CEO of  Realm of Caring talked about current research on cannabinoids and said,  “When you look at the research with regards to CBD as a neuroprotectant, I think that’s what should be very exciting for current players, former players and [the league] in general. There’s not a lot of research specific to CTE yet, but we’re hoping to change that and lead that effort. We know that CBD modulates neurons. We know that it acts on the receptor 5-HT1A. It acts on the opioid receptors. It enhances adenosine. New research is suggesting it increases bloodflow. We know all of these things, and they all relate to the symptoms of CTE.”
 
Through fundraising and the PSA, players like Plummer and others hope to establish a large-scale study at Johns Hopkins to look at the use of CBD for patients with suspected CTE or other traumatic brain injuries. They are specifically interested in a strain of marijuana initially known as “Hippie’s Disappointment” which had such a low concentration of THC, it would not produce a high. The oil from it was rich in CBDs however and many who use it claim that it helps with seizures, chronic pain, memory clarity and other conditions. Plummer has said, “Since I started taking CBD regularly, there are no more slow-moving, dreadful days with headaches, joint stiffness and wandering thoughts.” Many players and former players, including Plummer, have said that  the use of pot in the NFL is widespread and that research into how it could be used safely is needed.  Take a look at the video below to see more from Plummer and other advocates of research into cannabis for the treatment of CTE and other brain injuries.

 

Sources: Associated Press  CW Botanicals  Realm of Caring 

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 15, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
OCT 15, 2019
A Standard 'Unit' for Cannabis May Benefit Mental Health
One, five, or ten milligrams? Is there a standard 'dose' for THC (the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis)? No, but addiction experts think there should be. In collaboration with scientis...
DEC 17, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
DEC 17, 2019
Let's Talk Cannabis: Vermont Launches New Site
When cannabis is legalized, people have questions. The state of Vermont created a new website to advise people on safe medical and recreational cannabis us...
DEC 27, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
DEC 27, 2019
USDA Approves First State Hemp Growing Plans
Hemp can be cultivated for use as fiber, building materials, CBD oil and more. This plant and its derivatives were legalized federally under the 2018 Farm...
JAN 04, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 04, 2020
How Not to Get Arrested when Traveling with Medical Marijuana
As 33 states in the US have legalized some form of medical marijuana, one might assume that traveling with it should be relatively hassle-free. But differe...
JAN 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 06, 2020
Psychedelics Linked to Stronger Connection to Nature
Taking psychedelic drugs, sometimes referred to as “tripping,” was recently shown to increase individuals’ “nature relatedness&rdqu...
JAN 14, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 14, 2020
New Links Between Cannabis, Anxiety, and Stress
A delicate balance of signaling in the endocannabinoid system could be responsible for anxiety symptoms as a result of stress. At least for mice. A new stu...
Loading Comments...