Contact sports such as American football, soccer, baseball or rugby, hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse are examples of high contact sports that often result in concussions or injuries that may affect brain function…
Several studies conducted over the past few years on American football players have detected a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The disease is a result of consistent physical trauma to the athletes’ brains due to intense physical contact over time. A study published in 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that 99 percent of deceased players’ brains show evidence of CTE.
These overwhelming results have stimulated medical investigations into the neuroprotectant effects of CBD on the brain. The repetitive brain trauma professional athletes such as American football players experience has also been found in military veterans. Parents of children who participate in contact sports at a young age are also concerned that CTE may affect their children’s growing brains.
CBD is excellent at relieving pain, and has been proven to be a neuroprotectant, or to contain compounds which protect the brain from injury and environmental dangers. A study found that both THC delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) reduced neurotoxicities in the brains of rats. While another study in Canada found that cannabinoids stimulated newborn rat neuron growth and reduced anxiety and depressive behavior, as well. They did so because they are naturally-occurring antioxidants and prevent inflammation of the brain.
Currently, researchers are working in the renowned Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, to determine the results of cannabinoid consumption versus opioid consumption on American football players in the National Football League (NFL).
Eugene Monroe, a former Baltimore Ravens tackle who recently resigned from the NFL, noted that “We now know that [opioids] are not as safe as doctors thought, causing higher rates of addiction…and we have cannabis, which is far healthier, far less addictive, and quite frankly, can be better in managing pain.”
This means that it is a wise move for the NFL to consider CBD as a realistic alternative to other medications, which could mean a better health outcome long-term for thousands of athletes.
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