Medical CBD to Treat NFL Players Concussions? | cannabisMD

Can Medical CBD Help NFL Players Treat Concussions?

Medical CBD for Concussions

Concussions are a big problem in the NFL; CBD may be able to provide some relief. Read on to learn about how medical CBD can help NFL players treat concussions.

Throughout the United States, neurodegenerative disorders are steadily becoming a huge health crisis.

Aside from non-communicable diseases and the ever-rising obesity epidemic, a large portion of the population is suffering from some form of neurodegenerative disease.

Just some of these diseases include Alzheimer’s and dementia, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Most recently, CTE has made its way into the spotlight with thanks to the frightening number of concussions suffered by NFL players across the U.S.

According to research, up to 89% of NFL players are known to display symptoms of CTE, with opiate prescriptions and addictions on the rise.

This has paved the way for the intervention of medical CBD being used as an alternative form of treatment for concussions.

Interested in learning out more about medical CBD and how it can be used to treat both concussions and CTE? Just keep on reading.

Medical CBD Explained

Neurodegenerative diseases such CTE, Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s carry a huge disease burden.

This burden is dependent on the number of years of life affected by this disease, which for many sufferers, can be decades.

Additionally, these diseases inflict not only a physical burden but an emotional, financial and practical one on both the sufferer and family members.

Many of these diseases rely on prescription medications for treatment, including the use of opioids in some cases. Most especially those related to concussions and CTE.

This has given way to extensive research into the benefits of medical CBD as a natural form of treatment for these diseases.

So what is medical CBD and does it benefit the human body?

CBD, known as cannabidiol, is just one of numerous acid compounds found in the cannabis plant, carrying a myriad of incredible health benefits.

CBD belongs to a group of compounds known as cannabinoids which carry anti-inflammatory, anti-psychotic and anti-epileptic properties, to name just a few.

Aside from this, the benefits of medical CBD are extensive, and over the past few decades have used to treat illnesses and ailments such as:

  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer tumors
  • Multiple-sclerosis
  • Chronic heart disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • Migraine and chronic migraine syndrome
  • Concussion and CTE
  • PTSD
  • Chronic and acute pain management

Contrary to popular belief, medical CBD does not make its users ‘high’.

The compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), also found in the cannabis plant, is responsible for this effect.

Most medical CBD products do not contain THC, therefore these side-effects are non-existent.

Over the years, research has found that the CBD compound within the cannabis plant is far more effective and beneficial to the body than THC. Though this is not to say THC does not have its benefits.

How Does Medical CBD Work in the Body?

Did you know that the human body is home to its very own cannabinoid system?

Known as the endocannabinoid system, it’s comprised of receptors buried within our immune cells, connective tissue, organs, brain and endocrine system.

These receptors are known as CB1 and CB2 receptors which are stimulated by the cannabinoids in medical CBD, producing positive effects on the body.

In short, our CB1 and CB2 receptors are responsible for our reactions to pain, our cognition abilities, memory and endocrine function and reactions to inflammation.

Encephalopathy (CTE) Caused By Concussions

When it comes to any form of contact sport, the risk of concussion is very real, but none more so than in American football and the NFL.
Head trauma statistics within the NFL are staggering, hence the increase in awareness around finding an effective solution to concussion treatment.
Research in recent years has revealed that 99% of former NFL players are affected by concussions, and show significant signs of CTE, upon brain autopsy.

There is no denying that the onset of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is directly related to consistent head trauma, such as concussions.

This is a chronic, neurodegenerative disease which can have devastating effects on its sufferers and surrounding family members.

Common symptoms of CTE include:

  • The onset of migraine headaches
  • Feelings of agitation and aggression
  • Feelings of confusion or disorientation
  • Memory loss or progressive symptoms of dementia
  • Constant dizziness
  • The onset of uncontrollable tremors
  • Slurring of speech
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Loss of strength and flexibility
  • The onset of volatile, hostile or paranoid behavior

The prescription of opioid medication to treat concussions and CTE is extremely common-place within many contact sports. But this carries with it negative side-effects, including opiate addiction.

This is why medical CBD for the treatment of concussion and CTE has been highlighted as a natural form of treatment, with no negative side-effects.

Traditional Forms of Concussion Treatment

The field of concussion treatment is one that is relatively under-researched.

At present, there is no real medical prescription for the treatment of concussion, other than rest and dosing up on painkillers until side-effects fade.

The nature of a concussion causes the brain to swell, essentially damaging its neural pathways over time.

The symptoms of a concussion may fade after a few hours or days, but ultimately the real damage only surfaces years later.

Repeated concussions lead to the development of chronic diseases such as CTE as the brain descends into a state of degeneration over time.

Along with this, many contact sports players deal with chronic pain associated with injury and concussion, which often results in opiate dependencies.

These two elements have caused grave concern within the NFL and many other contact sports fields, encouraging the use of natural alternatives such as medical CBD.

Medical CBD As Treatment For Concussion

Extensive medical research has been carried out over the past five years into the effects of CBD on the brain, post-concussion.

A study hosted by the University of Miami found that CBD was effective in prohibiting brain cell death after an instance of head trauma.

Neurotransmitter reactions in the brain were found to be disrupted by the use CBD, offering protection to delicate neural pathways throughout the brain.

CBD is also thought to be effective in a concussion and CTE treatment due to its incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Due to the nature of brain swelling after a concussion, CBD was found to reduce inflammation, protect against oxidative stress and prevent cellular dysfunction.

Additionally, CBD has been found to offer neurotrophic support to the brain – slowing down aging and degeneration. Essentially, this slows down the onset of CTE and other diseases such as dementia.
Pain management is also chronic ailment which required management for many NFL players, where opiate addiction has become a very real threat.

CBD products have also been found to be successful in the management of both chronic and acute pain, free of negative or dependency side-effects.

The Use of Medical CBD in The NFL

As CBD is made from a schedule 1 banned substance, cannabis , it is understandable that many NFL players are reluctant to take up its use.

Drug tests are commonplace in all professional sports across the globe, naturally taking the chance of being caught with cannabis in your system is just not worth it.

But CBD products present an exception.

The U.S Department of Health has already produced a patent which supports the use of CBD to treat inflammation and neurodegeneration.

This means that CBD is already acknowledged as an effective treatment for any related illnesses to neurodegeneration, such as concussion, CTE, and others.

The THC compound is most commonly associated with the recreational use of cannabis . Therefore, failing a drug test would not be possible as CBD products do not contain THC.

However, the use of CBD products within the NFL and many other contact sports is still highly contentious, despite mounting evidence of its efficacy.

Within the United States itself, 17 states have legalized the use of medical cannabis low in THC and high in CBD.

The NFL has much of the evidence it needs to consider CBD for efficient treatment of its prized players. Whether its use is to become widely accepted remains to be seen.

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