While many new cannabis users are exploring the psychological, spiritual, and mood-stabilizing benefits of cannabinoids, the medical applications continue to advance through research, new product development, and medical license inclusivity. Among the latest organizations to explore the myriad of health benefits behind cannabis is the National Football League.
While once dominated by beer ads and bar deals, the NFL is exploring player treatment options that include the use of cannabinoids to facilitate healing in players. With this new exploration of treatment paths, post-career happiness can be analyzed for players who still feel the psychological and physical effects years after their time on the field.
A 2013 article by the Washington Post saw a poll of retired NFL players where nearly nine out of ten former players reported everyday physiological discomfort, with 91 percent blaming their ailments on their previous football career. Even individuals who played professionally but not in college have lasting pains that can considerably influence their quality of life.
While opiates were once the treatment path of choice (not just for football, but for many ailments), the introduction of medical cannabis at an organizational level may offer players a chance at comfort and recovery that traditional recovery methods may never provide. This study will be a landmark in the efficacy of cannabis for everyday workers who are struggling under similar levels of physical and mental strain.
What the NFL is Proposing
The National Football League recently announced that two teams of medical researchers from the University of California (San Diego) and the University of Regina (Canada) had been awarded $1 million in research funding. The research will look at the impact of cannabis on pain management and concussion neuroprotection in high-ranking professional football players.
The final report, “Effects of Cannabinoids on Pain and Recovery from Sports-Related Injuries in Elite Athletes: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” will hopefully see the development of alternative cannabis treatments that encourage healing and recovery at both mental and physical levels. The trial will be led by Dr. Thomas Marcotte and Dr. Mark Wallace, alongside colleagues at the University of California San Diego.
Of primary importance is reducing “post-competition soft-tissue injury pain in elite athletes” through tetrahydrocannabinol. After games, subjects will inhale active cannabis (or a placebo) and record their findings via a mobile app for hours following the effect onset.
A History Of Football Injuries
In the United States, around 1.5 million young men play American football. Annually, an estimated 1.2 million football-related injuries are recorded. Since the 1970s, epidemiological studies have indicated that older players have a higher risk of injury, whereas teams with more experienced coaches and assistant coaches had a lower level of risk.
Regardless of the context behind injuries, it has been a piece of the national discussion to address healing and injury prevention in high-impact sport. National attention on cannabis for injury recovery mirrors recent trends in facilitating clinical studies of cannabis in psychology studies, suggesting that new advancements in inclusive cannabis treatments are not only coming—they’re already here.
Opiates—The Unfortunate Alternative
Post-career pain relief is a stop that affects almost all professional players—in fact, it has been ranked the #1 problem to address by 90% of NFL participants themselves. Historically, opiates have been prescribed to deal with pain and the loss of coordination following a career in high-intensity sport.
The widespread use of opiates has adverse effects on the social, mental, and physical wellbeing of Americans everywhere and contributes to a higher death rate in users. Despite this knowledge and the ongoing opiate crisis, prescriptions remain at an all-time high.NFL
Combatting opiate prevalence through mindful cannabinoid prescriptions may be one new tactic in reducing the severity and frequency of addictions. A high-profile success case for cannabinoids will hopefully see improvements made in the post-career recovery of not just other sports but industries where burnout is prevalent. Examples may be healthcare, aviation, military, and trade work.
We at Beard Bros support the advancement of cannabis education, study, and implementation for everyday people. For more on recent advances in legalization, policy, and economics, visit our news tab at the Beard Bros Pharms website.