Cannabis Concussion Treatment - A Better Way
“Tell the truth! Tell the truth!" - Bennet Omalu, “Concussion” When the movie “Concussion” came out last year, it began to reveal a number of truths.
Concussions and their effects quickly became a controversial subject in the entertainment, medical and sports industries, and the NFL is still working to wipe the tarnish off of their image. The topic that many turned a blind eye to made headlines – in-play repetitive concussions had long-lasting and serious effects on professional football players. Adding insult to injury, the NFL released a new report showing that a total of 271 concussions were diagnosed in 2015, the highest it’s been in the last four years. On top of that, they were getting backlash for pumping their players full of painkillers to mask the effects of their concussions. The League has definitely been on a slippery slope.
But so have NFL players. These guys have struggled to cope with both the effects of concussions and chronic pain, and then the medicine they were given as treatment. I was one of those NFL players that got beaten down, thrown around, tackled, shoved and crushed. I played five seasons with the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants. That’s five years of ongoing abuse and recovery. The damage is both physical and emotional. When it comes to concussions, those two are connected in a very painful, real way. Add retirement from the League and the pressures of life, and the pain can be unbearable. I know, because it’s what led me to nearly taking my own life in 2010.
My experience gave me a new purpose. My mission is to save lives and change minds. I believe there is a better way to approach concussions and their treatment. I’ve learned that cannabis is a plant that helps people, and there’s a science to it that interests me on many levels.
I’m participating in a partnership that I never would have imagined during my football career, or the tough years after it. Constance Therapeutics and Gridiron Cannabis Foundation are working together to show the potential that whole plant cannabis oils have to treat ex-NFL players’ chronic pain, brain trauma and other sports-related injuries. The two organizations are looking at cannabis oils as a potential integrative treatment option, compared to the traditional medications offered to NFL players. It has the potential to help guys like me, just like it helped Constance with her own illness after pharmaceuticals failed her. Needless to say, she takes this seriously. We all should.
In time, we hope to show the potential that cannabis oils have to offer athletes where others have tried and failed. Through this research, we also hope that both current and retired athletes will have access to medical cannabis as a potential alternative or integrative option to prescription medications – what we’re calling Care 2.0. If I can save or improve one life with this research, I will have accomplished my mission.
- Boo Williams