The NHL is taking a close look at CBD and other cannabinoids. Professional sports provide great entertainment and memories for the fans that enjoy them. The players have amazing skill sets that less than one percent of the human population can duplicate. The team owners are able to generate massive revenue numbers off the performances of their teams, and the players are also well compensated for their efforts.
While fans have their memories and the owners see the value of their teams’ success, the players are often left with something other than wealth. Whether it’s the National Football League or the National Hockey League, players often have to contend with chronic pain, depression, and lingering issues from concussions received during their playing career.
The NHL is commissioning a study to determine if CBD can help with post-concussion neurological problems. Past concussions can leave players with depression, progressive dementia and possibly post-traumatic stress disorders. The results of this study are critical because until recently there was no legal way to perform a study on human subjects due to all forms of cannabis, including CBD, being federally banned in both the United States and Canada. Canada has legalized both medical and recreational cannabis and human trials are now possible to determine their effectiveness on humans for various conditions.
Andrew Alberts, a former player for the Vancouver Canucks saw his career come to an end in 2013 after a brutal hit that left him unconscious and concussed. A number of other players have voiced their hope that this study will be able to help players as well.
A pair of forwards who played for the Philadelphia Flyers in the same year as Alberts have been vocal about cannabis and its potential to help those who have suffered repeated concussions. One is Riley Cote... The other is Dan Carcillo, who has lauded them for creating new neurological pathways. Carcillo was a friend and teammate of Steve Montador who suffered from post-concussion impairments and died in 2015.
The lingering effects of concussions have been linked to severe depression and even suicide among retired professional athletes from both the NFL and NHL. A solution is necessary for retired professional athletes that have suffered concussions during their career.
Many of us, while not professional athletes, participate in some form of amateur physical activity or sport to help stay in shape. While not as common as in professional sports, there is a possibility of ringing your bell even as a weekend warrior. If you take a hard head shot while playing in the rec soccer league, or you hit your head on a barbell during a CrossFit WOD, concussions are a possibility.