The human brain is astonishingly complicated. It is arguably the most complex object in the known universe. We have spent decades studying it, and although we know a great deal about some of the physical and chemical processes, we know next to nothing about how the brain interacts with the mind.
If you are struck on the head with any kind of force, you are at risk of concussion. A concussion is a common traumatic brain injury. Its effects are usually temporary and can include headaches as well as loss of memory, balance, coordination, and concentration. Although concussions are associated with a loss of consciousness, most of the time the sufferer is conscious and unaware they have suffered a concussion.
When enough force is applied to the head, the brain shunts back and forward in the cerebrospinal fluid and makes contact with the hard inner surface of the skull. This is what causes the symptoms and signs of concussions, from the most minor dizziness to total loss of consciousness and brain bleeding.
Although impacts to the head, neck, and back are known to be major causes of concussions, severe shaking can also be a contributing factor.
We all know that football is a violent, high-impact sport. NFL players push their bodies to extreme lengths, and often spend years playing and training at an elite level.
Recent results show that 96% of retired NFL players had brain injuries. Repeated concussions are known to lead to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE can bring on ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or Motor Neurone Disease.
At least two NFL players have died because of CTE, while many more may have gone unrecorded, and a number have taken their own lives due to depression, possibly caused by concussive injuries sustained during their professional careers.
Several lawsuits have been filed by groups of former NFL players against the organisation. It has been accused of negligence and cover-ups.
Marvin Washington is a retired player from the NFL. As a defensive end, he played with the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Denver Broncos with whom he won a Super Bowl ring in 1998. He played 155 games and was a starter in 96 of those.
Washington has long been an advocate of medicinal cannabis. In 2017, he filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General Jeff Sessions to overturn the classification of cannabis as a Schedule-1 drug. He is a member of Athletes for Care – an advocacy group for athletes on health and safety issues including the regulation of cannabis as a medicine.
CBD is a newly popular chemical that’s produced by cannabis or hemp plants. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and although it comes from a plant with well-known psychotropic (causing a high) compounds, CBD itself is non-psychotropic. It has been claimed to be an all-natural remedy for depression and pain.
CBD is currently being used as a neuroprotectant in some countries to help in the prevention and cure of brain disease. This is what got Marvin Washington interested in the molecule. Like many others, Washington sees cannabis-based medicine as an alternative to the opium-based painkillers that are causing huge addiction issues for athletes in dozens of elite sports.