Use of Marijuana to Treat Sport Injuries

Although the world of sports never stops, athletic seasons begin and end. Every day, without fail, a basketball team practices their three-pointers around the world, friends playing football meet up for an unplanned game of soccer, football prospects spend some hours in the weight room, and some people are training for their first marathon. Whether you are a die-hard sports fan or a professional athlete looking forward for a championship season, or you are a weekend warrior beating the running trail, there is a thrill of competition that says or speaks to all of us.

It is not a matter of if you will experience an injury; it is a matter of how soon you will experience it. A good plan for recovery is critical in the face of injury. Both professional and amateur athletes need treatments for their quick and effective recovery and with very small adverse side effects. They are aware of the risks of sports and long-term effects of bone injuries, arthritis, damaged nervous systems, concussions, and torn muscle tissues.
Many of us will experience chronic pain at one point in our lives. Whether this injury happens instantly in sports or gradually over the years, the pain resulting from this can make one result in dependence on pain-relieving drugs. What most people resulted in is opioid, and it has led to an addiction that is now leading to a rise in the public health crisis. To prevent this, many people are resulting in the use of marijuana due to its effectiveness, and it does not lead to an addiction.

There are several chemical compounds present in marijuana which are very effective in the treatment of sports injuries, and it has a far lower risk for addiction. All of the chemical compounds (more than 113 cannabinoids) that are present in marijuana such as Cannabidiol (CBD) react with the immune system and receptors in the brain in a way that reduces inflammation, pain, and general discomfort that occur as a result of a variety of health issues.

The ban that the NFL Players Association and the National Football League (NFL) placed on the use of medical marijuana may go up in smoke because most players are going for the use of cannabis to treat injuries they get from sports. Although there is a ban on the use of cannabis by official NFL policy, a higher number of players (both former and current) are making mouth about the use of marijuana to replace the use of opioids to treat pain. This is because they believe that it is less addictive and more effective if relieving them from pain.

Football and Brain Injuries
Football is known as a notoriously punishing sport, and its players suffer from painful injuries, and they have to take heavy-duty pain killers for the treatment. The players are getting concerned about the continuous overprescribing of opioids for the treatments. Although medical marijuana is banned on the federal level, many states are passing different laws for the use of medical marijuana to take care of pain and other effects of illness (up to 25 states and in the District of Columbia). Now that many NFL players are getting aware of the effects of football on their health and bodies, they are researching more to reform that policy and hoping to get the best use of medical marijuana for managing pain and for taking care of sports-related TBI (traumatic brain injuries).

Using Cannabis to Treat and Prevent Pain
According to the latest research findings, it has been shown that medical cannabis can be used to prevent CTE and treat TBI; this will thereby improve the quality of life of players who are at high risks of suffering from these conditions. The idea is that marijuana may be useful for treating brain trauma. This is because the cannabinoids found in marijuana – especially cannabidiol (CBD) – activate different receptors in the brain that offer strong protection against neural damage which is followed by acute and chronic brain damage. In other words, some of the chemicals that are present in medical marijuana can provide a protective factor both before trauma to the head and after getting the trauma and thereby lessening the effects of the trauma.

An Alternative to Opioids
Marijuana has been used as a pain relief for thousands of years, and it has been a safe and useful way of performing this function. Medical marijuana is known to be an effective alternative to continuous use of opioids including oxycodone (OxyContin) and morphine especially for athletes with spinal cord injury, degenerative arthritis, fibromyalgia, neuromuscular disorders like multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among other conditions. The main problem people are facing with opioids is its addiction along with the risk of overdosing; this is most common among athletes who use it to manage the effect of injuries that happen to them on the field. This is one of the reasons why these people tend to the use of marijuana because it serves as a safer alternative to the use of opioid and it does not have dangerous side effects like opioids.
The school of thought about the use of marijuana to treat sports injuries is that marijuana, especially cannabidiol (CBD) helps to relax the central nervous system and ease pain from injuries. It is widely known that CBD offers healing benefits to injuries without psychoactive effects. To act as a pain reliever, researchers show that marijuana, especially CBD, can stop the activity of specific receptors present in the brain to alleviate severe soreness and pain.
Though being natural does not mean healthier, and just like opioids, people can get addicted to the use of marijuana if used continuously by susceptible patients. It is also not advisable that pregnant women, people with a history of psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and people with coronary heart disease should not use marijuana to treat injuries. Another downside of marijuana is its use while driving because it impacts negatively on brain development mainly in adolescents.

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