It's not news that marijuana is a banned substance in the NFL, but with more research coming out showing how commonplace serious brain injuries and chronic pain can be, it's time for the NFL to listened when players are reporting positive growth while using marijuana. Retired NFL led group, Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, is teaming up with a cannabis extract company, Constance Therapeutics, to research the effects of medical marijuana on chronic pain and depression. The players agree that the pills so commonly prescribed are addicting. 52% of retired players used pain medicaiton during the season and 71% of them admit to abusing the drugs. The injuries sustained while in season have far-reaching consequences as 50% of retired football players suffer from chronic pain, while 40% suffer from depression, both of which can be treated with forms of cannabis.
Thus far, the treatment options for chronic pain, depression, and other effects of CTE are limited. The NFL forbids players from using marijuana, despite studies that have shown it to be effective in treating pain and mood disorders. Without it, players must rely on pain pills, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers. According to a study from Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, 52 percent of retired players reported using pain medication in season—71 percent of whom admitted to misusing them.