Super Bowl champion Marvin Washington just released the first episode of a new docuseries focused on how cannabis can help athletes deal with brain trauma and other common sports injuries.
In the “5th Quarter” series, airing on CannectedTV's new online cannabis channel, Washington interviews athletes, physicians, and nurses about using medical marijuana to treat sports injuries. In the first episode, Washington interviewed Eddie “Boo” Williams, a wide receiver who played for various NFL teams between 2001 and 2008.
Williams told Washington that he regularly used weed to chill out after games, just like about 70 percent of the players he knew. “As athletes, we always knew that cannabis was the way to go,” he said, according to CelebStoner. “When I'd leave practice I'd have a joint rolled up in my ashtray, so had something to decompress. Most of us need our brains to slow down in order to live a normal life.”
But after suffering a close contact head injury, the former tight end was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a common injury among athletes in contact sports. This injury left Williams with a number of serious symptoms, including memory loss, confusion, anxiety, and depression, as well as an addiction to the opioids his doctors had prescribed.
Williams eventually attempted to commit suicide to free himself from these spiraling symptoms, but fortunately, he survived and checked himself into rehab to detox from opioids. While completing the program, he realized that his regular cannabis use was actually helping treat some of his CTE symptoms.
Numerous clinical studies have confirmed that cannabis has powerful neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal recovery tool for athletes. Preliminary studies have found that hemp and marijuana extracts can help treat serious brain trauma, possibly by helping the brain regrow damaged cells. Several new studies are now exploring whether marijuana, CBD, and even psilocybin can help MMA fighters, hockey players, and other people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.
In the next two episodes, Washington will talk with cannabis nurses Heather Sobel and Juhlzie Monteiro, and the final installment in the series compiles a number of different interviews Washington has conducted since 2016.
“If the NFL wants [to] continually grow their game, if the NFL wants to take their game across the pond to Europe, I think it’s going to have to change,” Washington told Ganjapreneur. “Because you can’t be exporting the game where you’re going to give the players who play it a brain disease, and so the game has to get safer. All sports evolve… but, if football wants to remain the number one sport in the world… they’re going to have to make the game safer.”