About This Episode
The last time we talked about the NFL on this show was with former N.Y. Jets champion, Marvin Washington, who has been advocating for cannabis to replace opiates for dealing with sports injuries and campaigning the NFL to re-think its policy. In light of recent research into the untimely passing of some of the NFL’s greats, he has joined a number of alumni campaigning for cannabis as a means to deal with a degenerative brain disorder caused my multiple concussions. With decades of research making recent headlines, we now know the condition as chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.
In a recent article, Marvin wrote, “What emerged from the ghost of the NFL’s past was a Pittsburgh Steelers player named Mike Webster. It was his unusual struggles later in life and his sudden, tragic death at age 50, which started raising questions that needed answers. Then, almost out of nowhere, you have the autopsy by [Dr. Omalu] that changed football. With [the] discovery of CTE, suddenly there was more insight into how and why we had lost so many former players too soon. And, honestly, that’s the moment when we all started to wake up. I truly do appreciate the game of football for the unique life lessons it can provide. But that being said, CTE is the NFL’s industrial disease.”
With permission from survivors of former players whose lives were cut short by the debilitating symptoms of sleeplessness, agitation, depression, premature dementia and, at times, suicide, autopsies have confirmed that those symptoms were, indeed, CTE.
That is the topic of today’s emotionally charged episode with Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame kicker, Nick Lowery and CTE expert H.J. Raza, M.D./PhD. explain how the disease manifests in 96 percent of former NFL players and how CBD can not only relieve symptoms, it may also be the best preventative medicine. For those among us who don’t already know about CTE, we begin with Dr. Bryan Doner’s Medical Marijuana Minute to explain some of the basics and bring everyone up to speed.
About Our Guests
Nick “the Kick” Lowery is an NFL legend whose 18 years as a kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs earned his induction into the Hall of Fame. As the first pro athlete with a Masters degree and Fellowship from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, he served three U.S. Presidents as an advisor on youth and drug policy in the White House. He is also the winner of the most prestigious humanitarian award an NFL player can receive, The Byron Whizzer White Award and, as founder of the Nick Lowery Youth Foundation, Nick uses principles of the game of football to empower young people how to aspire to achieve their dreams. In light of recent discoveries about CTE, Nick became an ardent advocate of cannabis and has joined a growing number of former and current NFL players campaigning for policy change to allow for cannabis as an alternative to opiates and other drugs used to treat symptoms of CTE. He is a national spokesperson for Vitasome and Kannalife Sciences, which is conducting a study on the use of CBD to treat CTE.
Dr. H.J. Gaza is a globally-recognized researcher and physician (MD) with Board-certification in Internal Medicine from NYU and a degree in neuroscience research (Ph.D) from The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. As a teaching attending at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, his research focused on neuroscience and the human endocannabinoid system. He is widely published in clinical neuroscience with multiple industry white papers in the “Chronic Endocannabinoid Insufficiency” and the Cannabidiol (CBD) therapy space and is pursuing the development of a federally funded program to provide veterans an educational outreach program on the benefits CBD therapy for PTSD. He has also worked with notable athletes in his studies of the profound neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of CBD as a prevention and treatment of post-concussion syndrome with or without CTE in contact sports. Today, he is Chief Medical Officer at C3 Global Biosciences, where he is researching innovations in applications for CBD for treating CTE.
If not for the generosity of our supporters, we wouldn’t be here! We’d first like to thank our national sponsors Hemp Meds and Healthtera. We’d also like to shout out to our producer, Ed Vanderlee at Star Worldwide Networks, Erik Godal, the composer of our theme “Evergreen,” Steve Webb at XRQK Radio Network, Dr. Bryan Doner for the Medical Marijuana Minute and Compassionate Certification Centers for making our Pittsburgh debut at WJAS Talk Radio possible. Last, but not least, thanks to our guests, Nick Lowery and H.J. Raza, M.D./PhD. We are grateful!