NFL faces shifting views about pot

As a Cowboys veteran and NFL Players Association representative, cornerback Brandon Carr says he often counsels young teammates about accountability.

Show up on time, he tells them. Know the playbook. And make it a priority to learn the NFL’s substance abuse policies, especially in regard to marijuana use.

“We have honest discussions,” Carr says. “And you caution. I just kind of give guys the deadline dates of when they’re supposed to get clean, things like that.”

This is not, Carr stresses, an admission that the Cowboys have a drug-dirty locker room. It’s Carr’s realistic appraisal that marijuana simply is part of the NFL’s culture. Why wouldn’t it be, he asks, given that it has become more accepted legally and socially, especially among millennials?

Do the Cowboys in particular have a pot problem? Perception-wise, yes. Factually, however, the answer is complex.

It certainly didn’t help the Cowboys’ image when No. 4 overall draft pick Ezekiel Elliott on Aug. 25 was photographed browsing at a Seattle weed shop, hours before a preseason game against the Seahawks.

Never mind that Elliott didn’t purchase anything. Or that Seattle and Denver are NFL cities in states that have legalized the recreational use and sale of cannabis.

Without elaborating, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called 21-year-old Elliott’s decision “just not good.” Coach Jason Garrett said young players “just have to understand that perception can be reality.”

Especially when compounded with the fact that the Cowboys franchise already was reeling from the NFL substance abuse suspensions of projected defensive starters Rolando McClain, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.

Though sources told The Dallas Morning News that McClain’s suspension is due to a failed test for opiates and Lawrence’s for amphetamines, McClain and Gregory have in the past reportedly failed marijuana tests.

NFL and NFLPA joint-appointed counselors annually visit teams to, in part, reiterate substance abuse policies, but several Cowboys told The News that the rash of suspensions prompted a late-spring, mostly marijuana-specific meeting.

“We haven’t had to really talk about it in past years,” running back Lance Dunbar says. “It was needed because we had guys [fail] the test.”

Dunbar says it’s immaterial that everyday citizens in two NFL cities are legally allowed to partake in weed.

“That’s only a couple,” he says. “Majority rules. It’s illegal in most states. You’re not supposed to do it.

“Here, it was a problem. We had a problem with it. We talked about it.”

Altering minds

How significant a problem is marijuana for the NFL?

For years it’s been a, yes, hazy issue — quietly acknowledged, but seldom publicly discussed in detail.

In recent months, however, a chorus of mostly retired NFL players has publicly extolled what it believes are marijuana’s medicinal benefits. These players have wondered why the league still takes what they view as a harshly punitive stance toward the drug.

In March, Baltimore offensive tackle Eugene Monroe became the first active NFL player to publicly advocate marijuana for pain relief. He retired four months later, but not before current Tennessee linebacker Derrick Morgan joined him in an interview with Katie Couric to echo his pro-marijuana views.

Jim McMahon, Jake Plummer and Kyle Turley are among retired NFL players who recently have said marijuana use has greatly improved their previously pain- and depression-filled lives.

Just last week, retired offensive lineman Eben Britton told the New York Post that the three NFL games in which he played while stoned were among the best of his career — and former defensive lineman Shaun Smith tweeted that he routinely smoked joints before games.

Now the Cowboys’ Carr is publicly joining the conversation.

“I mean, honestly, I’ve thought about this for a while,” says the 30-year-old Carr. “I’m not really a big believer in prescription painkillers and all those things. I know some guys feel better and more natural and don’t have any complications with just the natural herbs of the Earth.

“I compare it to alcohol. I see guys that partake in marijuana are calmer, cooler than guys that drink. I haven’t really seen too many people get in jams or binds with their emotions or losing their cool off of marijuana.

“On the flip side, you read every other week about guys getting DUIs or in physical altercations or something within their own home due to alcohol.”

NFL vs. other sports

What has brought about this recent surge of candid NFL marijuana dialogue?

Though Cowboys front office officials declined to speak to The News for this story, players and NFL team officials who did speak — some on, others off the record — say they believe the biggest factor is that players increasingly feel singled out and over-disciplined compared with peers in other sports.

NFL sources say there also is frustration among numerous teams’ front offices, and that the marijuana issue has reached a tipping point, increasing the likelihood that the league and NFLPA will negotiate a lessening of marijuana penalties.

Marijuana-use monitoring at the college football level is at best inconsistent, with testing and discipline varying from conference to conference.

A December 2015 investigation by The Associated Press showed that out of 57 Power Five conference schools surveyed, 23 had within the past 10 years reduced penalties for positive marijuana tests, at least in part because of changing legal and societal perspectives on the drug.

But when a prospective NFL player tests positive for marijuana during the scouting combine, as was the case with the Cowboys’ Gregory in 2015, he automatically enters the league’s Intervention Program and is subject to increased testing.

The Intervention Program is administered by league and NFLPA-appointed medical personnel. Teams have lost much of the day-to-day oversight of at-risk players that they had in the 1980s and ’90s, often learning of failed or missed drug tests well after the fact.

Gregory has said he began using marijuana at the University of Nebraska because it helped alleviate anxiety issues. Since joining the Cowboys, he has failed or missed at least four drug tests.

The Cowboys learned Monday that the NFLPA dropped its appeal of Gregory’s 10-game suspension, which is in addition to the four-game suspension he’s currently serving.

It’s unclear how much of Gregory’s plight is marijuana-related, but there is no doubt NFL players face steeper marijuana penalties than athletes in other pro sports.

NFL penalties for positive marijuana tests range from a three-game fine for players during Stage One of the Intervention Program to a four-game suspension during Stage Two to one-year banishment during Stage Three.

NBA players incur a comparatively small fine ($25,000) after their second positive marijuana test and a five-game suspension after a third positive test.

Major League Baseball players are not tested for drugs of abuse, including marijuana, unless they are suspected of abuse. Even if they are tested and produce a positive result, they aren’t subject to suspension and the most they can be fined is $35,000.

“NBA players don’t get tested for street drugs,” Dunbar says. “I’m not sure if that’s true, but that’s what I heard.”

Actually, NBA players get tested four times during the season and twice during the offseason for performance-enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse.

NFL players get tested only once annually, during a period that begins April 20 and ends Aug. 9. But if an incoming NFL player tests positive during the scouting combines, or if a veteran fails a test during the April-to-August period, he enters the Intervention Program and is subject to far more testing.

The NFL is by far the most visible American pro sport, so when a player gets suspended for marijuana use, the news reverberates.

“More people watch football,” Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead says. “You definitely don’t hear much about [marijuana] in the NBA and baseball.

“I think that definitely makes it bigger in our sport.”

As one of the Cowboys’ NFLPA representatives, Carr was part of negotiations that resulted in a 2014 amending of marijuana testing guidelines. Players considered it a minor victory when the minimum threshold for a positive marijuana test increased from 15 nanograms of carboxy THC per milliliter of urine to 35 nanograms.

That is still well below MLB’s minimum threshold of 50 nanograms. The World Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees testing of Olympic athletes, set its minimum threshold at 150 nanograms.

“We got the threshold moved up, but it’s crazy because it’s still lower than most sports,” Carr says. “There’s going to be ongoing talks.”

When the new collective bargaining agreement comes up in 2020, he says, “there’s going to be a whole lot of different things changing in this world by that time.”

Along with potential CBA posturing, perhaps another reason NFL players are speaking more freely about marijuana use is the apparent lessening stigma the drug carries in society. Cannabis now is legal for medical use in 25 states.

Texas Heisman Trophy winner and then-Dolphins running back Ricky Williams told 60 Minutes in 2005 that the reason he retired for a year after his second positive marijuana suspension in 2004 was to avoid the humiliation of his test result being made public.

Williams told USA Today in 2014 that had the league’s marijuana-test threshold been 35 nanograms during his playing days, he never would have been relegated to the Intervention Program or been suspended.

“To me, [marijuana use] is not as taboo as it used to be, like when I was growing up and when I first came into the NFL,” Carr says. “With medical advances and studies coming out, it’s kind of pushing it forward and pushing the envelope with the issue.

“I think it needs to be talked about. I think we really need to see some cold, hard facts comparing the use of marijuana to the use of painkillers.”

A local trailblazer

Long before this recent escalation of marijuana discussion, and two years prior to Williams’ first marijuana suspension, one ex-NFL player stood alone in publicly advocating marijuana use.

And he was a Dallas Cowboy: five-time Pro Bowl center and two-time Super Bowl champion Mark Stepnoski.

After his 2001 retirement as a player, Stepnoski made national news by becoming the Texas chapter president of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

On Nov. 15, 2002, Stepnoski appeared on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, with the host firing this opening salvo: “I bet you’re getting some stares down there in Texas, aren’t you?”

O’Reilly that night chided Stepnoski and his “fellow celebrity” marijuana advocates Willie Nelson, Bill Maher, Hunter Thompson and Robert Altman. Yet, 14 years later, Stepnoski has been joined in the cause by a seemingly growing number of NFL players.

“I can’t say it surprises me,” Stepnoski says. “It just took this long to get to this point.”

During his 13-year NFL career, en route to being named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade team, Stepnoski was known as an avant-garde thinker on matters far deeper than trap-blocking.

Turns out, he had become a lifetime member of NORML in 1998, but didn’t make that public knowledge until he retired and took over the organization’s Texas presidency.

In 2003, Pennsylvania native Stepnoski immigrated to Vancouver, where he and girlfriend Brandi Mollica live with 7-year-old son Sebastian.

“I like the fact that, generally speaking on the West Coast, whether it’s Canada or the United States, attitudes about cannabis seem to be more progressive,” the 49-year-old Stepnoski says. “So I did like that feature of Vancouver.

“Nonetheless, marijuana is still illegal here, too.”

When Cowboys rookie Elliott made national headlines in that Seattle weed shop not far from Vancouver, Stepnoski naturally felt for him.

Twelve days later, on Sept. 6, Elliott again generated unwanted headlines, this time as part of otherwise welcome news.

The city attorney of Columbus, Ohio, announced that his office would not pursue domestic violence charges against Elliott after investigating July accusations made by his former girlfriend.

Court documents obtained by The News contained a text exchange between Elliott and the former girlfriend that seemingly raised questions of possible drug use by Elliott — and might have put him on Intervention Program officials’ radar.

“I know you’re stressed out, if you need me call me,” Elliott’s ex-girlfriend texted. “Just do everything you can to pass your drug test tomorrow. You’ll be okay. I’m here for you.”

“I’m gonna pass,” Elliott responded, adding in a follow-up text, “about to live in this sauna the next 24 hours.”

Stepnoski says he knows little about Elliott and doesn’t follow the NFL closely enough to know whether marijuana is more or less a part of the culture than when he played.

“The thing about it is in the ’90s, just like in the ’80s and ’70s, it was part of culture, period,” Stepnoski says. “It’s been part of youth culture since at least the ’60s.

“Football players are young guys. It’s just part of life. At some point there’s a chance that [marijuana] is going to cross their path and they may feel compelled to try it. Is that something someone should be punished for later in life? I don’t think so.”

Stepnoski says he wasn’t surprised to read that McMahon and Plummer and other former NFL players have credited cannabis-based therapy for not only reducing aches, but improving their post-concussion cognitive abilities.

“That’s really all I ever tried to do, was just educate people,” he says.

How has cannabis helped Stepnoski?

“I feel pretty fortunate, put it that way,” he says. “I don’t take any prescription drugs. I don’t even consume over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or pain relievers. I’m not scheduled for any surgeries. I’m not getting any joints replaced.

“I’m pretty lucky.”

Carr says he is glad to see marijuana become an NFL talking point. Based on what he has seen of the millennial generation, within and outside of football, he expects much marijuana discussion to come.

“The music has changed, even from when I grew up to now,” he says with a laugh. “It’s slow. It’s this weird, zombie-type music.

“It’s not just marijuana. There are more recreational drugs out there that people partake in, I think.”

Carr says one of the reasons he has given the marijuana issue considerable thought is that he wants to coach after his playing career ends.

“I’m going to have to deal with this issue,” he says. “As opposed to trying to ban it, that’s when you get guys doing the wrong thing behind your back. You know, if parents say, ‘Don’t touch it,’ kids are going to find a way to touch it.

“So I think it will be about finding a way to find a common ground. If you’re going to do it, just be responsible. Know your limits. You’ve still got an image to uphold.”


Source: The Dallas Morning News Sportsday

The American Legion Wants Marijuana Reclassified to Help Treat PTSD

These aren’t your filthy hippies and stoners looking for an excuse to toke (not that there’s anything wrong with that!): The American Legion is calling for the federal government to reclassify marijuana to acknowledge its potential benefits as a medical treatment.

As Jacob Sullum previously noted, The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is stubbornly refusing to change the federal classification of marijuana as a drug that has no “accepted medical use” until science proves them wrong. Fortunately they’re easing off on the Catch-22 situation that has resulted in this classification making it extremely difficult for researchers to perform the very scientific testing that could determine marijuana’s medical value.

One of the potential medical values of medical marijuana is as a treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). And in what must certainly at this point make it abundantly clear where the majority of Americans stand on marijuana use, the American Legion has just voted at its national convention to support a resolution calling on Congress to legislatively reclassify cannabis and place it in a category that recognizes its potential value.

The resolution, readable here at, highlights a number of important statistics that have helped push the Legion to support it. Across two years, the Department of Veterans Affairs have diagnosed thousands of Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans as having PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). More than 1,300 veterans in fiscal year 2009 were hospitalized for brain injuries. And the resolution notes that systems in the brain can respond to 60 different chemicals found in cannabis.Therefore, the American Legion wants the DEA to license privately-funded medical marijuana and research facilities and to reclassify marijuana away from being lumped in with drugs like cocaine and meth.

Tom Angell over at notes that Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist and medical marijuana researcher, has been lobbying the Legion and their local posts to get their support. Sisley is notable for actually getting federal permission to research marijuana as a treatment for PTSD and then getting dumped by the University of Arizona (where she worked) in 2014.

What does this mean for a legislative effort to give VA docs permission to actually talk about medical marijuana as a treatment for veterans? As I noted in May, there was an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would end a gag order that prohibits VA doctors from recommending or even discussing medical marijuana treatment with patients, even in states where it had been legalized. The amendment would end the gag order, but wouldn’t permit the VA to prescribe or pay for marijuana.

The amendment passed the House and Senate, but as Angell notes, after the two sides went through the reconciliation to hammer out any difference, the language completely disappeared. It is no longer part of the Veterans Administration package.

Legislators return to session today to hammer out last-minute spending bills to keep the government running (and the Democrats and Republicans are currently in disagreement on how long to extend spending authorizations for the incoming administration). Technically the amendment’s language could be restored.



45 Ailments Treatable with Cannabis

Once you learn about the endocannabinoid system in your body, it becomes very clear just why cannabis can treat so many different illnesses.

The great thing about cannabis as medicine is that it’s all-natural, and you don’t have to worry about potentially fatal side effects that you get with other so-called medicines.

Our medicine should be something that makes us feel better, not a chemical experiment that makes us feel worse or that could kill us.

And with cannabis, we literally have decades’ worth of research (despite government restriction) that proves its effectiveness and safety.

endocannabinoid system graphic

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping all of our metabolic processes in check.

The good news is that as prohibition continues to fall apart, patients have an increasing number in cannabis options, be it through vaporizing, edibles,topicals, or even transdermal patches.

Here are just 45 of the ailments treatable with cannabis.

#1) Prostate Cancer

Recent anecdotal and scientific evidence – including a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Cancer – suggests that prostate cancer could be inhibited through cannabinoid treatment.

#2) Depression

Depression is a medical issue affects 9 percent of Americans. A ray of hope has come through preliminary research released in 2015 in the Journal of Neuroscience found that compounds gleaned from cannabis could help ease symptoms of depression in patients.

#3) Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Most prevalent in children and often carried over into adulthood, ADHD shows through a seeming inability to pay attention and a general exhibition of hyperactivity and impulsivity. According to Dr. David Bearman, cannabis is likely more effective than pharmaceuticals in treating ADHD by increasing the availability of dopamine in the brain, which is responsible for regulating behavior and focusing attention. This would explain a lot of the anecdotal reports we get from people who successfully self-treat their ADHD with cannabis.

#4) Crohn’s Disease

Multiple studies have found this painful and life-threatening disease – also known as ‘inflammatory bowel disease’ – to be treatable with cannabinoid therapy.

#5) Chronic Stress

Chronic stress – with such symptoms as panic attacks, depression, sleep deprivation, and cardiovascular diseases – can have debilitating effects on a person’s psychological and physical health. Thankfully, multiple studies – including one conducted by researchers from Vanderbilt University – find cannabis to be highly effective in reducing chronic stress and its effects.

#6) Cigarette Addiction

Cigarette addiction is regarded as one of the leading worldwide causes of preventable death, and curbing the rate of smokers has become a top priority for physicians. Luckily, it turns out that the administration of cannabidiol (CBD) helps with the management of withdrawal symptoms for smokers looking to quit.

#7) Arthritis

Compounds from cannabis have proven to be a remarkably effective treatmentof both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

#8) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

People have believed for years that cannabis could be effective in the treatment of PTSD. Now it appears that the view is going mainstream: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) approved in April a clinical study to combat the disorder’s effects. Meanwhile, PTSD patients have been telling us all along that cannabis works best.

#9) Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease in the optic nerve that often results in blindness. The use of cannabis – particularly through oral ingestion – has been found to lower pressure in the eye. Yet despite initial optimism, further study into cannabis’s effects on glaucoma patients has been encouraged by medical professionals.


While not offered as a ‘cure’ for HIV/AIDS, cannabis has proven to be effective in the treatment of symptoms, which include nausea, loss of appetite, and anxiety.

#11) Alzheimer’s Disease

While a great deal of research has yet to be completed on the matter, preliminary scientific literature suggests that cannabinoids therapy can provide symptomatic relief – as well as a slowing of Alzheimer’s’ progression.

#12) Headaches

Over-the-counter drugs can be effective in the treatment of headaches; however, many of the common OTC treatments – such as Aleve and Tylenol, among others – can lead to deterioration in stomach lining. Cannabis, on the other hand, has been found to be a potentially effective natural treatment for headaches, including migraines.

#13) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

CBD – one of the main compounds in cannabis – has been shown to effectively combat and regulate anxiety. This could prove to be a game-changer for those living with the effects of OCD.

#14) Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is a degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system and can ultimately result in permanent disability or even death. While examination of the disease is ongoing, people are finding cannabis to be an effective measure of relief for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

#15) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

ALS is a debilitating disease of the nervous system that attacks spinal cord and brain neurons, over time resulting in paralysis and often times death from respiratory failure. No cure currently exists for ALS, but studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that medical cannabis could play a future role in the disease’s treatment and relief of symptoms.

#16) Chronic Pain

Chronic pain has been defined as any pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks – and encompasses such areas as physical, pathological, neurobiological, psychological, and social pain. While the causes of chronic pain are many, cannabis has is an often recommended treatment by physicians, and the number one ailment among medical cannabis patients.

doctor and patient

Physicians around the world are embracing cannabis as medicine because they want to see their patients actually get better.

#17) Pancreatic Cancer

At least one study – appearing in the seminal publication Cancer Research – suggests that cannabis could prove instrumental in treating the cancer regarded as the fourth-deadliest cancer diagnosis.

#18) Opioid Addiction

The media and the medical community alike have acknowledged opioid addiction as one of the country’s leading public health crises. However, one study, appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found states with relevant medical cannabis laws have a lower opioid-related mortality rate (by nearly 25 percent!).

#19) Disc Degeneration

Intervertebral discs – also known simply as ‘discs’ – are masses of cartilage that sit between each vertebra. Degenerated discs, if left untreated, can result in spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, or herniated discs. A 2014 study on rats with recreated disc degenerations found that the subjects treated with higher doses of cannabidiol saw their conditions measurably improve.

#20) Skin Cancer

While the medical establishment remains dubious on this one, people continue to share with the world how cannabis helped them overcome skin cancer.

#21) Traumatic Brain Injury

Two recent surveys – one appearing in The American Surgeon and the other in Brain Sciences – offer substantial support to the notion that cannabis can be an effective treatment for traumatic brain injuries among both adults and perinatal children.

#22) Parkinson’s Disease

A significant amount of research has already been completed on the relationship between cannabis and the management and improvement of Parkinson’s Disease patients’ health. Such studies have found an improvement in sleep, improvement of motor control, and a general improvement in quality of life.

#23) Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is the slow degeneration of muscle mass throughout the body. Though the disease is genetic and research on the issue has yet to be fully sussed out, one 2010 study detailed the ways in which cannabis could prove beneficial to patients suffering from the disease.

#24) Epilepsy

This seizure-inducing condition has been on the radar of cannabis advocates for years, and we are beginning to see why: Multiple studies have found a link between cannabis treatment and the lowering – or even cessation – of epileptic seizures.

#25) Autism

Scientific studies – plus a sizable amount of anecdotal evidence – suggest that placing greater emphasis on supplementing the endocannabinoid system with phytocannabinoids could lead to enhanced treatment of autism, especially in children.

#26) Lupus

This chronic inflammatory disease affects approximately 1.5 to 2 million Americans. Though the disease has no cure, two of the most common therapeutic properties of cannabis – pain and inflammation relief – are effective in alleviating lupus’s symptoms.

#27) Malaria

Malaria is transmitted to humans by mosquitos and may result in everything from blood vessel clogs to brain cell damage. While deaths related to malaria have fallen in recent years, an animal study published last year inNeuroscience found CBD treatment to improve the mental functioning and survival rates of subjects infected with the disease.

#28) Schizophrenia

This debilitating mental disorder could result in hallucinations, incoherent speech, social withdrawal, and institutionalization. Despite conflicting studies and reports, many schizophrenia patients turn to cannabis to ease their symptoms, and one study has revealed that the endocannabinoid system has a direct involvement in the mental illness.

#29) Leukemia

This dangerous form of cancer – which affects the blood and starts in the bone marrow – has been investigated for its possible responses to CBD and THC treatment. Though there remains a great deal of work to be done on the issue, preliminary studies suggest that cannabis treatment for leukemia has a bright future in the years ahead.

#30) Strokes

Strokes – defined as the temporary blockage of blood to the brain – can have debilitating long-term effects on motor and speech skills, as well as brain damage. It turns out cannabis can protect the brain of stroke victims, reducing the amount of damage suffered.

#31) Breast Cancer

This is the most common cancer among women and while a great deal of research remains to be completed on how the disease responds to cannabis treatment, a study published last year in Molecular Oncology found CBD to be a “potent” drug in fighting triple-negative breast cancer.


This muscle pain- and fatigue-inducing disorder has been found to be effectively treated using medical cannabis. Cannabis users in this study, conducted by researchers at Spain’s University of Granada, experienced a decrease in pain and a greater quality of life.

#33) Colon Cancer

This particularly vicious strain of cancer has been met with effective treatment through the use of cannabis extracts high in CBD.

#34) Heart disease

Cardiovascular disease – also known as heart disease – is cited as the world’s leading cause of death, with roughly 17.3 million deaths per year. However, studies working with medical cannabis compounds have found cannabinoids to be effective in improving cardiovascular functions, but also that the damage caused by heart attacks may be constrained through ultra-low doses of THC.

#35) Asthma

Studies have found that the effects of cannabis and its components have resulted in measurable improvement in asthma-like symptoms, and there are actually several reasons why cannabis can work wonders here.

#36) Huntington’s Disease

This neurodegenerative disorder over time can result in physical and mental degradation. No cure currently exists, but studies indicate that cannabis may be effective in preventing certain neurodegenerative diseases, as well astreating some of the symptoms associated with Huntington’s.

#37) Alcoholism

For many people suffering from alcoholism, cannabis has become a go-to substitute. Essentially, cannabis provides them a much safer, healthier alternative.

#38) Diabetes

An estimated 29.1 million people in the U.S. suffer from diabetes. Cannabis, however, has proven to be helpful in managing or even preventing type-2 diabetes.

#39) Bladder Cancer

A February 2015 study published in The Journal of Urology found the use of whole-plant cannabis in California men to be “inversely associated with bladder cancer risk.” While the study took care to say that a causal effect was not detected, the study nonetheless offers promise to those looking to counteract the effects or even prevent this harmful and often fatal disease.

#40) Obesity

A recent study by the CDC found that a whopping 36 percent of Americans are considered obese. Thankfully, studies show cannabis being highly effective in the fight against obesity.

#41) Painful Bladder Syndrome

At least one study has found that interstitial cystitis – a chronic bladder disease also known as painful bladder syndrome – may be treated through the use of cannabinoids.

#42) Sleep Disorders

Lack of sleep can lead to a slew of health problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Many insomnia patients have found relief through cannabis, specifically THC, which acts as an all-natural sleep aid.

#43) Shingles

The skin rash shingles, while most common in older patients, is nonetheless highly prevalent. It is estimated that as many as one third of people will develop shingles in their lifetime. While a cure for the rash has yet to be discovered, cannabinoids may offer treatment for the pain associated with the disease’s effects.

#44) Tourette’s Syndrome

The neuropsychiatric disorder Tourette’s Syndrome – which results in a series of involuntary ‘tics’ and
the cause of which remains unknown – has no known cure. However, while research on the disorder’s relationship with cannabis remains ongoing, studieshave already been undertaken showing promise through treatment with cannabinoid therapy.

#45) Osteoporosis

Several studies published in the last five years – including one in the British Journal of Pharmacology and one in Cell Metabolism – found that bone erosion caused by osteoporosis could be curtailed by bolstering the endocannabinoid system of affected patients with cannabinoid therapy.

Wow that’s a lot of ailments. Imagine how much more effective our healthcare would be if cannabis were fully embraced for the medicine that it is – the medicine that our bodies and endocannabinoid systems need.

Green Flower Media