Synopsis: Healy: If Backed by Science, NHL Alumni Association ‘All-In’ on Cannabis
This week’s Hot Article, Healy: If Backed by Science, NHL Alumni Association ‘All-In’ on Cannabis, written by John Matisz and published by The Score, talks about how the NHL Alumni Association is coming out strongly in support of cannabis for pain relief but stresses the need for scientific backing of this position.
The group representing ex-NHL players is “all in” in its endorsement of cannabis for players but future research will be necessary to make this commitment an ongoing one.
“I think science has to prove it first. If science proves it, then I’ll endorse it. But it’s gotta be science first,” Glenn Healy, executive director of the NHL Alumni Association, said Monday, less than a week after Canada legalized cannabis.
Healy, a former NHL goalie and broadcaster, and the NHL Alumni Association have been deeply interested in cannabis and have expressed an interest in teaming up with neurologists to understand its effects on athletes comprehensively. Most notably, ex-NHL players Joe Murphy and Matt Johnson continuously struggle in their retirement with neurological problems resulting from the rougher play of the past era. Ex-NHL players are prone to a number of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.
Although painkillers have helped these players in the past with nagging pain issues, these short-run symptom solutions quickly became part of a larger problem of abuse and addiction. Such problems have incited the NHL Alumni to seek other forms of treatment that are less destructive and addictive.
Hearing the call, ex-Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Riley Cote founded the Hemp Heals Foundation to promote the healing benefits of CBD as a therapeutic and non-addictive pain solution. Cole has spoken directly to Healy about his Foundation and its mission, but Cole agrees that more research must be done.
“There’s probably billions of anecdotal stories, but those don’t mean anything unless it’s backed by science,” Cote said.
The NHL, NHLPA, and Canadian NHL teams currently do not impose punitive consequences for players testing positive for marijuana consumption. “I say this more talking about the CBD side of it – obviously, you’d be stupid not to at least look into it,” says Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers regarding the possibility of utilizing cannabis as a safer and better pain solution for NHL players.
While the NHL progresses toward the use of cannabis as a safer alternative to existing treatments to numerous health issues, doctors, athletes, and the general public are also continuing to analyze cannabis as a solution to pain and other health maladies.