'Time for some action': Jake Plummer advocates use of cannabinoids to treat pain, CTE in NFL players

Posted at 11:55 AM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 18:47:30-04

Jake Plummer recently disclosed he uses cannabidiol (CBD) on a daily basis in order to manage pain he still experiences from his decade-long NFL career.

The former Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback has launched a campaign to ensure current NFL players can do the same.

Plummer has teamed with The Realm of Caring Foundation to launch a campaign called When the Bright Lights Fade, which aims to raise money for studies to prove how the use of cannabinoids -- specifically, CBD -- can help prevent the onset of CTE and traumatic brain injury, and treat those who suffer from those conditions.

Current NFL players are prohibited from using CBD, but Plummer wants to see that change.

"This campaign is not about advocating for professional athletes to use cannabinoids recreationally, but rather to encourage the exploration of new options that could lead to solving the epidemic in the NFL that currently exists," the campaign's mission statement reads.

In May, Plummer starred in a 13-minute documentary on behalf of the campaign.

"This campaign will NOT be an attack on the NFL or its current cannabinoid policy, but rather a platform to identify this as a real problem that must be addressed NOW and an opportunity to explore a potential solution to the problem."

During his time in the NFL, Plummer said he witnessed many athletes routinely using habit-forming painkillers such as Percocet and Vicodin in order to manage their pain. He has contended that CBD is a much safer, non-addictive form of treatment for pain, as well as an effective manager of CTE.

The goal of the "Bright Lights" campaign is to raise money for a pair of studies.

"The first study will survey current and former players on their cannabinoid use/non-use. The second will examine the pharmacokinetics of CBD and various delivery mechanisms and will identify cannabinoid levels of healthy adult males after prolonged use," according to the campaign.

"These studies are critical first steps in further exploring how cannabinoids can benefit professional athletes who are at risk for traumatic brain injury. Additional funds raised during this campaign will go towards future studies related to this issue."

The campaign has put up signed memorabilia for sale in order to help raise money for these studies, including items autographed by Plummer, former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith and Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.