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CTE & Cannabinoids: A Hopeful Path for NFL Players Battling CTE

CTE & Cannabinoids - Deuce Lutui

In the tight knit community of professional football, the haunting specter of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) looms large, affecting players long after their final whistle blows. Deuce Lutui, a former NFL player for the Cardinals, knows this struggle intimately. "After years of hits on the field, CTE symptoms can be debilitating," he shares. "But CBD offers relief, not just for physical pain, but for the mental toll too."


Deuce's journey led him and his wife to found Call Big Deuce, a CBD brand aimed at providing relief to athletes grappling with the aftermath of their careers. He's not alone in this endeavor. Anthony Dorsett Jr., inspired by his father's battles with CTE, also entered the CBD market. Together, they represent a growing movement within the NFL community to embrace holistic alternatives for brain health.


CTE & Cannabinoids - Deuce Lutui
Deuce Lutui

"CTE affects more than just the individual; it impacts entire communities," reflects Deuce, pointing to the tragedy of Junior Seau's suicide and its profound effect on the Polynesian football community. "We need to destigmatize seeking help for brain trauma, just like we do for physical injuries."


The connection between players like Junior Seau and Deuce Lutui extends beyond their shared Polynesian heritage; it embodies the profound impact football has had on the Tongan community and the broader Polynesian community. 


Junior Seau, a legendary linebacker of Samoan descent, was not only one of the greatest players in NFL history but also a cultural icon within the Polynesian community. His electrifying performances on the field inspired generations of young Polynesian athletes to pursue their football dreams. Seau's tragic battle with CTE and subsequent suicide sent shockwaves through the community, highlighting the importance of protecting athletes' mental and physical well-being.


Deuce Lutui, a Tongan-born NFL player who suited up for the Arizona Cardinals, also exemplifies the significance of football within the Polynesian culture. Lutui's journey from Tonga to the NFL serves as a testament to the resilience and determination of Polynesian athletes. His success on the gridiron not only brought pride to his homeland but also served as a source of inspiration for aspiring athletes across the Pacific Islands.


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Football holds a special place in Polynesian culture, serving as a pathway to opportunity and success for many young men. However, the inherent risks associated with the sport, particularly regarding head trauma and CTE, stress a need for proactive measures to protect future athletes.


The rise of CBD and cannabinoid products signals a shift in how we approach player health in football. Companies like Deuce Latui’s CBD and Anthony Dorsett Jr. 's venture are pioneers in this movement, offering hope and relief to those suffering in silence.


CTE & Cannabinoids - Anthony Dorsett Jr.
Anthony Dorsett Jr.

Anthony Dorsett Jr. comes from a prestigious football lineage, with his father, Anthony Dorsett Sr., leaving a historic mark on the NFL. Following in his father's footsteps, Anthony Jr. carved out his own successful career on the gridiron over eight seasons and two super bowl appearances with the Oakland Raiders.


Anthony Dorsett Sr. was a legendary running back who played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos during his career. He was known for his speed, agility, and knack for making game-changing plays. Dorsett Sr. was a Super Bowl champion, a four-time Pro Bowler, and the 1976 Heisman Trophy winner during his college career at the University of Pittsburgh.


Growing up in such a football-centric environment, Anthony Dorsett Jr. was exposed to the game from a young age. He honed his skills on the field, inspired by his father's legacy and driven by a passion for the sport, Anthony Jr. pursued a career in professional football.


During his NFL career, Anthony Dorsett Jr. played as a defensive back for several teams, including the Houston Texans, the Tennessee Titans, and the Oakland Raiders. While he may not have achieved the same level of fame as his father, Anthony Jr. made significant contributions to the professional game, showcasing his athleticism and determination on the field over eight seasons and two Super Bowl appearances. It's an incredible accomplishment to play in two super bowl appearances. The odds of one of thirty two NFL teams making the Super Bowl are about 3% each season and the average NFL player doesn't play more than three seasons in the league.


As a legacy NFL football family, the Dorsetts may be predisposed to more CTE symptoms due to the nature of the sport and the cumulative effects of repetitive head trauma. Both Anthony Dorsett Sr. and Jr. endured years of physical contact and collisions in professional football, increasing their risk of developing CTE.


The familial connection to football means that the Dorsetts have witnessed firsthand the toll the game can take on players' bodies and minds. 


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This awareness has influenced Anthony Dorsett Jr.'s decision to enter the CBD and Hemp market, as he sought alternative ways to address the long-term effects of his football career and mitigate the risk of CTE for himself and future generations of athletes.


But the journey doesn't end there. Research into CTE is crucial, and experts like Dr. Ann McKee, a leading researcher in the field, shed light on the devastating effects of repeated head trauma. "Understanding CTE is paramount to protecting our athletes," emphasizes McKee. "We need to continue studying its mechanisms and exploring treatments."


CTE & Cannabinoids - Dr. Ann McKee

Dr. Ann McKee is a prominent neuropathologist renowned for her groundbreaking research on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). As the director of the Boston University CTE Center, Dr. McKee has dedicated her career to studying the long-term effects of head trauma, particularly in athletes. Her work has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of CTE and its impact on brain health.


Through meticulous examination of brain tissue from deceased athletes, Dr. McKee has uncovered the neuropathological signatures of CTE, including the accumulation of tau protein. Her research has shed light on the connection between repetitive head injuries, such as those sustained in contact sports like football, and the development of CTE later in life.


While Dr. McKee's research primarily focuses on the neuropathology of CTE, she acknowledges the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids, including hemp and cannabis-derived compounds, in mitigating symptoms associated with brain trauma. While she may not directly endorse specific products, her work underscores the importance of exploring holistic approaches to managing CTE-related symptoms.


Other leading doctors in the field of CTE include:


CTE & Cannabinoids - Dr. Robert Stern

Dr. Robert Stern

A neurologist and professor at Boston University, Dr. Stern's research centers on the diagnosis and treatment of CTE. He is also a co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, which advocates for athlete brain health and safety.


CTE & Cannabinoids - Dr. Bennet Omalu

Dr. Bennet Omalu

Known for his discovery of CTE in American football players, Dr. Omalu's research brought national attention to the issue of brain trauma in sports. He has been a vocal advocate for player safety and concussion awareness.


CTE & Cannabinoids - Dr. Julian Bailes

Dr. Julian Bailes

A neurosurgeon and former team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dr. Bailes has conducted extensive research on the long-term consequences of concussions in athletes. He has also explored the potential neuroprotective effects of certain compounds, including cannabinoids, in the context of brain injury.


While these doctors may not directly endorse hemp or cannabis products, their work highlights the importance of exploring alternative therapies for managing CTE-related symptoms. As research in this field continues to evolve, collaborations between medical professionals and advocates for holistic approaches may pave the way for innovative treatments and interventions.


CTE, characterized by abnormal protein deposits in the brain, has gained prominence in recent years, thanks to heightened awareness in the NFL. "Doctors are becoming more attuned to the signs of CTE," notes Dr. James Wilson, a neurologist specializing in sports-related injuries. "Early detection and intervention are critical in mitigating its impact."


As we learn more about the intersection of sports and brain health, it's clear that CBD and holistic approaches have a vital role to play in recovery. With initiatives from Big Deuce and the advocacy of former players, the conversation around CTE is evolving, offering hope for a brighter, healthier future for NFL athletes.


What is CTE?

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