Celebrity Advocates Are Ending the Stigma Around Medicinal Marijuana

Written by: Benjamin Foster

After his five round, all out brawl with Connor McGregor, in a bold and iconic move, Nate Diaz vaped CBD oil while contributing to his press obligations. Nate, and his brother Nick Diaz, have long been advocates for the use of CBD and medical marijuana in the fighting sport. The bruised and bloodied fighter, having just stepped out of his own personal warzone, answered honestly and proudly when asked about the contents of the vape pen. “It’s CBD.” Diaz said. “It helps with the healing process and inflammation and stuff like that. So you want to get these before, after the fight, and training. It’ll make your life a better place.”

CBD oil, often used with vape pens due to the fast-acting nature of the application method, is quickly gaining popularity in the medical marijuana community. Rich in CBD, a healing, relaxing, non-psychoactive cannabinoid, and low in THC, the psychoactive substance found in cannabis, CBD oils have proven to be a greatly effective treatment for everything from depression to diabetes. Not only have CBD oils proved to be a valuable treatment for Crones Disease and Fibromyalgia symptoms, but new research suggests the medicinal oil may help suppress and even reverse these painful conditions.

The use of CBD oil and cannabis has long been an issue of great controversy in many sporting communities, with a few brave athletes willing to step up and put their reputation and victories on the line to speak up about what medical marijuana has done for them. Michael Phelps, the 23-gold medal winning Olympian swimmer, was mired in controversy in 2009 when a photo of him surfaced smoking cannabis. Although, the incident was thought to be a low point in the swimmer’s career at the time, the case has in fact revolutionized the Olympics’ standpoint on cannabis use, resulting in lower penalties for users; in the very least, a step in the right direction.

In November of 2016, nine NFL players, including Derrick Morgan, a linebacker for The Tennessee Titans, co-signed a letter with Doctors for Cannabis Regulation in regards to the NFL’s strict cannabis use policies. Eugene Monroe, former offensive tackle for The Baltimore Ravens, and CBD user has said on the issue, “It’s the responsibility of the NFL to take this issue on and do something to help players with their long term safety.” A startling statistic regarding opioids may showcase just what a medical marijuana option could do for retired players, as half of all NFL retirees have used narcotic pain killers during their career, with 71% of those players abusing opioids long term.

Providing patients with chronic or temporary pain relief without resorting to opioids is one of the major selling points of CBD oils in the medical marijuana industry, currently. A tragic epidemic in America, opioid addiction is becoming more and more common for people treated for pain with prescription pain killers. Countless research studies have shown CBD oil to be effective for the treatment of a multitude of lumbar related pain issues as well as many different joint, bone, and muscular pain causes. Vaporizing is an excellent way to feel the almost instantaneous healing effects of the oil to relax muscles and stop incessant pain and discomfort.

Opioid addiction is not the only unhealthy craving that cannabis has been known to assist in overcoming, and sports stars are not the only ones who can benefit from the abilities of medical marijuana. Country legend and longtime cannabis advocate, Willie Nelson often tells the story of how using cannabis helped him quit smoking the several packs of cigarettes he’d go through in a day. Perhaps one of the best-known spokespersons for cannabis, Willie says after quitting cigarettes medical marijuana was the answer to his prayers. Today, he has made a successful business from cannabis, even lending his name to a popular strain of medical marijuana.

Willie is not alone in using medical marijuana to overcome a harmful cigarette addiction, however. A recent study shows that consumption of CBD oils help reduce cigarette use among heavy smokers by an incredible 40%. CBD oil has also proven more effective than prescription drugs in instances involving anxiety, depression, and a plethora of other mood disorders. While prescription treatments for these conditions can take up to two months to fully integrate into the user’s system, and can potentially be accompanied by a host of unwanted side effects, CBD oil works almost instantly and possesses no great side effects or risk of overdose.

In recent years, medical marijuana has come a long way in terms of being accepted by the traditional medical community at large. Certain advocates for medical marijuana’s effectiveness in treating emotional and mood disorders are to thank for this cannabis renaissance in western medicine. Influential celebrities like Susan Sarandon and Matthew McConaughey have spoken candidly on their use of cannabis for their own depression and anxiety. Bill Maher, a comedian and host of HBO’s Real Time, is politically active in the fight to end cannabis prohibition, serving on the Marijuana Policy Project Advisory Board.

Another long-time celebrity and political ally to medical marijuana, Ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, would play a large advocacy role for Cannabis. Serving as leader to the golden state in one of the most tumultuous times for medicinal marijuana legalization, Schwarzenegger never turned his back on California’s decision to legalize Marijuana for medicinal use in 1996. Making California the first state to do so. The body builder, turned actor, turned politician has never been apologetic for his use of cannabis and as Governor, in 2009, brazenly spoke out saying it was time for a full-scale debate on national legalization.

The medical marijuana industry has come a long way since Schwarzenegger called for that conversation eight year ago, however. Today, use of medical marijuana is legal in twenty-eight states, as well as the nation’s capital, Washington DC. Without these advocates for this remarkable healing plant, legalization and medical use may still be out of arms reach for the people who need it the most. As time goes on more and more research contributes to the astounding healing properties of medical marijuana and more and more states in the U.S. and locations around the world are embracing the medical advantages of the marijuana plant.

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