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Denver Colorado—TWO weeks ago CW Botanicals and the non-profit Realm of Caring Foundation partnered up to launch the sports themed fundraiser When the Bright Lights Fade. The purpose of the fundraiser is to support research with Johns Hopkins University as they examine the relationship between concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)—and how cannabinoids can potentially provide solutions.

We won’t watch our brothers fall victim

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The campaign enlisted former NFL players Jake Plummer, Nate Jackson, Tatum Bell, Reuben Droughns, and Charlie Adams to give the world insights into what life is like for professional athletes after they retire from the game. Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge narrates the story.

The campaign isn’t examining what a retired football player does in his post-NFL career. It is focusing on the mental and physical issues that athletes deal with once they walk out of the stadium for the last time. All too often we hear about professional athletes dealing with a myriad of issues related to concussion and traumatic brain injury.

Battle ready

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While in the NFL, players are given prescription pain medications in the form of pills and/or shots that are designed to keep them game ready—perhaps the more accurate description of these treatment’s effects is “numb”. As a result, players often leave the NFL with addiction issues and bodies that have been destroyed from the inside out.

When the Bright Lights Fade is an attempt to bring awareness to these issues—and to provide a solution. This may exist in cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is the non-psychoactive, non-addictive cannabinoid that has shown promise as a neuroprotectant—in fact the U.S. Government patented it as such. Instead of being a reactionary solution to physical and mental pain and suffering, CBD has the potential to be a preventative solution.

Rally time

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The NFL is reluctant to examine the potential for cannabinoids like CBD to provide medical relief to their players. The NFL has also been reluctant to comment on the connection between concussions and CTE—until March 14th 2016. Just days after the launch of the When the Bright Lights Fade campaign, the NFL’s senior VP for health and safety, Jeff Miller, admitted to the U.S. House of Representatives that concussions and CTE were connected.

In response to Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s question- “is the link between football and neurodegenerative diseases such as CTE established?” Miller said, “ The answer to that question is certainly yes.”

It seems as though the figurative ball is rolling. The NFL is scrambling to embrace the public’s demand for change—for answers.

The Realm of Caring’s campaign attracted the support of current NFL player Eugene Monroe. Monroe became the first active player to voice his support of furthering the research of how cannabinoids can potentially help athletes of all levels. Monroe has since gone on a Twitter tirade that focuses on bringing awareness and forcing the hand of the NFL.

Monroe’s advocacy has been met with support and controversy. He has rallied some of his teammates and other current players from around the league. One by one, athletes are speaking up—demanding change. These guys aren’t trying to get high; they are trying to access the facts in order to improve the quality of their lives.

I’ve suggested to you before that we often view professional athletes as entertainers. So many of us look forward to NFL games for the excitement that these athletes provide us. They are talented. They are also human. Is it unreasonable to suggest that your favorite player might be better off if you rally behind him as a person instead of a number? Funding research that could potentially result in treatments and medicines that would keep him/her on the field longer, making the big plays you love, as a fan, sounds mutually beneficial—doesn’t it?

Let’s keep the lights on longer

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Here is how you can get involved. When the Bright Lights Fade is accepting tax-deductible donations for sports memorabilia, VIP concert tickets, vacation packages, and even 1-on-1 quarterback camps with Jake Plummer in order to fund the research with Johns Hopkins University. These items are available for purchase here. You can also simply donate a few bucks and you will be rewarded with a t-shirt and wristband. 100% of the proceeds will go toward the research—also a tax write-off for you—HOLLA!

It is easy to think that these players have the financial resources to fend for themselves, but the fact remains that their “bosses” are not keen to the idea of researching or administering cannabinoids. Player’s have their hands tied by the very bureaucracy that demands their excellence—if cannabinoids will make them better versions of themselves, what’s the big deal?

Access now

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Remember folks; this fundraiser is designed to research cannabinoids’ potential to promote mental and physical health. Though the campaign showcases the stories of former and current professional athletes, the intent is to provide solutions to people from all walks of life. If cannabinoids can assist athletes that perform on the highest level, a level that demands every ounce of their physical and mental capabilities, then what can they do for people like you and me? Let’s find out. Become an activist in any way that you can! Personally I want to keep the lights on for as long as possible—if cannabinoids can help me do that, then I am game.

Check out the When the Bright Lights Fade video below.

Have you visited the When the Bright Lights Fade fundraiser? Do you support the research of cannabinoids? Let us know on social media or in the comments section below.

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