Former quarterback Jake Plummer wasn't prepared for the effects a 10-year NFL career had on the body. In retirement, the toll professional football took on "Jake the Snake" landed him in a dark place.
"You're just cut off," Plummer told Bleacher Report about life after football. "No more football. No more schedule. No more camaraderie. No more achievement. You're just in life. Sometimes that can cause a lot of anger, a lot of depression."
Anger and depression are synonymous with the horror stories of retired players. Some of the most mild-mannered, hard workers the NFL ever knew fell victim to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy -- You know it as the acronym CTE. Hall-of-Fame football players Mike Webster and Junior Seau are the first who come to mind, tragically taking their own lives and later being diagnosed with CTE.
Plummer faced eerily similar symptoms. The 2005 Pro Bowl selection described "random headaches that would throb behind my eyes to the beat of my heart" in a column he wrote for Sports Illustrated. Plummer added joint inflammation and depression to the laundry list of side effects from his career with the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos.
Five years after his final snap, Plummer underwent dual hip surgeries to have both labrums reattached.
"While on my back for weeks in recovery and rehab, I asked myself for the first time, 'What the hell did I play football for?'" Plummer recalled.
Shortly after, Plummer ditched his litany of prescription drugs and found Charlotte's Web.
Former NFL QB Jake Plummer on CBD Benefits
"I moved to Colorado between surgeries, got a medical marijuana card and started using THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, for the pain. Years later, I was introduced to Charlotte's Web, a hemp extract high in cannabidiol (more commonly known as CBD, a non-toxic, non-addictive, non-psychoactive naturally occurring compound in cannabis). With the right amounts of CBD, which contains trace amounts of THC, I feel virtually pain free.
"The inflammation in my joints that stiffened up in the cold winter months was gone. The random headaches that would throb behind my eyes to the beat of my heart? Gone. I still eat gluten and sugar, I still enjoy a cold brew or two. The only thing different? CBD."
-- Jake Plummer
Plummer described the simple joys that returned to life -- walking without "creaky" steps and building Legos with his kids -- plus the fact that years of chronic pain and pain management were remedied using only CBD oil.
The weight of 29,000 career passing yards was lifted. Plummer commanded the oft-beaten Cardinals for six seasons before signing with the Broncos. He surpassed 4,000 yards in 2004, made the 2005 Pro Bowl, and guided Denver to three playoff appearances in four years before retiring to focus on the injuries he accumulated.
Charlotte's Web gave Plummer his life back.
What is Charlotte's Web CBD?
The best way I can sum up what makes Charlotte's Web special is straight from the CBD company's manifesto:
You're not looking to get high, you seek to stay grounded.
We help you find balance with the world's most trusted hemp extract.
You crave wellness without side effects and small print.
We refuse to accept anything less than the restorative health-giving benefits mother earth intended.
Charlotte Figi, the company's namesake and inspiration, suffered over 300 grand mal seizures a day caused by Dravet Syndrome. After taking CBD products developed by the seven Stanley Brothers -- Joel, Jared, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Josh, and Austin -- Charlotte's symptoms diminished. Thanks to CBD products, Charlotte lived happily and well past the life expectancy set by her doctors.
Charlotte died on April 7, 2020 at 13 years old. She'd been hospitalized with pneumonia, breathing problems and seizures. CNN reported that her coronavirus test came back negative despite having similar symptoms to COVID-19.
"Charlotte was ten feet tall and carried the world on her shoulders," the Stanley Brothers wrote in memorium of her life. "Inspiring is a lacking word, as are courageous and vivacious and strong and beautiful.
"She was divine."
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 80-plus cannabinoids extracted from the flowers and leaves of hemp. One product like a CBD tincture can replace anti-inflammatory medications and prescription painkillers, treat neurological damage caused by strokes, counter symptoms of chemotherapy for patients fighting cancer, and combat neurological disorders like Charlotte's epilepsy, as well as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Plummer became a spokesperson for CW Botanicals and their products. He appeared in the "When The Bright Lights Fade" campaign. He became a member of the Doctors for Cannabis Regulation and now advocates for the expansion of CBD and medical cannabis use to current NFL players suffering from concussions, degenerative brain injuries and general pain.
"Educate and inform yourselves and others with untreatable ailments about the benefits of Cannabis," the Heisman Trophy finalist at Arizona State wrote for SI. "Rock Stars, athletes, mothers, grandfathers, sisters, brothers and pets need to know there is a safer way to help ease the pain."
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