MMA fans will be fully aware of the physical strain that fighters are put under every time they step in the octagon – just watching on the side-lines is enough to give you total respect for these mixed martial artists. However, there’s often a price to pay for these in-ring efforts later down the line, with many fighters suffering from terminal chronic pain and other conditions which adversely impact their overall wellbeing.
Many fighters end up on opioid-based medication such as Oxycontin, however ex-fighter Bas Rutten decided that wasn’t an option for him. Instead, Rutten started taking CBD products. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that can treat pain among other conditions. Since using CBD, Rutten has become a vocal advocate for the cannabinoid.
Rutten featured Mark Kerr on his blog recently, documenting the former heavyweight’s troubles after becoming addicted to opioids, which he was taking for pain-relieving purposes.
Kerr’s difficulties with opiates for family, friends and fans to watch, although Rutten reminds us that we should focus on the fact that he spoke out about it and raised awareness to others who have slipped into – or could potentially slip into – the opioid trap.
It’s understandable that partaking in such a physical and violent activity over a length of time is going to be damaging for the body. This happened to Rutten, who for a while experienced addiction with opiates himself. However, Rutten had the clarity of thought to realize that the meds were doing him more harm than good, with the side effects overpowering the supposed pain relief the tablets offered. That’s when Rutten began to research medical marijuana, leading him to CBD.
Several high-profile athletes are now incorporating cannabidiol (CBD) into their recovery programs and post-career medication. Receptra Naturals, a Colorado-based hemp oil manufacturer has encouraged sportsmen and women to share why they use CBD, starting a #LoveCBD campaign. Rutten got involved, as did fellow fighter Ian Heinisch, ex-NHL player Riley Cote and the NFL duo of Demetrin Veal and Charlie Adams.
The athletes teamed up to spread the message about CBD, to their combined million of followers on social media networks. They all gave their honest take on how they had benefitted from CBD, in the hope that those watching would become curious about the substance and discover whether it could be an efficacious alternative medicine for them, too.
Rutten recognized that he had a growing problem with painkillers after concluding his fighting career in 2006. The MMA star began taking painkilling medication a few weeks prior to the fight to manage the severe pain he was enduring from previous injuries. Rutten mentioned how easy it was to start taking larger and larger doses to manage the pain, and that consumption can quickly get out of control with no easy way of reversing it. That’s when he knew that he had to look into other treatment plans.
Rutten’s doctor explained to him that his Vicodin and Norco drugs contain high levels of Tylenol, which is damaging for the liver when consumed in large quantities. Oxycontin was recommended, but after a short time on it, Rutten said that it stopped being an effective painkiller and that the only reason for taking it was addiction.
Getting off opioids and onto safer medication wasn’t as easy as it sounds, but what ultimately matters is that Bas Rutten noticed his demons and dealt with them.
He also said that had he known about CBD before he fell into an opioid spiral, he may never have become addicted to any of them. Hence why it’s important that other athletes and the general public know about this special compound found only in marijuana.