The medical uses of cannabis are widely understood, and growing, but there's a little eye-rolling around the subject, too. Should be a UFC Hall of Famer Frank Shamrock has long advocated for use of cannabis, and consumed it for decades. Now in a clear sign that his use was medicinal and not recreational, he's quit, as the source of the problem he was addressing has resolved.
Throughout his life and predating his fighting career, Shamrock lived in constant pain from spondylolysis, a defect in the vertebral arch. He took cannabis to control the pain.
“I just found cannabis was a wonderful pain reliever,” said Shamrock to Sam Riches for The Growth Op. “I used it for my entire sports career. All the world championship titles, everything that I achieved, I used cannabis on a daily basis.”
“I had a very strong belief that this was a very powerful and good medicine to use, but I couldn’t recommend it. I couldn’t talk about it. I didn’t feel good about it. So the minute it got legalized in California, I was right at the front of the line to talk about it.”
“Football players and fighters are literally getting blasted in the brain. Cannabis is a proven neuroprotectant. I feel terrible for these guys that are in a sport where their brains are being damaged and they can’t take a medicine that’s proven to protect them.”
Two years ago Shamrock was reduced to crawling around the house and he finally sought out a specialist. After a series of realignments, soft tissue massages, and back exercises, the pain has largely resolved. With the pain gone, he no longer has a need for cannabis.
“I always looked at it as medicine and nothing else really," he said. "Once my ailments went away, I made a decision like, ‘I don’t really need this medicine.’ If I did, I would be taking it, but I just don’t.”
“It’s far better medicine than what is commonly prescribed for pain. But I can drive a state over and I’ll get arrested. There’s such division and there are so many layers to this becoming a medicine again like it was 100 years ago. I feel like we have a long way to go to catch up in this country to get this medicine to the people that could really use it and need it. But I’m very optimistic.”