Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 9.04.02 PMThe Realm of Caring and CW Botanicals today announced that Eugene Monroe, offensive tackle for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, has donated $80,000 to researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. In March 2016, the two organizations launched the “When the Bright Lights Fade” public service announcement and fundraising campaign to help endow a series of pilot research studies that examine the impact of cannabinoid therapies on current and former NFL players.

 Eugene is a seven-year NFL veteran who, due to NFL policies, cannot use cannabinoid products and is instead prescribed opioids to manage his chronic pain from sports-related injuries. He recognizes the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) for pain management and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and fully supports this research that could help professional and amateur athletes as well as anyone suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Eugene hopes that his actions will influence the NFL in changing their policy on cannabis and recognize it as a viable treatment option.

 Thanks to players like Eugene, Jake Plummer and Nate Jackson, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania are now planning two separate studies; one that will follow current players through a season and evaluate substance use of all types, injuries, recoveries, and other health-related issues. The other will be an in-depth survey of former players that will evaluate health and quality of life.


With Eugene’s generous donation, the initial research studies are now funded, however the “When the Bright Lights Fade” campaign will continue to raise funds for additional, large-scale studies that will further explore how compounds within the cannabis plant can benefit athletes who are at risk for traumatic brain injury. Help continue to fund this groundbreaking study here.


Dedicated to better understanding how CBD therapy works, Eugene flew to Colorado in late April to visit the CW Botanicals lab where he met with some of the families who permanently relocated to CO to gain access to Charlotte’s Web™ hemp extract. Read about this amazing day here.

Due to the NFL’s strict anti-cannabis policies, it’s difficult for current players to speak in support of the plant and its potential therapeutic uses. Despite the risks, on March 9th Eugene became the first active NFL player to call on the NFL to remove marijuana from the banned substances list; fund medical marijuana research, especially as it relates to CTE; and to urge the NFL to stop overprescribing opioids.


“When the Bright Lights Fade” has raised over $100,000 thanks to the current and former athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, UFC and boxing, who generously donated merchandise and once in a lifetime fan experiences.


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