Cannabis is Key to Health for Retired NFL All-Pro Lineman

Photo Credit: Former Saints lineman Kyle Turley continues to speak out about painkiller use in the NFL
Kyle Turley used to get through the day by taking painkillers, muscle relaxers, sleep aids and anti-inflammatory medications.

The outcome for a former All-Pro lineman who said he suffered from more than 100 concussions in football looked grim. Turley has early onset Alzheimer’s disease and symptoms of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that can only be diagnosed in the deceased.

Turley, now 41, also suffered from vertigo, depression, rage, migraine headaches and light sensitivity after an eight-year career with New Orleans, St. Louis and Kansas City.

He considered suicide numerous times, including in 2009 when his wife stopped him from jumping out of a third-story window at their home. Turley blamed suicidal and homicidal feelings on psychiatric medications he took. Opioid pain medicine also contributed to his declining health, he said.

Two years ago, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound bear of a man turned away from the medicine cabinet and began using marijuana. Since then he has become one of the biggest advocates of cannabis for treatment of football injuries and personifies a growing feeling among players that this is the path to better health.

“When you find you’re contemplating suicide you have to make a decision, one way or another,” said Turley, who lives in Riverside. “Otherwise I would have put a bullet in my head a long time ago.”

To this day, Turley needs artificial knee replacements, a hip replacement and back fusion surgery. “I’ve got bone on bone in every joint,” he said. “It’s as bad as it gets.”

Turley, who started the cannabis company Neuro Armour, takes cannabidiol (CBD) oils for some of his body problems. He also uses THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient that gives people a buzz, to deal with psychological scars.

The sativa-dominant strain of cannabis he uses “is better than any psych medication that I’ve ever been given, period,” Turley said. “It deals with my pain, it deals with my stress, and it deals with my CTE.”



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