England international rugby lock George Kruis has been providing context on the decision to set up his CBD private label business.
Interviewed in the Daily Telegraph, Kruis outlined his injury profile, the demands of the game and the article went into some depth on the dangers associated with conventional pain-killing treatments. CBD’s potential to be a healthier alternative is highly motivational to the business.
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The future of injury management
Pain management in sport with CBD is part and parcel for a game that has become more brutal with each passing year and Kruis acknowledged that playing 100 percent physically fit is an elusive proposition.
“You will get days where you feel great,” the Saracens and England second-row finally ventures. “Sometimes you almost feel young again.”
Kruis is preparing for yet another final this weekend as his club Saracens aim to follow up European championship success by adding the Gallagher Premiership Final on Saturday.
It promises to be a huge year for him, with England in good form ahead of Japan’s World Cup in the Autumn. But at the very end of the club season, players are hanging in there, badly in need of rest, and managing cumulative injuries picked up over a long year.
Statistics vary on the use of painkillers but there is no doubt they are being used extensively and the results are not always good.
Kruis has had six significant operations and believes he is due another soon by the law of averages. Pain is the name of the game, and hence so are painkillers.
“Pain is a massive part of the job,” Kruis said. “It has been like that forever, or definitely since I came in. Your body has to be in the right place to take the physical contact that you take in rugby. I don’t think anyone would change it. Painkillers take the edge off. If you are in proper pain then that means something is definitely wrong. If it is halfway in between then painkillers can take the edge off and just take your mind away from it.”
Among the usual suspects in injury easing are Co-codamol, a combination of paracetamol and codeine, as the painkiller of choice while Difene is the leading anti-inflammatory. Taking caffeine pills before a match is ingrained in the routine of many players. Some will then take Diazepam, a form of valium, as a sleeping aid to counteract the caffeine. All are perfectly legal and do not require a Therapeutic Use Exemption.
The rationale for more natural treatments comes into focus when you drill down into the dark side of the use of conventional painkilling options.
Dark side to conventional painkillers v's CBD
Codeine is a weak opioid with addictive properties. “I think it would be naive of us to say there isn’t a risk of developing dependency on painkillers or subscription medications,” Richard Bryan, the Rugby Players’ Association’s rugby director, said.
Meanwhile, former England captain Lewis Moody believes he developed ulcerative colitis from consuming too many pills and many other players complain of the effects of anti-inflammatories on their stomachs.
Co-founder Dom Day, a Saracens teammate first came across CBD when recovering from knee surgery. He noted the benefits and relayed the news to Kruis who also tried it while recovering from an ankle injury. Off the back of that positive experience came CBD.
Even though CBD is perfectly legal, many players were reluctant to go near anything that even contains a trace of THC, which can trigger a positive drugs test in high enough dosages.
Removing THC and reassuring athletes
This motivated Kruis and Day to spend the past year working nearly every spare hour as well as “a lot of money” on getting CBD approved by Banned Substances Control Group, the gold standard in drug testing. This week, they have launched what they believe to be the world’s first 0 percent THC cannabis oil to be cross-contaminated tested by BSCG.
“We have already had a lot of contact from Olympians to footballers to nutritionists who are all really interested,” Kruis said. They have also been in regular communication with the Rugby Football Union, RPA and Saracens.
CBD and successfully marketing on line as a food supplement, Kruis is prohibited from promoting any medical claims – “we are not here to prevent, treat or cure disease” – but it is clear that he believes he is at the vanguard of a revolution in pain management.
“It is a massively exciting industry,” Kruis said. “You can see law changes and more research coming into it. Fingers crossed it is only going to benefit people in general as it becomes an alternative.”
Key Takeaway – In an ever more physically demanding sport, the use of painkillers has been off the charts, as rugby players try to maintain fitness. CBD entrepreneur and England international George Kruis was motivated to launch CBD to provide alternative natural treatments for sports injuries. The company has now taken it a step further with their new product line removing THC from the ingredients involved.