How basketball legend Lauren Jackson won the battle against prescription painkillers with medicinal cannabis

Linda Rider

Lauren Jackson was just 6 yrs aged when she played her initially video game of competitive basketball for a local less than-10 aspect in her hometown of Albury, New South Wales.

Unbeknown to all those watching, this basketball prodigy was destined for greatness.

The very first Australian participant ever to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Jackson is regarded as just one of the world’s most effective feminine basketballers of all time.

“I sense like a wholly various particular person, which I am, but hunting back again I was so fortuitous to have played basketball at that degree and to have competed at such a high degree for so prolonged.”

A two-time WNBA champion with the Seattle Storm (2004 and 2010), 3-time MVP (2003, 2007, 2010), seven-time WNBA All-Star and in general range-1 select in the 2001 draft, Jackson also won four Olympic medals (3 silver and a single bronze) and guided the Opals to a coveted Planet Cup victory in 2006.

But a degenerative knee personal injury cut her phenomenal occupation brief, forcing her to retire in early 2016, denying Jackson what would have been a fifth Olympics in Rio.

Lauren Jackson poses for a photo with the Australian team after announcing her retirement from basketball.
Jackson declared her retirement in 2016, a knee damage cutting her vocation shorter.(ABC Information: Ian Cutmore)

No fairytale ending

“It did not finish the way I needed it [to],” she explained.

“There have been highs and some quite significant lows as very well.”

Jackson underwent countless surgical procedures for the duration of her vocation and frequently resorted to painkillers.

Continual, debilitating suffering around her knee, hip and lower again continued to plague her following she retired.


After consulting her GP, Jackson explored choice remedies to agony and was approved health care cannabis.

“It is been outstanding,” she claimed.

Jackson is portion of a new Activity Advisory Board, run by Melbourne-based sports activities drugs company, Levin group, that develops pharmaceutical-grade medicinal hashish for the therapy of serious discomfort and concussion.

She hopes her personal encounters will aid decrease the stigma linked with medicinal hashish.

“It is some thing that I individually feel in due to the fact of how my entire body has dealt with it,” she said.

Lauren Jackson announces her retirement from basketball.
Seeking to be the ‘best edition of herself’, Jackson went off all painkillers and commenced utilizing medicinal cannabis for her continual pain.(ABC Information: Ian Cutmore)

New child on the block

Dr Rowena Mobbs, a neurologist from Macquarie College, promises you will find mounting proof for cannabinoid therapies and medicinal cannabis use for continual suffering.

“But as significantly as administration of head damage and concussion in normal, this is truly the new kid on the block,” she said.

Dr Mobbs works with concussion patients on a regular foundation, such as athletes with many concussion and repeated head traumas.

“We see this [medicinal cannabis] debate in epilepsy and soreness administration and comprehend folks would want to try every single choice,” she said.

Medicinal cannabis was initially elevated as a possible therapeutic possibility in the 1930s and you will find proof of hashish to start with staying made use of medicinally as much back again as 400 Advertisement.

“We are but to see the thorough trials occur out for cannabinoid but certainly the principle is there in that quite a few locations of the mind contain cannabinoid receptor Sort 1.”

Yet another space getting explored is no matter whether it may have prospective positive aspects, as an incorporate on or third line therapy.

This is exactly where alternative therapies are considered, following a individual develops resistance to original and secondary treatment options.

“We see sufferers extra than a 12 months right after their concussion, certainly in the article-concussion syndrome, where by they have tried using put up traumatic migraine therapies without achievement,” Dr Mobbs said.

Dr Rowena Mobbs from Macquarie University studies concussion injuries
Dr Rowena Mobbs from Macquarie University is an qualified in concussion accidents.(ABC Information: Michael Nudl)

“So, these persons may well would like to attain out to cannabinoid therapies and medicinal hashish.”

Like any variety of treatment, there can be side outcomes involving brief-time period memory and focus.

A lot more intense psychological facet outcomes can include things like paranoia and agitation, but these are rare at lower doses.

For those wishing to investigate medical hashish for continual discomfort or concussion related accidents, Dr Mobbs endorses chatting to your area GP and carefully contemplating all options.

It really is a sentiment echoed by Jackson, who is ultimately loving lifetime right after basketball.

Australian Opeals player Lauren Jackson holds her bronze Olympic medal and a bouquet of flowers at the 2012 London Games.
Jackson is now commencing to enjoy everyday living past basketball, with her two sons.(Reuters: Mike Segar)

Though it may well not be extensive in advance of we see a different basketball prodigy.

“My little bloke is really participating in hoops, which is pretty great and I am like the mum in the corner cheering him on.

“I have to halt myself and be like ‘Lauren settle down, he is four several years old’.”

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