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Pod Recap – Big Stick Energy – Episode 16

Tori Anderson & Renee McCurdy February 16, 2022 35


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Pod Recap – Big Stick Energy – Episode 16 – Concussions, Drugs, and Ski Culture

The gorls are back after a short break with a very important episode of Big Stick Energy. And so we’re back with the pod recap! This week they are talking about all things brain. Tori and Renee’s guest is neuroscientist Tallan Black. Specifically the conversation revolves around concussions and severe brain trauma, which is a very serious risk and danger when shredding on snow. Off the mountain, many ski towns have a connection and culture with drugs. Tallan studies neuropharmacology, the study of how drugs affect the brain. So who better to let us know us what’s really goin on in our noggins.

Tallan Black

So on with the pod recap! What is the connection between skiing and drugs? Which came first the stoner or the snowboard? Adrenaline sports, in general, seem to have a higher tendency to experiment with drugs, and that might be hard-wired in people’s brains. Sure there are other factors like environmental and socioeconomic, but it could also be the need for a flood of dopamine from sending it in the steeps. Studies have even shown that a “runner’s high” equates in the brain molecularly similar to the effects of cannabis on the brain. Yup, we essentially produce our own weed in our bodies.

Speaking of weed, Tallan also talks about CBD, and how it can help with concussion and brain injury. But CBD is definitely not the cure-all and is very much the product of good marketing. Concussions also can bring out underlying issues like depression and anxiety. The effects of a concussion-like that can often go undiagnosed, as they present differently in each person. But that can also lead to a lot of self-medicating, bringing us full circle to drugs in ski towns. It’s not the reason why everyone in Fernie is toking up, but definitely could be a contributing factor! Men and women also have different reactions to concussions, and so much of the research has only been done on male data. The medical patriarchy is changing and research constantly evolving. We still have a ways to go but we’re getting there.

Tallan Black is off the charts smart. Fair warning, this episode uses a lot of them fancy science words that went over my head. So definitely go beyond the pod recap and give the full episode a listen. Trust me it will be good for your brain on multiple levels. She also has her own podcast ‘Knowledge By Proxy’ so check that out as well!

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