NFL Invests in Research to Study the Impact of CBD and Cannabis on Pain Management

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The National Football League (NFL) recently announced it will be awarding $1 million in research funding. The main subject of the two studies receiving the award is cannabinoids. They will be researching the effects that cannabinoids have on pain management and neuroprotection from concussions in elite football players. 

You might be wondering how the study will be conducted since NFL does not allow the use of CBD or THC. Only elite athletes from outside the NFL will be participating in the studies. No current NFL players will be allowed to participate in these new studies due to the current NFL-NFLPA collective bargaining agreement. The hope is that the results of these studies may still be able to mold alternative pain management methods moving forward.

The NFL has a committee that they call the NFL-NFLPA Joint Pain Management Committee (PMC). The main goal of the PMC is to aid in researching ways to find alternative pain management solutions for the players in the NFL. When the PMC asked for proposals they initially received 106 different submissions. In the end, they had narrowed it down to 10 different proposals. Each of those teams provided written materials about their proposals but were also required to give oral presentations.

The $1 Million Award Goes To…

One portion of the $1 million is being awarded to a team led by Drs. Thomas Marcotte and Mark Wallace. They are working on the study with colleagues at the University of California San Diego. The title of the study is  “Effects of Cannabinoids on Pain and Recovery from Sports-Related Injuries in Elite Athletes: A Randomized Clinical Trial”.

One of the main goals of this study will be pain management of post-competition soft-tissue injuries. They are planning to have the athletes take vaporized treatments and try to determine what effects delta-9-THC, CBD, and a combination of the two have on the athletes.

A second study led by Dr. J. Patrick Neary and researchers at the University of Regina has also been awarded money. The title of this one is “Naturally Produced Cannabinoids for Pain Management and Neuroprotection from Concussion and Participation in Contact Sports”.

This study aims to determine whether cannabinoids such as CBD and THC can be safe and effective at pain management. They will be specifically focusing on whether these cannabinoids may be able to reduce the use of addictive prescription medications for post-concussion syndromes.

Concussions have been a growing concern amongst NFL athletes and even young football players, their parents, and coaches. There have been many more studies on concussions which has raised a lot more awareness of the dangers and effects that concussions have on football players.

All-in-all the NFL is trying to help bring to light possible alternative methods to pain management. This type of research can not only benefit NFL players but people of all walks of life. They obviously want to see if these cannabinoids actually work but even more importantly they want to evaluate the safety of these products as well.

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