NFL e?tudes CBD comp

Effects of natural cannabinoids on pain management under study

Thanks to a $1 million investment by the National Football League (NFL), two teams of researchers will investigate the potential of medical cannabis for pain management and neuroprotection against concussions and injury recovery in players. The decision, reached by mutual agreement between the NFL and the National Football League Player's Association (NFLPA), follows the announcement of the plan to conclude an ongoing study to understand how cannabis and cannabidiol work as alternatives to traditional opioid-based pain management medications.

A landmark move to address the need for solid scientific evidence

In order to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible, the two organisations have already selected two teams of medical researchers from the University of California, San Diego, USA and the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The NFL's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Allen Sills, testified to the organisation's desire to always seek to improve their approach and treatment of acute and chronic pain in their players. He also said that they want to ensure that their players have access to the latest and most up-to-date medical consensus on all of these treatments.

Furthermore, he said on behalf of the entire team, he was grateful for the opportunity to fund such scientifically based studies on the use of cannabinoids that could lead to the discovery of data-driven evidence that could impact on the pain management of our players.

One of the most lenient sports authorities on the cannabis plant

This is part of the process of easing the rules around cannabis and its use within the league. Indeed, since mid-2020, the NFL has amended its collective bargaining agreement to relax the THC limit for drug testing to 150 ng/ml of THC in 1 ml of urine. The NFL also made it clear that the results of the studies funded under this programme will only be used to inform possible alternative pain management strategies and will not influence the jointly administered substance of abuse policy or programme in place under the current NFL-NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.

Finally, NFL athletes will not be allowed to participate in the studies, but elite non-league professionals will be allowed.

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