NFL pledges $1 million for marijuana pain management research

NFL Cannabis & Concussions

NFL Cannabis & ConcussionsMarijuana Moment reports that a commission formed between the NFL and the league’s players union plans to award up to $1 million in grants for researchers to investigate the therapeutic potential of marijuana, CBD and other alternatives to opioids for treating pain:

At a press conference on Tuesday, a representative from the NFL-NFLPA’s Joint Pain Management Committee (PMC) said “clearly there are a lot of great ideas in this space and there’s a lot of important research that needs to be funded.”

Asked by Marijuana Moment if the ongoing prohibition of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is to blame for the relative lack of definitive science on cannabis’s effects, PMC cochair Dr. Kevin Hill said the federal policy “definitely adversely affects the level of research that is allowed.”

That said, Hill also pointed to a lack of funding into this area of research and said it “affects it more adversely.”

“You have a lot of folks—both states and companies—who are profiting considerably through the sale of cannabis and other cannabinoids, and most of those groups are not contributing to the science,” he said, “I think that’s one of the great things about this request for proposals is that obviously the players are stakeholders and we want them to have the best in terms of pain management, so we’re interested in trying to find out some of the answers that people have been saying that they’re interested in for a number of years.”

The grant funding opportunity is meant to “solicit proposals from investigators who have the current capability to carry out studies aimed at supplementing the PMC’s knowledge about pain management and athletic performance in elite football players,” a description states.

The league specifically wants proposals on three areas of inquiry:

  • the effects of cannabinoids on pain in elite football players (post-surgical and/or in daily pain management)
  • the effects of non-pharmacologic treatments on pain in elite football players (postsurgical and/or in daily pain management)
  • the effects of cannabis or cannabinoids on athletic performance (e.g., psychomotor, reaction time, cardiorespiratory function) in elite football players.

More at Marijuana Moment and get more information on cannabis & health from the MCT.