The NFL is awarding $1 million in research grants to two groups of medical researchers to study the effects of cannabinoids on pain control and neuroprotection from concussion in elite soccer players.
Medical teams from the University of California San Diego and the University of Regina in Canada were selected from 106 proposals initiated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association Joint Pain Management Committee in June 2021.
“We have always been interested in trying to improve the approaches and treatments for acute and chronic pain in NFL players, and we have always wanted to make sure that our players receive the best treatment possible. the most up-to-date medical consensus on any of these treatments,” NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills told The Associated Press.
“So our burden of proof is really high on NFL players. Whenever we want to recommend a new therapy, we have to understand how that decision might affect their health and performance. We know there’s a lot of interest in this area, but we don’t feel there’s much solid research on the benefits of cannabis, CBD, and the treatment of acute and chronic pain. So that’s why we want to try to contribute to the body of science in this area. “
Kevin Hill, Director of the Department of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a prominent cannabis researcher and author, is co-chair of the NFL-NFLPA Joint Pain Management Committee. Hill explains why there isn’t much research on the subject.
“One reason is that scheduling cannabis makes it harder to do this research, but the main reason is that the stakeholders really don’t care about developing the science,” Hill said. with AP. “You have states and companies that are making a lot of money selling cannabis products, selling CBD products right now. So they don’t feel the need to prove the effectiveness of these products, and millions of people are already using them. So that is the predicament we are facing as healthcare professionals or organizations that truly care about the health and safety of our members who play in this case.
“We really want to know if they work? And every day I meet patients who are interested in cannabinoids and the like, we really don’t know the answer to that. So it becomes a very complicated risk/benefit discussion. So I’m excited to be a part of something that’s really going to work towards finding some answers to questions people have been saying for years. “
The $1 million research grant is a progressive move by the federation to better understand and improve alternative pain management treatments. Many NFL players over the years have asked about the benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids. Several former players have entered the medical cannabis business and have started their own brands, invested in companies or been hired as ambassadors.
A recent study found that seemingly healthy college football players actually suffer from abnormalities related to the repetitive headers they suffer while tackle and tackle. break. Study co-author Dr Hans Breiter of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said college football needs to take steps to make the sport safer for players.
“We heard from the teams, from the medical staff, from the players saying loudly and clearly that they were interested in cannabis and drugs, so we wanted to do something that could motivate us. push science in the field so we can say Hill. “I also want to emphasize that this is the first step here. The NFL has done great research in other areas: concussion, musculoskeletal injuries, etc. We’re not just limited to cannabinoids. We wanted to find out, are there ways we can better treat pain? And so we’re going to take it and look at this process and see if there’s any way we can improve it, but keep trying to advance the science for the sake of health and well-being. player safety. ”
Cannabis is a banned substance in the NFL, although the rules on players’ use of marijuana have been relaxed in the latest collective bargaining agreement.
Under the most recent labor agreement, players who test positive for marijuana are no longer suspended from competition, but they can be fined depending on how many times they test positive. The test period has been changed to the first two weeks of training camp instead of April to August. In addition, the threshold required to trigger a positive test has been increased fourfold.
The study led by Dr Thomas Marcotte, Dr Mark Wallace and researchers at the University of California San Diego will investigate the effects of cannabinoids on pain and recovery from sports-related injuries in athletes excellent motivator.
Research led by Dr. J. Patrick Neary and researchers at the University of Regina investigates the natural production of cannabinoids for pain control and neuroprotection from concussion and participation in contact sports.
The projects will take three years to complete.
“This type of work will be of interest to athletes in many different sports and at all levels,” says Sills. “We know that all sports have injuries and pain is to some extent related to those injuries. And so I think this is going to be very general. These products are already on the market and in many cases they are being widely used and marketed. So this research will help inform people which strategies may be beneficial and then which may not. And so I see this having a huge impact on the NFL, for all elite sports, but also sport at all levels across society. ”
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/nfl-awards-1-million-for-2-studies-on-cannabinoids-effects/3129546/ NFL donates $1 million to Foundation 2 for Research on the Effects of Cannabinoids on Athletes – NBC10 Philadelphia