NFL CBD: NFL Awards $1 Million to Cannabis and CBD Studies

 *This article is purely informational and does not constitute medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider about CBD.



(NFL CBD) February 1, 2022 – The National Football League (NFL) announced the awarding of a total of $1 million in research funding to two medical research teams conducting studies focusing on the effects of cannabinoids on concussion in elite football players. 

Call for Research

In 2019, the NFL-NFLPA Pain Management Committee (PMC) was formed to enhance and benefit the health and safety of NFL players through research and education.

In a focus to find opioid alternatives, the PMC conducted two informational forums on CBD in 2020. The forums were designed to learn about the current state of cannabidiol (CBD) science and manufacturing in America.

By 2021, the PMC had issued a Request for Information (RFI) essentially calling the attention of various research teams across America that could carry out studies for the NFL CBD.

In these studies, the research teams, according to the RFI, should be able to supplement the PMC’s knowledge about athletic performance in NFL players via the use of CBD.

The original goal for the RFI was to provide funding support for up to five (5) pilot research proposals that will cover the aforementioned research topic. 

“As with the league’s broader approach to health and safety, we want to ensure that our players are receiving care that reflects the most up-to-date medical consensus,” NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr Allen Sills said in the NFL announcement.

The first study to be helmed by Drs. Thomas Marcotte and Mark Wallace from the University of California San Diego.

The research team will be composed of members sharing decades of research experience in the field of clinical cannabis. Moreover, the research laboratories and equipment will be provided by the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.

The study will be conducted by having the elite athletes vaporize the treatments following a game-related injury. The outcomes from the treatments will be monitored using remote phone apps.

Researchers are hoping that their findings will be instrumental in providing preliminary data. Likewise, the results of this study could further help design future studies that are more in-depth, complex, and larger in scale.

Dr J. Patrick Neary will lead the second study from the University of Regina alongside his team of other researchers. 

The research team is composed of cerebrovascular and neuro-physiologists, clinical psychologists, pharmacokineticists, and physicians from the Universities of Regina, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. All have extensive experience in concussion pathology and medical cannabis research.

Researchers are hoping that a positive finding could result in a reduction of the use of prescription medications like opioids in post-concussion syndrome athletes. 

Disclaimer from the NFL Regarding the Studies

The NFL has a major disclaimer. 

The NFL explicitly states that these will have no impact on the jointly administered Policy and Program on Substance of Abuse in place under the current NFL-NFLPA collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

To make it clear, the NFL states that only elite professional athletes outside of the NFL will be participating in the studies funded under this program. NFL players are not permitted to participate.

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

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