The NFL-NFLPA Committee, which was formed by the players’ union in the National Football League and the NFL, recently revealed its plans to award grants to researchers to facilitate research on the therapeutic potential of CBD, cannabis and other opioid alternatives for pain management.
During a press conference held last week, a representative from the Joint Pain Management Committee stated that there were numerous innovative ideas in the psychedelics space, adding that important research needed to be financed.
Dr. Kevin Hill, co-chair of the committee, stated that the federal policy unfavorably affected the level of research permitted, given the ongoing prohibition of marijuana, which is still categorized as a Schedule I drug. Hill also noted that lack of financing in this field of research also affected advancements in research. He explained that many companies and states that were profiting significantly through the sale of marijuana as well as other cannabinoids weren’t contributing to science.
This funding opportunity aims at requesting proposals from researchers who have the ability to conduct studies that can supplement the committee’s knowledge on athletic performance and pain management in football players. In particular, the league would like proposals on the following areas of inquiry:
- The effects of cannabinoids or marijuana on athletic performance in football players, e.g., in reaction time, cardiorespiratory or psychomotor function
- The effects of nonpharmacologic treatments on pain in football players, be it everyday pain management or postsurgical pain management
- The effects of cannabinoids on pain in football players
A notice released by the NFL states that the deadline for applications to be submitted prior to proposals is July 31, 2021.
In 2020, the joint panel held CBD informational forums, which led to the determination that the marijuana compound, which is nonintoxicating, shows potential in the treatment of various forms of pain. However, the committee felt there was not enough information and research existed on the benefits of opioid alternatives for both chronic and acute pain.
The NFL policy also highlights that players in the league won’t face suspension from games based on positive tests for any substance, including cannabis. This policy, which was recently revised, reflects a considerable shift in the NFL’s approach to the use of drugs by players, with the agreement highlighting the need to center on treatment and evaluation rather than penalties.
Players who self-refer themselves, display behaviors that indicate misuse of drugs or test positive for drug use are now required to enroll in an intervention program, where they can be evaluated and receive a treatment plan.
As more becomes known about the therapeutic potential of marijuana and its compounds, the dose-measuring devices made by companies such as RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) are likely to see an upsurge in demand.
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