The US National Football League (NFL) declared that it would grant $1 million for research into CBD's pain management properties. Reportedly, the league is getting in touch with qualified researchers to carry out research under the pain management committee jointly operated by NFL Players Association and the players' union.
The committee said that the research would explore the pain-relieving properties of cannabidiol (CBD). It will also study the safety factor involved if cannabis and CBD are consumed together and how this can be an alternative to opioids.
The committee also added, "The research intends to study the potential therapeutic role of medications and non-pharmacological interventions that are considered adjunctive to routine post-surgical orthopedic pain management in NFL football players."
Dr. Kevin Hill, Committee's co-chairperson, said that many players report mixed results when using Cannabis and CBD for pain. While emphasizing the need for better science and knowledge, he also added that they would also study the right dosage and any side effects or troublesome interactions associated with CBD.
Hill, who is also the author of Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth about the World's Most Popular Weed and director of addiction psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, added that while the research is still in its early phase, people's interest in trying CBD far exceeds the current evidence available.
However, according to Hill, giving CBD to elite athletes revolves around two factors- safety and effectiveness. This research is intended to cover both factors and ensure that it's safe for pain management.
The pain management committee was originated in 2019 and is driven to promote the most effective clinical practices for pain management through studies, evidence and research. With bills being passed in different states to legalize CBD, NFL's attitude towards the compound has also evolved.
Besides helping with pain management, CBD might also help with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain condition detected in retired players who suffered from a head injury in the past.