After putting out a formal request for information about pain management alternatives to opioids in February, the NFL and NFL Players Association are providing $1 million to fund research on cannabinoids and pain relief, according to Front Office Sports.
In the February information request, the NFL-NFLPA’s pain management committee said it was looking for information including:
The investment comes after the league requested information about pain management alternatives to opioids in February
“While this represents a different stance by the league, it’s still conservative compared to players who use cannabis or cannabis products — particularly CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has gained mainstream acceptance,” per FOS.
Nothing is for certain, but it seems like a good assumption the new funding will be used to delve into some of the areas mentioned above.
The NFL did shorten the window during which it tests players for THC and raise the threshold to trigger a positive test last season, but players can still be fined several weeks’ salary and be forced to join a treatment program for testing positive for the inhibiting chemical in marijuana. Though it shouldn’t be the case, that currently makes the use of CBD — which both past and current players swear by — somewhat of a grey area in the NFL.
The NFL and NFL Players Association have put out a request for information about alternatives to opioids, including CBD, for pain management.
The request for information asks about: “The potential therapeutic role of medications and non-pharmacological interventions that are considered to be alternatives to opioids in routine pain management of NFL players. Medications may include, but are not limited to, cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD).” The league also requested information about “The impact of cannabis or cannabinoids on athletic performance in NFL players.”
The league and the union are asking researchers with experience conducting controlled, experimental studies related to pain management to submit information that may be useful in treating NFL players.
The NFL considers cannabis a banned substance, although the most recent labor deal loosened the rules about players using marijuana. CBD, which comes from cannabis but does not have an intoxicating effect, has been widely promoted as a safer alternative to opioids as a painkiller, and the league and players’ union are working on establishing uniform standards for pain management practices employed by team medical staffs.