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Researchers from University of California San Diego and University of Regina to conduct innovative research studies evaluating the effects of cannabinoids on athletic pain management and performance Why Should NFL Players Be Cautious About CBD Oil? CBD boasts many potential benefits that could make it particularly useful to football players. Though research is limited, CBD shows promise in

NFL Awards $1 Million to Study Impact of Cannabis and CBD on Pain Management

NEW YORK, February 1, 2022 – The National Football League today announced the award of $1 million in research funding to two teams of medical researchers at the University of California San Diego and University of Regina. The studies will investigate the effects of cannabinoids on pain management and neuroprotection from concussion in elite football players, respectively.

These awards conclude the first request for research proposals executed by the NFL-NFLPA Joint Pain Management Committee (PMC), which aims to facilitate research to better understand and improve potential alternative pain management treatments for NFL players. Initiated by the PMC in June 2021, the call for proposals resulted in 106 submissions. Using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) format for scoring proposals, the NFL Research and Innovation Committee then narrowed the finalists to ten proposals to give oral presentations and provide written materials to the Committee.

The NFL has awarded a total of $1 million to:

(1) “Effects of Cannabinoids on Pain and Recovery from Sports-Related Injuries in Elite Athletes: A Randomized Clinical Trial” led by Drs. Thomas Marcotte and Mark Wallace, with colleagues at the University of California San Diego.

The primary aim of this clinical trial is to assess the therapeutic efficacy and adverse effects of ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and combined THC/CBD, compared to placebo, for relief of post-competition soft-tissue injury pain in elite athletes. Elite athletes will vaporize treatments following game-related injuries, with outcomes monitored via remote phone apps. Bringing together a research team with decades of clinical cannabis research experience and an infrastructure provided by the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (cmcr.ucsd.edu), the findings from this study will provide key, preliminary data regarding the possible effectiveness of cannabinoids for sports-related injuries and inform future larger studies regarding study design and implementation challenges. (Description provided by: University of California San Diego)

(2) “Naturally Produced Cannabinoids for Pain Management and Neuroprotection from Concussion and Participation in Contact Sports” led by Dr. J. Patrick Neary and researchers at the University of Regina.

The specific goal of this project is to determine whether cannabis/hemp based cannabinoids, i.e., cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can be used safely and effectively for pain management and to reduce the use of prescription medications including opioids in post-concussion syndrome athletes. An additional goal is to assess the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids to reduce the incidence or severity of acute and chronic concussion in professional football players. Our research team of cerebrovascular and neuro-physiologists, clinical psychologists, pharmacokineticists, and physicians from the Universities of Regina, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia in Canada have extensive experience in concussion pathology and medical cannabis research. Our project will provide a foundation to explore alternative medical care related to brain trauma and chronic musculoskeletal pain for professional football players (Description provided by: University of Regina)

“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,” said Dr. Allen Sills, NFL Chief Medical Officer. “While the burden of proof is high for NFL players who want to understand the impact of any medical decision on their performance, we are grateful that we have the opportunity to fund these scientifically-sound studies on the use of cannabinoids that may lead to the discovery of data-based evidence that could impact the pain management of our players.”

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“The NFL-NFLPA Joint Pain Management Committee is thrilled with the results of this process. We received over 100 proposals from top clinicians and researchers from around the world,” said Dr. Kevin Hill, Co-Chair, NFL-NFLPA Joint Pain Management Committee, Director of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “The NFL is eager to advance the science of pain management and performance in an effort to improve the health and safety of the players.”

“Our team is excited to receive this funding to conduct a systematic, ‘real-world, real-time’ study with professional athletes, and which should shed further light upon the many anecdotal reports that cannabis is helpful in reducing post-competition pain,” said Dr. Mark Wallace, co-principal investigator and director of the Center for Pain Medicine at UC San Diego Health.

“The prevention and treatment of concussions is at the core of my research. That’s why I am excited to have the support of the NFL on this project. Our interdisciplinary research team believes that different cannabinoid formulations found in medical cannabis have the potential to benefit athletes suffering from the acute and long-term chronic effects of concussions. Our research will also work to show that cannabinoids can be used as an alternative to opioids for pain management. Ultimately, this study has the potential to change not only the lives of current and former NFL players, but also the lives of anyone who may suffer from a concussion,” said Dr. Patrick Neary, an exercise physiologist and professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina.

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While the results of the studies funded under this program may inform alternative pain management strategies, they will have no impact on the jointly administered Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse in place under the current NFL-NFLPA collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Elite professional athletes outside of the NFL will be participating in the studies funded under this award. NFL players are not permitted to participate.

Why Should NFL Players Be Cautious About CBD Oil?

CBD boasts many potential benefits that could make it particularly useful to football players. Though research is limited, CBD shows promise in treating various issues associated with professional football, like muscle soreness, inflammation, and joint pain.

Additionally, it may help manage stress levels, which are likely to rise before a big game. Many athletes are choosing to add CBD oil to their wellness regime for these reasons and more. Perhaps one of the biggest draws to CBD is that it’s all-natural and non-intoxicating, so it won’t make users high.

However, football players need to exercise caution when using CBD oil. The NFL has a notoriously strict stance on cannabis and its derivatives, including CBD. CBD guidelines are unclear for football players, and there is a concern that products could contain excess amounts of THC, the intoxicating compound found in cannabis.

If you are looking for CBD oil for sale , be sure to shop from reputable and trustworthy brands.

CBD Oil in the NFL: Err on the Side of Caution

Cannabis laws in the U.S. are constantly evolving, and keeping up with regulations is not easy. While a growing number of states have legalized cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, it remains illegal at a federal level.

Moreover, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, with many now assuming that hemp-derived CBD is legal, further confusing matters. However, the Farm Bill does not explicitly mention CBD, leaving each state to make its own CBD laws.

The legality issues of cannabis and CBD makes it tricky for national sporting bodies to draft policies that suit all professional athletes, especially since many play in states where cannabis is legal. As such, each sporting body implements its own CBD regulations with varying degrees of leniency.

Unfortunately, the NFL is not at the forefront of the cannabis movement, with athletes advised to remain cautious of CBD oil due to the risk of testing positive for THC.

The NFL prohibits the use of THC and synthetic cannabinoids. If a player consumes CBD hemp oil with a THC level that exceeds 0.3%, they could face disciplinary action. Generally, hemp-derived CBD products should contain only trace amounts of THC. However, there is a small risk of it exceeding legal limits and showing up on a drug test.

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Therefore, it’s best for football players to err on the side of caution. Always be sure to buy CBD hemp oil from companies that publish third-party lab reports, and check the THC content.

Why the NFL Is Skeptical About CBD

The NFL takes a hard stance on all drug use and wants to see more studies of how CBD could help athletes.

NFL officials have stated that although CBD is a promising compound, there isn’t enough scientific evidence that the cannabinoid is effective or safe. They further clarify that they want to know exactly how CBD oil affects players’ performance before approving its use.

Adding to this concern, officials note that although small clinical studies show CBD may help with neuropathic pain, the unregulated nature of the CBD market makes it difficult to know the purity and potency of many CBD products. There is also the risk of potential drug interactions if football players use certain other medications in conjunction with CBD.

On a positive note, many players, former players, and other parties are advocating for a more positive approach to cannabis-derived products. Former NFL player, Eugene Moore, became the first active player to promote the use of cannabis and its derivatives in 2016. Additionally, several players and former players have partnered with CBD companies to promote CBD hemp oil.

Final Thoughts: Why Football Players Should Be Cautious About CBD Oil

Ultimately, the primary reason football players should be cautious about CBD oil is due to the NFL’s strict stance on cannabis and its derivatives. The biggest concern is testing positive for THC, a prohibited substance, when subjected to a drug test.

The NFL has one of the strictest stances on CBD usage. While rules and regulation seem to be loosening up slowly, athletes still need to exercise caution because they could face disciplinary action or a fine if caught using cannabis products.

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