Game Changing Move? NFL Tackles Pain And Concussions In CBD Clinical Trial Partnership With Canadian University

The NFL is taking a significant step towards exploring the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) for pain management and neuroprotection from concussions. In collaboration with Canadian researchers, the league has initiated a Phase 1 trial to investigate the therapeutic potential of CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.

The trial will involve 35 participants who will receive either a placebo or a cannabis extract enriched with CBD. The University of Regina researchers will start with a low dose of 5mg per kilogram of body weight and gradually increase the amount to determine the optimal daily intake. The study aims to determine whether CBD can be safely incorporated into players’ off-season training routines, where intensive resistance exercises often lead to injuries.

CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, which make it an intriguing candidate for pain management and concussion prevention. The researchers will closely monitor the physiological and psychological effects of the varying doses to ensure CBD’s non-intoxicating nature and absence of adverse side effects.

Concussions are a significant concern in football, accounting for 65% to 95% of all fatalities related to brain injuries. In fact, brain injuries in football occur at a rate of approximately one in every five-and-a-half games. These statistics highlight the urgent need for effective measures to address the physical and mental challenges faced by professional athletes.

The NFL’s collaboration with Canadian researchers is part of its growing commitment to CBD research. In 2022, the league pledged $1 million to fund this trial alongside another at the University of California San Diego. Both trials focus on CBD’s potential as a pain management alternative to opioids for players suffering from concussions.

While the Phase 1 trial is just the initial step, its findings could pave the way for further research and wider acceptance of cannabis and CBD as valuable tools in the sports industry. Professional athletes, like former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jr., have already spoken out about the potential benefits of cannabis for recovery and overall well-being.

As the NFL continues to invest in CBD research, it demonstrates a progressive approach towards addressing the physical toll of the sport on its players. By exploring alternative therapies like CBD, the league is taking proactive steps to protect the health and well-being of its athletes.

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