The NFL has announced plans to fund research into alternative opioid pain relievers, including potential studies into whether cannabis can effectively treat pain without having a negative effect on elite athletes.
The league is offering $ 1 million in grants for up to five research proposals, Jeff Miller, executive vice president for player health and safety, said during a media call on Tuesday.
“It’s not an NFL or sports issue; it’s a social problem, ”NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills said on the call, saying more opioid alternatives are needed to manage pain. The NFL is particularly interested in research proposals covering cannabis and CBD, as players have expressed interest in using them to manage pain.
“Unfortunately, the level of interest exceeds the level of evidence in medical cannabis for pain,” said Kevin Hill, co-chair of the joint league-players pain management committee. Hill, who is also director of addiction psychiatry at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said there are flaws in existing studies, and the NFL wants to know that these treatments are both safe enough and effective to be considered as potential treatments for elite athletes.
The National Football League has been criticized in the past after a number of former players said they became addicted to pain relievers as a result of injuries sustained during their careers.
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