NFL to spend $1 million researching medical cannabis pain management

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(A version of this story first appeared at Hemp Industry Daily.)

The National Football League’s pain management committee and the NFL Players Association said they will provide $1 million to fund up to five research grants on the impact of medical cannabis and other cannabinoids on pain.

The grants are expected to be awarded in November, according to

Interest in the use of cannabinoids, including medical marijuana, outpaces available evidence, according to Dr. Kevin Hill, co-chair of the NFL’s pain management committee and director of addiction psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Hill, who wrote the book, “Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth about the World’s Most Popular Weed,” said the committee has heard mixed results about using cannabis to treat pain and that medical marijuana and CBD might be risky. The committee cited research on liver toxicity.

He said the league needs “better information, better science” to ensure the use of CBD to treat pain in elite athletes is safe and efficacious, reported.

The announcement of the NFL-funded grants comes four months after the league requested industry research on CBD and other cannabinoids for pain management but said it would not pay for the information.

The NFL updated its policy last fall to discourage athletes from endorsing products that contain CBD or other cannabinoids.