The NFL and NFLPA are joining forces and offering $1 million in grants aimed at researching alternatives to opioids for pain management.
The alternatives in question? Cannabis and CBD.
On a conference call Tuesday, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills identified cannabis and CBD as two options the league would like to see researched further as substitutes for traditional painkillers.
While many players have stressed their preference for medical marijuana over prescription drugs for quite some time, the league is not yet sold, and wants more information on its efficacy.
“When we talk about having elite athletes use CBD to treat pain, we want to make sure it’s, No. 1 safe, and No. 2 efficacious. I don’t think we’re at that point yet,” Dr. Kevin Hill, co-chair of the league’s pain management committee, said Tuesday.
The NFL updated its drug testing policy with last year’s collective bargaining agreement. They no longer levy suspensions and have shortened the drug testing period to a two-week window at the start of training camps.
The research grants totaling $1 million are expected to be awarded later this year.