Can Cannabis Treat Concussions? The NFL Supports Research to Find Out

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University of Regina‘s Dr. Patrick Neary received more than $500,000 from the National Football League (NFL), along with $400,000 of in-kind support from My Next Health Inc. to investigate the use of cannabinoids to treat concussions and aleviate and manage pain.

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Dr. Neary, an exercise physiologist and prof in Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina, Canada, has been working in the area of concussion prevention and treatment for more than 15 years. He says he’s excited to have the NFL’s support.

RELATED: Former NFL Stars Want to Show How Cannabis Helps with Brain Injuries

The research

Neary says the research team will investigate the effects of different CBD/THC formulations, which are being provided by My Next Health Inc. Researchers will look at pain management and chronic pain in those suffering from post-concussion syndrome. They will also examine CBD/THC as a neuroprotective treatment for concussion.

“We anticipate our CBD/THC formulation will show significant and positive changes to what it does to the brain – that it will reduce pain and use of prescription medications (opioids), show a reduced number of concussions during athletic competition and provide physiological and psychological benefits,” Neary said.

The Canada-wide team includes physicians, cardiologists, psychologists, pharmacologists, neuroscientists and researchers from other fields.

Preparatory work for the project will begin immediately; next steps will include obtaining Health Canada approval for the clinical trials.

“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, the NFL’s 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,” Sills added.

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