Published on August 10th, 2014 | by News Feed
New Experimental Cannabis Treatment Coming Soon for NFL Injuries
NFL athletes have a high rate of traumatic brain injuries and many players suffer from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) during their time in the league. These injuries are life altering and have even increased the number of suicides among former athletes. Earlier this year, Harvard Medical School professor Lester Grinspoon published an open letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, addressing the serious nature of these injuries and encouraging the league to consider using marijuana as a method of prevention and treatment.
According to Grinspoon, the current medical research shows that cannabis offers promising neuroprotective properties that could reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries among athletes. He encouraged Goodell and the National Football League to give serious consideration to sponsoring further studies on the possibility.
“Already, many doctors and researchers believe that marijuana has incredibly powerful neuroprotective properties, an understanding based on both laboratory and clinical data. But unfortunately, the extensive research required to definitively determine cannabis’s ability to prevent CTE will require millions of dollars in upfront investment, and despite the great promise many now see in cannabinopathic medicine, it’s hard to imagine who else has both the motive and the means to provide such funding,” he wrote.
While the NFL and Commissioner Goodell have had positive reactions to potential cannabis treatments for athletes, they have made no advances to sponsor such a study. After the NFL failed to take action, Kannalife Sciences decided to get involved and has been working to develop a new drug derived from marijuana to specifically prevent and treat CTE injuries. Chief visionary officer Thoma Kikis said the group had already gained federal approval to begin the process and next, they would seek FDA approval to use the cannabis-based medication in actual drug studies. They intend to focus primarily on athletes.
Kannalife expects to begin the first drug trials with athletes in 2016. This could potentially be a life altering medical advancement for many NFL athletes. If cannabis can truly prevent CTE injuries or even lower the likelihood that athletes will suffer brain trauma, it could be a massive step in the right direction for athletic health therapies.
Do you think the NFL will accept the new Kannalife drug for athlete trials?