The National Football League reported that it and the National Football League Players Association held a fact-finding forum this week. The forum included manufacturers of products containing CBD for the purpose of sports medicine. According to the report, the purpose of the session was to provide medical experts on the committee with an update concerning scientific research and evidence on the use of CBD products, which products are available, and the benefits of their use.
The NFL and NFLPA indicated in a joint statement,
“The NFL-NFLPA Pain Management Committee is a jointly formed committee tasked with providing advice to the league and union regarding recent developments in the area of pain management for elite athletes.”
“In furtherance of its duties, the Committee has been asked to brief the parties on the current state of pain management and alternative therapies, including cannabis, cannabinoids and CBD. The Committee invited manufacturers of CBD products to share their research today so the Committee may hear and consider the possible scientific evidence base for CBD use as a pain management alternative. This meeting was an educational and scientific exercise and does not impact the jointly administered Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse. We look forward to the continued cooperative work of the Joint Committee.”
Under the existing drug policy, the psychoactive substance, THC, which is present in marijuana and some CBD formulas, is banned. The use of CBD products among players is becoming more pressing as the legality of medical marijuana is becoming more prevalent among states. Per the report, the NFL takes the position that there is insufficient research concerning the use of CBD for the treatment of chronic pain.
A white paper was also distributed to the co-chairs of the committee. The paper provides that there are small and clinical studies suggesting CBD’s effectiveness for treating neuropathic pain. However, it is also challenging to verify the purity and potency of many products due to their purchase from unregulated sources. In addition, it recognizes that cannabis is still band under the NFL Policy for Substance Abuse and the potential issues associated with the substance.