The pain management committee of the NFL and the NFL Players Association will provide $1 million in funding for research into pain management and cannabinoids, the committee announced Tuesday.
The request for proposal is the next step in the NFL’s shift on the use of marijuana by players, some of whom have long maintained that it was safer for them to use marijuana to treat pain than to take prescription medication.
For years, the NFL suspended players if they tested positive for marijuana multiple times. That changed with the collective bargaining agreement approved a year ago. Now, the league wants to know more about how safe cannabis and CBD are and if they work, particularly as a potential alternative to opioids — an interest that follows broader societal concerns about pain management and the use and risks of powerful opioids.