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NFL seeks information on CBD and other alternatives to opioids

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons make their picks for who they believe are the biggest steals and busts from the 2020 NFL draft, including Justin Jefferson, Tua Tagovailoa and Henry Ruggs.

The NFL and NFL Players Association have put out a request for information about alternatives to opioids, including CBD, for pain management.

The league and the union are asking researchers with experience conducting controlled, experimental studies related to pain management to submit information that may be useful in treating NFL players.

The request for information asks about: “The potential therapeutic role of medications and non-pharmacological interventions that are considered to be alternatives to opioids in routine pain management of NFL players. Medications may include, but are not limited to, cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD).” The league also requested information about “The impact of cannabis or cannabinoids on athletic performance in NFL players.”

The NFL considers cannabis a banned substance, although the most recent labor deal loosened the rules about players using marijuana. CBD, which comes from cannabis but does not have an intoxicating effect, has been widely promoted as a safer alternative to opioids as a painkiller, and the league and players’ union are working on establishing uniform standards for pain management practices employed by team medical staffs.