NFL Pitches In: $1 Million Going Toward CBD Research

Funding for research into the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) is making headlines in the NFL. In June, a pain management committee from the National Football League and the NFL Players’ Association made the announcement that $1 million in grants would be directed toward research on the ability of cannabis and CBD to treat pain. If an entity as large as the NFL is interested in how CBD can be used to treat pain, this only further educates people on the potential positive effects of CBD. And since humans and dogs have the same endocannabinoid system, we can learn for our dog family members, too.

NFL players weigh on average around 250 pounds, can bench press an average of 225 pounds, and squat 500 pounds, so the amount of damage they inflict upon each other is significant. They have to deal with a lot of pain, and given the health risks associated with opioids, it seems like a smart move on behalf of the NFL and the players’ union to seek alternative means of pain management. Strains, sprains, muscle tears, and broken bones are all fairly common in this sport and the injury rate in the NFL is considered close to 100 percent, which makes them superb testing participants for CBD.

Although NFL players can sustain career-ending injuries, most of them have to manage pain and mobility issues on a day-to-day basis, just like us non-football players and our dogs. So at the end of the day, we might not all be as big and as athletic as an NFL player, but we all have challenges with injuries.

According to, some players have maintained that it is “safer for them to use marijuana to treat pain” than to use prescription medicines. The rub is that the NFL tests players for marijuana, which means they can be suspended after testing positive. This is why CBD has become popular with NFL and other athletes who need pain management alternatives. Terrell Davis, the former Denver Broncos star running back, became an advocate for CBD use 2019, saying it had significantly helped him with pain issues in his joints and with his migraine headaches.

Opioids, while an effective pain reliever, are addictive and have sometimes fatal consequences. One widely cited study says that 52 percent of former NFL players use prescription pain medication and 71 percent of those players said they misuse the drugs.

Research Goals

According to the NFL, the hope is that the research can come up with answers regarding the following:

  • The effects of cannabinoids on pain for players for daily pain management and for pain resulting from surgery
  • The effects of “non-pharmacologic” treatments on daily pain and post-surgical pain
  • The effects of cannabis or cannabinoids on athletic performance, cardiorespiratory function, reaction time, and psychomotor function

The NFL’s principal investigators leading the funding are expected to report their findings during an annual conference.

As a company committed to providing the best support possible for the health, safety, and ability of dogs to enjoy quality time with the entire family, we at PetSoothe are keeping a close eye on news related to research on CBD. Check back with us often and keep up on the latest CBD news.

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