NHL alumni to study medical marijuana to combat brain injuries

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The organization wants to know how cannabis can benefit athletes

Head injuries in sports are a common occurrence, especially in full-contact sports. Scientists have already begun studying how cannabis can be used to help football players and the NHL is getting onboard, as well, prepared to launch its own study to determine how cannabis can benefit hockey players.

The NHL Alumni Association has partnered with Canopy Growth for the study. Canopy is funding the double-blind, randomized study, which will see participation from over 100 retired hockey players in an effort to find out of medical cannabis can help combat brain injuries. If the study produces favorable results, it will lead to a second study, also to be paid for by Canopy, that would involve a larger test group.

According to NHL medical consultant Dr. Amin, Kassam, “This is a crystallizing moment. We’re going to be using high-resolution imaging, biomarkers, ocular, vestibular testing. We have a big need, the right agenda and the right people. The NHL alumni are willing to commit their privacy and their souls to help others in the community and I think Canopy is the real deal when it comes to the medical science. They have the science. Their facility at Smiths Falls is best in class. It’s as good a bio laboratory as you’ll find in the world. They are not growing weed in the backyard.”

The study will mostly center on cannabidiol (CBD) and its effects. CBD has already received a lot of attention for its medical benefits, and the NHL and Canopy are wanting to expand on previous research.

If the study is shown to support the previous research, it will prove to be beneficial to millions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related brain injuries in the U.S.

The project will get underway this summer and is expected to last about a year.


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