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NFL News Desk Admin

A group of former and current players for the National Football League is funding a cannabis oil study to determine its use as an effective alternative to opioid-based therapies, KPIX 5 reports. According to a 2011 study, NFL players are three times more likely to abuse prescription painkillers than the general public.

The study is funded by the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, a nonprofit comprised primarily of former and current NFL players, and Constance Therapeutics, a California-based cannabis producer.

The 30 former players who participate in the eight-week pilot study must hold a California medical marijuana card, undergo a medical assessment before and after taking the oil, and provide a complete medical history, including their past cannabis use.

Chris Kluwe, a former punter who spent most of his seven-year professional career with the Minnesota Vikings, said the study could help a lot of players long term if the oil proves to be a viable alternative to opioids for pain relief.

“You’re essentially going through multiple car accidents over the course of, like, three-and-a-half hours,” Kluwe said in the report, describing the toll a professional football game has on the body.

According to the report, an estimated 400 NFL players are injured every year. Kyle Turley, who spent a nine-year career with the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, and Kansas City Chiefs, outlined his football-related injury history and said many of them will cause a lifetime of pain.

“I need a new right hip, I need two right knees. I have got a plate and ten screws in my right ankle,” Turley said. “I am bone-on-bone in every joint.”

The study will start with a rice grain amount of THC oil as a constant and double about every four days, Constance Finley, CEO and founder of Constance Therapeutics said.   

“When we see NFL players able to use a medicine that doesn’t cause harm, that will help their functionality, we will see the stigma fall away very rapidly,” she said.

Medical cannabis use is currently barred under the current collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association.   

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