RUGBY League stars could avoid the risk of getting hooked
The aim is to explore whether cannabinoids could help discourage athletes from using opioids and other medications to tackle pain. Dr Mark Ware, chief medical officer of cannabis company Canopy Growth which is funding the study, said: “We hear plenty of anecdotes from athletes about how cannabinoids are helping them, but we don’t have any good robust data to prove that and we’re addressing this with a credible partner.” Players who participate will be examined over a 10-week period and undergo MRI brain scans and diffusion tensor image scans – which produce a three-dimensional map of the brain. They will also undergo blood tests and have their speech, writing patterns, memory and emotional state monitored. Of the 100 participants, 20 will be given a placebo pill while the other 80 will be given CBD pills. Researchers will explore if CBD eases anxiety, depression and pain. Neurosurgeon Dr Amin Kassam, who has consulted with the NHL Alumni Association and Canopy Growth, said: “This is a crystallising moment.