According to the scientists that consulted with the NFL about medical marijuana, one of the industry’s biggest shortfalls is a lack of funding for research; the numbers prove it. An analysis found that out of $1.1 billion of the $1.4 billion that the National Institute of Health spent on medical cannabis research, only $297 million went towards researching the potential medical benefits of cannabis.
This frustration is what led to a team of scientists launching a nonprofit institute to bring together the world’s top researchers. The Institute for Research on Cannabinoids (IROC) is intensively researching the medical benefits of cannabinoids – the active chemical compounds found in marijuana.
Evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid, is effective as a short term “neuroprotectant” to aid recovery from traumatic brain injuries, though studies have only been conducted on rats.
And the NFL physicians, themselves are even encouraging funding for CBD research to aid with concussion recovery and to help prevent some long-term effects of brain injuries. Although, it should also be noted that the NFL commissioner did make his opposition to medical marijuana clear.
A large part of IROC’s mission will also be raising money and pursuing innovative funding strategies, as federal regulations have made medical cannabis research difficult for scientists. Another thing that can help solve the problem is recreational legalization – the revenue from recreational sales can go toward more cannabis research.