Concussion game-changer

Published on March 5, 2019 by oz. staff

Ex-NHL players will help further research into whether cannabis can help in concussion recovery.

The NHL Alumni Association has teamed up with Canopy Growth to research concussions and cannabinoids in a new study led by NEEKA Health Canada.

About 100 former players will be enrolled in the randomized double-blind study, which is expected to begin in summer 2019. It will test if CBD-based therapies can reduce the severity of post-concussion brain disorders in former NHL players.

“NHL alumni gave everything they had during their careers, but the physical consequences after they hang up their skates can be devastating for both players and their loved ones for the rest of their lives,” said Glenn Healy, Executive Director of the NHLAA.

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A substantial number of high performing, former professional athletes have developed impairments as a result of past concussions, ranging from depression, post-traumatic stress disorders and progressive dementia.

“This study offers alumni the promise of help and hope, and we are excited to participate in what could become a true game-changer in allowing these professional athletes to finish strong,” said Healy, who played goal in the NHL.

It being called an unprecedented trial that could catalyze new research initiatives further investigating the potential of CBD as a treatment to help brain injuries.

Researchers estimate that between 1.6 and 3.8 million athletes suffer from a sports-related concussion each year. Ten to 15 percent of these athletes will go on to develop chronic post-concussion symptoms that can affect their ability to function.