NFL players, researchers push for answers about CBD to treat pain, CTE

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most common chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant. While CBD can help with mental and physical relaxation, it’s not psychoactive like its more famous molecular cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

NFL players hope CBD research leads to breakthroughs with treatment for neurological disorders including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Cannabidiol also has been linked to helping arthritis, epilepsy, heart disease, insomnia, neuropathic pain, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Cannabinoids look for tissues in the body that express what are called cannabis receptors. They stick to the cells and turn them on to cause the cells to do something, said Richard J. Miller, a Northwestern University pharmacology professor. A lot of the cells that have these receptors are nerve cells in the brain, but also are found in the peripheral nervous system.

Experts say more research is needed before accepting any definitive answers on how CBD might help specific…

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