GRV is committed at every level to ensure that traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) receives immediate attention from scientists, lawmakers, and sports industry professionals. GRV not only provides research solutions for treating traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in retired athletes, but educates players on the benefits of cannabis.
As a growing number of athletes are being diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), GRV advocates for research of cannabinoids in treating TBI and CTE, and access to cannabis for retired athletes who have been diagnosed with these conditions.
GRV has a special connection with the NFL and the NFLPA. GRV’s founder, Turk McBride was recruited to the University of Tennessee where he divided his time between Defensive Tackle and Defensive End. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2007 NFL draft and played in the league as a Defensive End for six years. Upon retirement, Turk sought opportunities to become part of the solution. In 2015, he founded Global Research Ventures (GRV) with a mission to provide industry leading genetics, cultivation, manufacturing and research for the advancement of responsible and therapeutic cannabis use.
Currently, there is no effective drug for the treatment of TBI and CTE. Brain injuries are two fold. The primary injury occurs from the initial hit, while secondary effects such as swelling and the release of toxic chemicals are actually more damaging than the initial blow. Furthermore, CTE can only be definitively diagnosed after death.
This is a critical area for new research. While there is preliminary evidence that cannabinoids (THC and CBD) may have therapeutic value for a number of conditions, the regulatory requirements associated with doing research with Schedule I substances pose a significant barrier. It is important to note that data gathered through practical trials for patients using CBD products is compromised by the variable quality and purity of CBD.
In January 2014, Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL would consider allowing athletes to use cannabis to treat concussions and other head injuries if medical experts deemed it a legitimate solution.
Researchers at the Hebrew University in Israel injected mice with a single low dose of cannabinoid either before or after exposing them to brain trauma and concluded that the use of cannabinoids can prevent long-term cognitive damage after brain injury.
The particular cannabinoid, 2-AG, is believed to work in three ways. First, it reduces the levels of glutamate, a toxic molecule, released after injury. Second, it decreases the amount of free radicals and TNF (a chemical that induces inflammation) after injury. Third, it increases the blood supply to the brain. All three mechanisms are essential for limiting the damage done after the primary injury. According to the study, 2-AG must be administered within a four- to six-hour window after the injury to be effective.