Exploring the knowledge, opinions, and perspectives of elite contact sport athletes and their medical staff regarding Cannabis use.

The objectives of this research are to detect knowledge gaps and identify worthy areas for future education plans on Cannabis use therapeutically, recreationally, and harm reduction strategies.

  • Who are we?

    Mary Jane Athletics was created by Liz Thompson to narrate the many moving parts of the Canadian research team performing the NFL funded Cannabis research project on cannabinoids and contact sports. She wants to share her PhD experience as a looking glass into what happens inside the walls of Cannabis research and encourage others to ask questions and seek answers about the Cannabis plant and how they choose to use it.

    With a BSc. in molecular biology and an MSc. in physiology, Liz has studied the human body through many lenses. Working with both the athletic and clinical population, gaps became apparent in care options for neurological problems. The endocannabinoid system became her focus for explanations to conditions that currently have minimal treatment options. Neurodegenerative disorders are increasing in prevalence today; yet, we seem to have more questions than answers. The focus of her PhD program is to explore disorders that have directly impacted her life in the world of professional contact sports.

    Flourishing commercial markets, censored information platforms and ever evolving health regulations only add to Cannabis confusion. Making a properly informed decision on how you choose to interact with the Cannabis plant requires access to accurate information, both positive and negative. As prohibition decreases and laws adjust, this choice is increasingly yours. Mary Jane Athletics and the Train With Mary Jane podcast is a variety of voices and perspectives along the way to project completion, PhD graduation and beyond. It is the researchers, it is the athletes, it is the professors, it is the patients, it is the clinicians, it is the policy makers, it is the curious. It is you.

  • What are we doing?

    Canada is proud to lead the way performing the first clinical trial researching therapeutic potentials of the Cannabis plant in athletes. It is an honor to be a member of the Canadian research team that was awarded funding from the National Football League (NFL) in 2022 for the study: Naturally Produced Cannabinoids for Pain Management and Neuroprotection from Concussion and Participation in Contact Sports.

    Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists, but political prohibition has restricted research capabilities to properly study the effects of cannabinoids on humans for the last 80 years; but now, the curtain is rising. We would like to share our experiences in Cannabis research with anyone who is interested by chronicling the adventures of our NFL project.

  • Why are we doing this?

    We can all learn from this experience. Transparency in science not only shares new information with the world, but also helps the next generation of researchers learn from our successes and failures. We would like to bridge the gap between Cannabis research and Cannabis in the real world.

    There is an amazing amount of Cannabis research happening that we would like to share in a language the average person can understand. Getting funding from the NFL for a Cannabis study seems counter intuitive, but it represents a societal shift and broader interests in the healing potential for a plant that has been used for thousands of years and is currently being used by many.

    Unfortunately, quality education about cannabinoid therapy is lacking, quality care can be difficult to find, and stigma still exists. On the other hand, the commercial Cannabis industry is bringing new products to market every day. Without a basic understanding of what these products do and how they work, an informed decision is difficult to make. Self-care, patient care, and athlete care all deserve access to as much science backed information as possible to help formulate treatment and wellness plans and truthfully evaluate available product options. We want to share what we know and what we learn with anyone interested in following this journey.

  • How are we doing this?

    We want to actively engage you in our research.

    Currently, we are collecting anonymous data by surveying both elite athletes and their medical training staff regarding their knowledge, opinions, and perspectives on Cannabis use in contact sports. If you are interested in participating in this study and fit the criteria, please complete the survey below. To discuss whether you fit the criteria of an elite athlete or medical professional for this study, please email a member of our team.

    Our Train With Mary Jane Podcast Mini Series has begun! Hosted by Jason Wilson MS at Curious About Cannabis, we cover a variety of topics and invite our research team members and guests to discuss cannabis science in a language we can all understand. See below for episode links and updates, or head to Curious About Cannabis to quench all your curiosities about cannabis.

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