By Eddie Pells
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The doctor portrayed in the upcoming football movie “Concussion” is on the board of a company looking for a marijuana-based treatment for head injuries.
Bennet Omalu was recently named to the scientific advisory board of Kannalife Sciences, which has been developing marijuana-based products to treat the effects of concussions.
Omalu conducted the autopsy on former Steelers centre Mike Webster that led to the discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. The concussion-related disease has been found in the brains of a number of former NFL players during autopsies.
Kannalife CEO Dean Petkanas said the company is working on a feasibility study for a product that would treat concussions using cannabinoids as an active pharmaceutical ingredient. Omalu, slated to be on the board through 2016, will be involved in oversight of the clinical tracking protocols for the study.
“It’s good to work with someone who has his deep knowledge of the disease and understanding of the pathology of the disease,” Petkanas said.
Omalu is portrayed by Will Smith in the movie, which tells the story of the scientist’s discovery of CTE and how the NFL dealt with the revelation. The movie is due out in Christmas.