HUNTINGTON - A Huntington-based firm has been given the green light to start testing medicinal marijuana on patients who have suffered repeated brain trauma.

KannaLife Sciences wants to help former athletes, soldiers and others who have suffered multiple concussions.

KannaLife Founder Thoma Kikis says the National Institutes of Health has approved his company to look for specific compounds in marijuana that can treat chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Thoma says ultimately, the company is seeking to prove that CBD, a compound found in marijuana, can actually protect brain cells.

The company says thousands of people with CTE could be helped with the finished product.

Developers are currently doing pre-clinical trials and plan to file with the FDA early next year.