Cannabis and sports are becoming more intertwined than ever. With professional athletes like Charles Dimry, Cliff Robinson, and Tim Lincecum advocating for cannabis use in professional sports, athletes are starting to consider the benefits of cannabis use for athletic performance.
Benefits of Cannabis and Exercise
Cannabis can positively affect your athletic performance in many ways. According to a study from the University of Colorado Boulder, 81.7% of participants endorse using cannabis before and/or after exercise. This study also reports that almost 50% of people who use cannabis before their workout said that it increased their incentive to work out.
Using cannabis before a workout can also make the exercise more enjoyable. Some scientists theorize that you can get a head start towards the runners’ high when using cannabis before a workout.
Another benefit of cannabis is it can be used to reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation aids your workout and can give you more mobility. Topical CBD is a great way to target specific areas of your body to reduce inflammation.
Post-workout, cannabis can be used to speed up recovery time. Cannabis has pain relieving properties, which helps with soreness after a tough workout. Cannabis helps many users sleep better, which can also help speed up recovery time. This helps athletes get back in the gym quicker.
Professional Athletes and Cannabis
Professional athletes are not only advocating for cannabis, they’re using it as well. And getting in trouble for it.
Cliff Robinson, former NBA All-Star, was suspended three times throughout his career for his use of cannabis. He didn’t like the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, so he turned
way pharmaceutical drugs messed with his stomach, so he turned to marijuana. He thought using cannabis was worth the risk of being suspended.
Two-time Super Bowl Champion Jim McMahon uses cannabis to help with the after-effects of multiple head injuries throughout his career.
MMA fighter Nick Diaz tested positive for cannabis and was given a five year suspension (later reduced to 18 months), while his UFC opponent tested positive for a steroid test and was only given a one year suspension. Even after this harsh punishment, Diaz still advocates for cannabis use. Ronda Rousey even chimed in to speak out against marijuana testing and the cannabis ban in the UFC.
Professional Sports Leagues
With so many athletes and fans speaking out in favor of cannabis use, professional sports leagues are starting to listen. The MLB took marijuana off of their banned substances list. MLB players shouldn’t show up to practice or games high, but they won’t be judged for what they do off the field. The NHL tests for cannabis, but players are not punished for positive tests, and if they have unusually high levels of THC, it’s treated with help like alcoholism, rather than a suspension. The NFL recently changed their standards, raising the levels of THC for positive tests, and getting players help if their levels are too high.