Updated: Aug 29
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Pro Athletes Entering The World of Cannabis
Barley 10 years ago using cannabis as a professional athlete was considered strictly against sporting authorities’ rules and regulations. Fast forward to 2020, the sports industry and professional athletes alike are now venturing into the world of cannabis in growing numbers.
Professional sports stars are now speaking out positively about cannabis in public given the long list of health benefits they have experienced. This has seen more and more athletes in all sports give cannabis a try. Reports have shown that medical marijuana can help athletes with pain relief, exercise recovery, stress, and cognitive performance.
Dr Tishler a Harvard-trained physician has spoken out about the benefits of cannabis in sports when he spoke to the Grow Op. Dr Tishler said “Cannabis can be helpful for sports both during activity and afterward” and he continued “Its primary role is that of a pain reliever, which can be helpful in both situations.” You can read the full article here.
Professional athletes are now using cannabis for the following reasons:
The most effective way cannabis helps pro athletes is with pain relief.
Often the cost of being more than an average sportsman is determined by how much sportsmen tolerate pain. In recent studies of professional athletes, there is widespread use of painkillers. The prolonged use of painkillers can lead to severe side effects which can impact sports performance negatively.
Recent research into the benefits of using cannabis instead of regular opioid painkillers has shown that using cannabis is safer than opioids. There is also the issue of drug addictions for pro athletes who are on painkillers. Some recent studies have highlighted the potential for cannabis to reduce anxiety, depression, and addiction to opioid drugs.
Another benefit of cannabis and why so many pro athletes choose cannabis is to treat anxiety.
For many professional athletes, they are required to perform in front of huge crowds’ each week. These crowds could be over 60,000 people in the stadium plus the millions watching at home on TV.
Professional athletes just like any of us get stressed and anxious before performing, so cannabis provides a treatment to allow them to control their anxiety and cope better with pressure.
As sport takes its toll on the athlete's energy and well-being in the present, side effects may also continue even after retirement.
Recent research by the American Academy of Neurology has revealed that more than 35 percent of former NFL players are at risk of traumatic brain injury.
Retired athletes also face the problem of adjusting to a new world where bodily exercise and fame no longer retain their values. For some retired athletes, this period of struggle could lead to depression and other mental health issues.
Cannabis therapy offers great healing and recovery potential from this in retirement.
Athletes Speak Out
Professional athletes in the NFL have been increasingly coming out to support the use of cannabis. The first most notable case was when Eugene Monroe the first active player in the NFL spoke out about advocating cannabis among football players.
In a New York Times article, Eugene Monroe had called on the NFL to stop testing players for cannabis and referred to its safe alternative to pain relief in comparison to commonly prescribed opioids in the sport.
Monroe was quoted as saying “We now know that these drugs are not as safe as doctors thought, causing higher rates of addiction, causing death all around our country and we have cannabis, which is far healthier, far less addictive and, quite frankly, can be better in managing pain.” you can read the full article here.
NFL veterans Martellus Bennett and Bo Scaife have since backed up this statement and claim that over 80% of fellow football players smoke marijuana. It’s not just Football where sports stars are turning to cannabis for its benefits, professional athletes in Basketball (Kenyon Martin, Cliff Robinson) and Baseball (Ryan Tucker, Tim Lincecum) have all spoke out sharing the same views that smoking marijuana was common among the majority of their teammates during their career.
Many CBD products are now officially promoted under the aegis of many athletes. The Big3 basketball league is now sponsored by cbdMD, which speaks volumes of how pro sports and pro athletes are taking cannabis and its reputation more seriously.
By Mark Ollerton - Freelance Writer