Cannabis And Sports Recovery for Athletes

Is consuming cannabis good or bad for sports? how does cannabis impact sports? Why can't athletes use cannabis for sports recovery? Here you’ll find out why they can’t and why they should. 

Cannabis for Athletes
Cannabis and sports recovery for athletes

4 Ways Cannabis Can Impact Sport

Many sports regulators aren't open to the positive connection between cannabis and sports recovery. Why is it banned at so many sports events when it seems to help athletes in more than one way? Marijuana grown from sativa seeds continuously proves how positively uplifting the effects are. 

Judge for yourself as we explore the impact marijuana has on sports and players. 

How Does Cannabis Impact Sports?

Firstly, why is cannabis banned in sports? The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) added weed to its "Prohibited List" in 2004. It restricted the use of marijuana products before, during, and after all sporting events. 

WADA backed its decisions based on claims that cannabis provokes a health risk to sports participants because of altered reaction times, decision making, and risk-taking. It claims using marijuana enhances performance due to improved focus and pain reduction. WADA continues by stating that it violates the spirit of sport—going against its values and negatively impacting players' reputations to their fans.

Despite the cynical allegations regarding the use of cannabis in sports, it deems to be more beneficial than harmful to sports enthusiasts. There are ongoing debates about dismissing the "performance enhancement" label from marijuana to remove it from WADA's list.

Athletes consuming marijuana for recreational or medicinal reasons are eager to have the phrase ‘cannabis doping for sports’ removed in the future. While we wait on the easing of restrictions, let's briefly look at four ways cannabis and sports recovery should go hand in hand.

4 Positive Ways Cannabis Impacts Sports

Opinions are changing toward weed use globally. Many US states are becoming more lenient toward marijuana and the many medicinal benefits it's reported to have, as science is still probing into the many bonuses of this complex plant. It hasn't stopped athletes from coming forward to share their stories about how using cannabis before sports has helped them.

According to research, many famous athletes support the legalization of cannabis in sports. They don’t advocate being high throughout the participation; they use marijuana for recovery. They’re asking to avoid suspension or removal from the team due to positive testing.

Nate Jackson, an ex-tight-end NFL player from 2002 to 2009, tore his groin off the bone in 2007 and started medicating with cannabis. At the time, he couldn't disclose to his doctors that he also relied on natural herbs for healing. According to Jackson, during the cannabis and sports recovery, he “experienced no pain, no inflammation, restful sleep, vigorous appetite, and a clear head.”

Based on real-life stories, we can positively say how hemp may affect your performance in sport. With that said, using cannabis is beneficial for the following reasons:

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation around muscles and joints hinders the performance of many athletes, especially after big sporting events or continuous hours of training. Advocating for cannabis in sports is extremely beneficial to these competitors as consuming it reduces inflammation that's often encountered.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid found in marijuana that provides psychoactive effects. Cannabidiol (CBD) contains the healing agents that reduce inflammation in the muscles and joints. Marijuana strains hold a myriad of terpenes that also consist of anti-inflammatory qualities.

Medical professionals recommend cannabis for sports recovery by using topical applications of CBD like creams or gels. 

Treats Pain and Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms and pain are things athletes deal with regularly. The continuous use of certain muscles causes tenderness that leads to uncomfortable pain. Sports participants can’t perform at their best or sometimes not at all.

Consuming cannabis before sports activities prevents or alleviates the sudden occurrence of muscle cramps. In this case, both THC and CBD share similar healing properties. They bind to receptors in your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which activates the anti-inflammatory responses to relax the spasms.

Cannabis use for sports relieves increased pain levels that athletes may experience due to injuries or post-surgery recovery. 

Improves Sleep

Insomnia is the culprit for people suffering from sleeping disorders. Athletes especially deal with restless nights days before a big sporting event. Many marijuana strains provide effects that promote deep sleeping patterns. Using cannabis before sports ensures a peaceful night of rest before important activities. 

If you're wary about the THC content due to the restrictions on cannabis use in sports, CBD strains work just as well without the "high" feeling. It reduces stress levels and anxiety, which leads to a good night's sleep. How productive and active a person is the following day depends on the amount of time the body and mind have rested.


Improves Mental Sharpness

It’s disappointing that cannabis for sports recovery is prohibited. Can you imagine improved mental acuity during a basketball game? Where every calculated decision is worth every second ticking down on the clock.

Marijuana doesn't negatively affect the long-term functioning of your brain. According to research, it restores cognitive function if taken in mild doses. It's vital always to take note of the THC availability until the legalization of cannabis use in sports.

Depending on the strain (and there are many), consuming marijuana enhances mental clarity, removes brain fog, and promotes creative energy. Colors and images become clear and vivid in most cases. Sounds are amplified, making athletes with hearing disorders more attentive.

In Conclusion

Surely there can be an exception to the rule? With all these benefits, why is cannabis banned in sports? It's understandable not to have a bunch of euphoric-laden athletes cycling up mountains or running across fields. Setting boundaries for consumption is better than prohibiting it, especially for medical marijuana athletes who rely on weed for healing.

In a world where cannabis is seen for what it truly is, athletes perform at their best. They're well-rested, without much pain, muscle tension, or inflamed joints, and their thoughts are clear and stress-free. We call this the world of cannabis and sports.

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