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5 Ways you can increase your athletic performance with cannabis

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Have you heard? There have been some ongoing rumblings in the professional athletic world regarding the use of cannabis products.

We are hearing frequently in the media today about professional and college athletes using cannabis for various issues. Let’s find out why.


While the official name of this substance is Cannabis; we usually hear them referred to as either hemp or marijuana, in order to differentiate the main difference between the two.  They are actually the same plant with different levels of THC, the intoxicating chemical that can be found in cannabis. 

Legally, hemp is the term used to classify plants with less than .3% THC. Any plant with more than that amount is legally classified as marijuana.

Cannabinoid Compounds

There are many cannabinoids (chemical compounds) in the cannabis plant that can benefit our health; the two main ones stirring up all of this controversy are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol ). While both CBD and THC are psychoactive, in that they both affect the mind and behavior, THC is intoxicating while CBD is not. CBD oil can be derived from the flowers and leaves of either Hemp or Marijuana.

The Health Benefits of Cannabis

There are many health benefits for both THC and CBD, quite a few of those benefits being shared. Some of the shared benefits include relief for the following:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

There are some unique benefits to each as well. CBD is known to relieve Migraine Headaches, decrease Inflammation, help with Depression and other psychiatric disorders, and treat Epilepsy.

On the other hand, THC can help with poor appetite, Glaucoma, and muscle spasms.

Enhanced Performance

Many super-athletes such as marathoners, ultra-marathoners, and triathletes are turning to marijuana to give them a runner’s high. This isn’t the same high as being intoxicated though. It is described as the same kind of endorphin rush that runner’s get naturally in a long race.

However, they are able to start in that frame of mind, which helps them mentally to give them the edge they need to overcome the negative mental thoughts of the long race ahead. It’s use provides a mental edge to help them forget about the pitfalls and to be able to really enjoy the run.

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The Athletic Controversy

Few professional sports authorities approve of the use of Cannabis. Things may be looking up though. In 2018 the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from their list of banned substances.

Because of the wear and tear on the bodies of athletes, many injuries result, and opioid use as a way to treat the pain is common. NSAIDs are also taken prolifically to dull the pain and keep playing in spite of the injuries.

The factors used to determine if a substance should be banned are:

  1. Potential to enhance performance
  2. Risk to the athlete’s health
  3. Violation of the spirit of sport

Two of the three factors need to be present in order to make the decision. It’s clear the professional authorities have been guilty of a great deal of hypocrisy regarding drug use. They have been known to push opioid use to enable their players, who aren’t recovered yet from their injuries, to play injured. It’s all about the money.

The Resistance

Despite this pressure, more and more athletes and former athletes are fighting back. Rob Grownkowski, Joe Montana, and others are speaking out for their fellow athletes to remove the bans against the use Cannabis products. Athletes in a wide variety of sports are coming forward to share the benefits they’ve experienced from using CBD. This substance helps their bodies heal and enables muscles to recover from the strain of physically pushing them to the limit.

One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, athletes and others use CBD, is to relieve pain. Cannabis is a natural plant with few negative side effects. Athletes can recover from injuries and relieve their pain without resorting to opioids with their risk of addiction, or NSAIDS with their risk of liver and other organ damage.

Derrick Morgan admits to using CBD for a different reason. Many former NFL league players suffer from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a condition that results from traumatic brain injury. Derrick is trying to protect his brain from an injury before it occurs by taking CBD proactively, due to the preliminary studies that CBD can protect the brain in this way.

There is currently a new study being conducted by Clover Leaf University to determine the benefits of CBD for Traumatic Brain Injury.

The Future of Cannabis

With recreational and medical use laws passed in a number of localities in the last few years, and more and more states lifting their restrictions on Cannabis, a whole new phase of research is beginning that may uncover many more benefits to this plant.

CBD has a bright future ahead for both athletes and the general population to heal and relieve symptoms in a much healthier way than the drugs we have resorted to in the past. Let’s watch with increasing attention this new industry as it grows.

Leave a comment below and let me know how cannabis helps you in training or in pain management!

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10 months ago

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