athletes and cannabis
athletes and cannabis

Does Marijuana Make You A Better Athlete?

Cannabis and Training Will Be An NFL Topic This Offseason

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Monday Feb 6, 2017

Cannabis and Sports-How does it fit?

Does Medical Marijuana Make You a Better Athlete? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.

 

Since 2014 Cannabis had been technically included as a banned substance at the Olympic Games, but athletes do not need to worry if they used it before or after the games. The level of the amount of cannabis is raised to 150 nonograms per milliliter. To be on the list of prohibited substances, a drug or substance has to comply with the following rules:

 

  • Has the potential to enhance or it enhances performance
  • Has and actual or potential health risk to the athlete
  • Violates the spirit of sport

 

The most obvious reason for marijuana to be included according to the World Anti-Doping Agency is that it reduces anxiety, therefor enhances performance. According to them there are health risks with regards to the respiratory system and lastly it violates the spirit of sport because of its illegal status and is therefore not ethically correct.

 

 

But what are the benefits of Cannabis for and athlete? A triathlete, Clifford Drusinsky form Colorado says marijuana relaxes him and helps him to get into a focused place of meditation. Another athlete who never used marijuana before decided to give it a try. By setting a pace on a treadmill for 5 miles per hour, he raised the ramp with 2.5% every two minutes. Sober he could keep it up for 19 minutes. Stoned he lasted 20.30 minutes. He repeated the test twice with similar results and also found that he recovered faster and felt less sore after heavy squats. When he did the test with mountain biking, it was different though. He said while when he started off, he felt faster and flowy, but soon he started to misjudge his speed and road off the trail.

 

 

With the brains endocannabinoid’s system responsible for the euphoria that especially endurance athletes experience, will marijuana then enhances the performance? Long distance athletes believe it helps them to keep in the zone and focus only on the run. Otherwise it can be quite hard to stay focused. Other than that, it helps the body to deal with excessive endurance it has to cope with over long distances.

 

MARIJUANA HARVEST 60 MINUTES

 

For Pain Management and Recovery the role cannabis can play in an athlete’s training program is more than obvious.

 

 

            Safe way to relief pain- NFL football players can vouch for this. Because of the extreme sport they practice, football players live daily in pain and marijuana is a safe way to deal with that. Opioid painkillers are mostly used until now, but it has a highly addictive side to it and has far more damaging effects on the player, even long after he is done. Marijuana with its anti-inflammatory properties help muscles to recover faster and also protects the brain against the high impact it so often receives.

 

 

            Improve lung function rather than harming it- a 20 years long study involving 5000 athletes proved that regular marijuana smoking had no negative effect on the lungs. It was rather found that the lung capacity slightly improved for those smoking marijuana. The traditional method of deep inhaling could contribute to better long function over time.

 

 

            No Hangover of bodily harm where alcohol has the opposite effect. Alcohol has a harming effect on the liver and many athletes could turn to booze to help relief pain. Worst even, they swallow some opioids or other painkillers with it.  Marijuana is far more effective and no bodily harm is experienced and the next day you wake up fit as a fiddle.

 

 

            Cannabis helps speeding up recovery and helps performance because of that. Neuroscientists at the University of Brazil said that they found that it improves muscle relaxation, extinct fear memories and reduces anxiety that leads to enhanced performances. It also improves sleep time and recovery.

 

 

For this very reason they believe it should not be allowed during competition and was not allowed at the Olympics in Brazil.

 

 

In training, when a lot of stress is put on the body, cannabis is a very workable remedy for athletes. And though it could be seen as a little dangerous for sports that require skills like gymnastics or speed racing, for athletes like swimmers or long distance runners, it could be a benefit. But it also could be argued that it enhances performance.

 

PHELPS MARIJUANA SWIMMING

 

It is safe to say that it most definitely could be used for recovery after injuries. I would also suggest it for anxiety relief, because many athletes need sport psychologists to train their minds to handle stress to be able to peak their performances. Why can cannabis not be used then helping athletes coping with stress?

 

 

More studies are required because the illegal status of cannabis still stands in the way to proclaim the benefits for an athlete, but fortunately, the sun is starting to rise.

 

 

With the Super Bowl now over for 2017, look for the NFL to sit down in the offseason and come up with a comprehensive marijuana policy for players.   The benefits far outweigh the risks and with the NFL dealing with a massive concussion scandal, cannabis for brain injuries will certainly be brought up at the owners meetings as well.

 

 

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