5 reasons athletes are using cannabis

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More and more professional athletes are advocating for using cannabis to enhance their performance and to relieve pain caused by sport-related injuries. Though the research for the effects of cannabis on athletes is limited there are many pro-cannabis advocates and studies that show some advantages to pairing cannabis and exercise.

The positive effects shown in these studies are not necessarily directly related to the sports themselves, but rather that cannabis is shown to help with relaxation, which can come in handy before and after a game.

Though more research is needed on how cannabis can potentially benefit athletes, people are still turning to the plant for their pre and post workout. Here are five reasons that athletes are using cannabis:

1. Reducing pain

CBD is known to reduce inflammation which is a major source of pain, especially in sport-related injuries. It’s no surprise that athletes turn to cannabis as a primary source for pain management.

2. Getting rid of pre-game anxiety

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The adrenaline that pumps through an athlete’s body is enough to make anyone nervous, and the last thing an athlete needs is to make a mistake due to nerves. This is why athletes are turning to various forms of cannabis to combat those pre-game jitters.

Once cannabis is in the bloodstream, the endocannabinoid response begins to calm the mind and body, easing the anxiety that comes before a sport.

3. Boosting runner’s high

Runner’s often experience something called a “runner’s high” which is when a flood of endorphins enter the bloodstream. It makes running seem a lot easier and a lot less painful. CBD can do the same thing as endorphins meaning that a low dose before running could enhance the work of endorphins.

4. Increasing endurance

Many long distance runners are now turning to cannabis to increase their endurance. Because cannabis can help to boost a runner’s high, making the run easier and less painful, it usually means that someone can actually run for a longer time.

Experts warn however that it’s important for individuals to know and understand their tolerance because too much CBD can completely ruin a run.

5. Enhancing focus

Similar to the way CBD can enhance a runner’s performance, the psychoactive effects of THC can create more drive and focus.

Cannabis’ psychoactive effects encourage the focus on a single goal, and since athletes are focused on performance and winning, many are turning to cannabis to help them get into the zone.

Cannabis also helps with eliminating inhibitions which can promote the kind of fearlessness necessary for being aggressive in certain sports. It can help athletes take bigger risk by giving them the confidence to succeed.

Unfortunately, a lot of major sports leagues are still hesitant about allowing players to use cannabis, but as the stigma subsided and more research is done, cannabis will likely become a mainstream part of athletic performance.

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