Professional Sports, Athletes, and Cannabis
There has been a lot of new discoveries and surveys on why athletes smoke marijuana or why they should. Due to a lot of professional sport league’s strict drug policy, less are outspoken about their experience with cannabis. Does it hinder their game? Is it really harmful to consume cannabis as athletes? Hold on, do athletes even smoke cannabis?
In this article, we will uncover each of these questions and see what’s the truth behind these theories that are in question. Recently noticeable pro athletes have been coming out about their weed habits majority being retired or former pro athletes. Numerous pro and collegiate athletes have either been spotted with cannabis or done interviews advocating the benefits of cannabis. Being an athlete at the elite level or competitive level can be stressful and demanding on the body. This can become crucial seeming that athletes need to be able to perform at a high level. Making the recovery and therapy process a big component to maintaining a high level of performance when competing. Since the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana in the United States, it’s more widely accepted and science has now evolved to identify the benefits of cannabis.
More and more athletes are being more outspoken on how they’re using cannabis to help with their training. Since the acceptance of marijuana, you can now find more products that are using the THC as an active ingredient. Products ranging from oil, creams, and even tea can be purchased legally. Due to their work environment most athletes that smoke uses other alternatives such as vape pens. Vape pens are becoming highly popular because of their lack of smell, convenience, and they’re not really noticeable. Most marijuana vape pens resemble e-cigarettes making it more accepted in places where smoking is allowed.
Cannabis serves as a therapeutic option to relax the body and mind after an extreme workout or competition. While also helping athletes decrease the anxiety that they may be facing. Relieving the ache’s and tension one may feel while trying to relax, which is why relaxing may be hard to do if you are dealing with those aches and pains. Every athlete knows the importance of downtime and rest when it comes to competing at their highest ability. Marijuana has been known to treat other illness and conditions as well as other medicines doctors may have prescribed in the past.
So, do athletes smoke?
Obviously yes, but they can’t publicize it due to regulations and endorsements viewpoints on their reputable images within the public. Many athletes not to mention professional athletes have stated they would rather smoke or use cannabis substance over their doctor or trainers prescribe pain relief prescriptions. Cannabis has a chemical compound known as THC. THC helps the brain release endorphins into the brain which plays a large role with pain and stress. Ex-Professional football offensive lineman has been quoted saying ”[cannabis] connects me mentally and emotionally into my body, which allows me to get more fulfilling workouts”.
It was stated he also vapes to loosen up the tense muscles and scar tissue. The World Anti-Doping Agency removed its ban on CBD or cannabidiol after becoming aware of the therapeutic relief it has for athletes it’s believed that nearly 80% of professional football players smoke marijuana. A 15-season professional basketball veteran has quoted saying “About 85% of professional basketball players smoke”. He also stated, “It was a lot, even people you wouldn’t think”.
Smoking weed is not actually harmful at all for athletes which some may have perceived differently in the past. As we stated before marijuana also helps produce chemicals in the brain known as endorphins which helps relax, calm, and distress. Let us take a little look closer at this chemical called endorphins, endorphins are your natural pain and stress fighters. Which every athlete understands is something that they are going to endure.
The brain has what we call opioid receptors which reduces the pain levels you feel and also the stress.
There have also been discoveries that marijuana protects the brain from concussion and trauma. Marijuana has served as a solution but also innovative with new discoveries happening every day within the world of medicine. Recent discoveries have also shown us marijuana can even help with eating disorders and balance of appetites. Which play a large role in athletes’ life, a safe alternative some athletes used to help with them gaining an appetite to eat to refuel the body or even weight gain. When you’re high you’re hungry, which is caused by your metabolism being increased making you more inclined to eat food. The average person might choose junk food but for an athlete who pantry and fridges are filled with carbs and protein, this is a blessing. Cannabis has helped serve as a valuable resource for athletes across the world.
In a recent study held by a well regarded Harvard professor, the power of cannabis was identified to help cure concussions. For athletes this is a big deal, helping them stay in the game or return to their teams in a timely fashion. Cannabis will continue to have a hand in the world of sports as well as everyday life. Cannabis research is helping us find new benefits and treatments to protect and heal our bodies as well as our minds.
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