We know by now that sports and weed go well together. Here are some ways athletes use cannabis.
When we look at the ways athletes use cannabis, one trend sticks: “stasis.” Most athletes want pluses from what they put in their bodies. But they know that sports cost lots of pain and time. Since they can only manage themselves, top performers crave relief after long training hours. They also need ways to relax between contests. Or a means to meditate on goals for the next match. Cannabis fulfills these needs and more. While the research in this area lacks, athletes have long known the effects. In fact, so many are speaking up about their cannabis use, sports leagues are changing their tune on pot.
For example, the NFL and its players’ union agreed studying cannabis makes sense. Although for years players have managed chronic pain by self-medicating, their bosses banned it. Now, they may gain support for safe use and pain treatment. Truth beats timing, however, and the facts about CBD remain undeniable.
With that in mind, here are some ways athletes use cannabis.
1. Eliminate Pre-Game Anxiety
When the big game comes, no matter how much they prepare, top athletes pump enough adrenaline to get nervous. While those nerves spark, their focus may slip and no competitor wants that trade-off.
If cannabis enters the bloodstream, the endocannabinoid response kicks in too, relaxing the mind and body. That doesn’t mean dosing high amounts of THC before games helps everyone.
However you approach the pre-game routine, know that cannabis has helped some top athletes stifle their anxiety.
2. Reduce Pain
The NFL stopped ignoring its worst issue only a few years ago. Basically, the average NFL starter, conditioned to huge hits, suffers extreme pain once retired. The NFL eventually faced its concussion epidemic but the larger issue of pain still needs a solution.
When Martellus Bennett joined the long list of athletes who claim that their entire league uses cannabis, his statement signaled a larger shift. Increasingly, athletes like him have pressured their leagues to permit CBD as a pain treatment.
Although medical knowledge suggests CBD can fight inflammation (a key source of pain), sports leagues have moved slowly to adopt
3. Boost That Runner’s High
You know that feeling you get when you finish a run and the hormones rush in, causing instant joy? It’s called “runner’s high.”
When endorphins flood your bloodstream, the run becomes easier and slightly less painful. Essentially, CBD can do the same thing for the body. So cannabis could help out whatever endorphins you’d get naturally from intense exercise anyway.
Much like the pre-game cannabis dose, this method requires close knowledge of your own body. Too much relaxing CBD could derail your run altogether.
4. Spike Your Endurance
Surprisingly, many distance runners now rely on the benefits of cannabis. While cannabis and running may seem like a mismatch, marathoners are coming out as strong advocates.
In fact, the more miles they run, the more they’re likely to join this unique club of cannabis fans.
For instance, an anonymous marathon runner from NYC admits he’s both toked up before runs and after. He’s also run an ultramarathon—a race of over 100 miles—using that training program.
Judge for yourself if you can toke and run, but know that some of the most intense competitors started that routine long ago.
5. Improve Focus
Cannabis can improve athlete focus. Just like with distance running, the mental effects of THC can drive certain runners.
First, it eliminates inhibitions so athletes can take bigger risks in the name of winning. If THC can inspire that level of fearlessness, athletes want to find out for certain.
Also, cannabis encourages singular concentration on a goal. Since athletes look for their gateway to the “zone” where they can perform with razor-sharp skill, some turn to cannabis for that edge.
6. Bonding With Teammates
Because cannabis users love to socialize, it’s a natural way for teammates who enjoy it to get closer. Outside of the arena, the best teams bond with one another so that it translates in competition.
To that point, this 2010 study underlines the importance of social mixing among teammates. Well, since practice ends for everyone around the same time, co-captains might do best to rally the core members of the group for a session. It’s one of the ways athletes use cannabis anyway, so adding a session to the post-practice cool-down could work wonders.
A solid few hours laughing over cannabis together might produce the winning formula sooner than a quiet carpool home.
7. Celebrate The Victories
Typically, we see champions pop bubbly in the locker room after they win the big one. But cannabis makes a great treat for victors too. For one, there’s no risk of hangover or memory loss. If you’d won the biggest trophy of your life, would you want to black out and forget that night?
It’s also a great way to meet friendly fans, who won’t be knocking down light poles and mailboxes because they’re more chill. In weed-legal states like California, it would be great for any champion to enjoy the permission.
The Cleveland Cavaliers allegedly lit up in the Golden State Warriors’ visitor locker room during the 2016-17 NBA Finals. With more trailblazing, maybe they’ll start a trend in sports celebrations too. In the future, we’ll count championship parades among the ways athletes use cannabis.
Final Hit: The Ways Athletes Use Cannabis
Most of the benefits of cannabis are mental or promote pain relief. That’s a perfect cure for athletes who want versatile solutions to their issues.
When you’re deciding ways to add pot, think of the effects on your body first. Then go from there. The science points to great low-dose uses for it.
But only you can judge the results that work best for you.