There has been negativity surrounding cannabis products due to the effects it has on the body and mind. Many people were surprised when they heard that many professional and non-professional athletes use marijuana to improve their recovery.
In fact, some of the world’s biggest and well-known athletes support the use of marijuana and CBD products such as UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, 14-time olympian swimming champion Michael Phelps, and NFL player Jake Plummer. They use marijuana products instead of using other pain relief medicines. Many find it a much safer alternative to other painkillers such as opioids, which are highly addictive painkillers that are extremely addictive and can have some very dangerous, prolonged side-effects.
Recent studies have shown that marijuana can also be used to help people suffering from brain injuries. Many professional and non-professional athletes who play contact sports suffer from brain issues, which have been brought to light in recent years. Those involved in contact sports like doctors, scientists, and other experts are deeply concerned about problems such as CTE. Recently, scientists conducted autopsies on just over 200 deceased NFL players. It turned out that 99% of them suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
However, you might be wondering how can athletes use marijuana products to treat their injuries but without enhancing their performance? Plus, what happens with doping rules?
Can Marijuana Enhance an Athlete’s Performance?
Although some people claim cannabis can help enhance an individual’s performance, there is no concrete data out there suggesting this is true. Although there is plenty of evidence that shows the benefits when an athlete’s body is recovering, there is nothing clear that shows it is used to improve a person’s performance.
With all this scientific research, the World Anti-Doping Agency changed the level of THC athletes were allowed to have in their system in 2013. These new rules allowed athletes to consume marijuana while in training, to help them deal with pains and aches.
However, using marijuana during competition days is not allowed. Because cannabis can help improve a person’s concentration (especially the Sativa Strain), it can increase tissue oxygenation and can reduce the chances of the athlete suffering from muscle spasms, before, during, or after performing.
Some athletes have tested positive for having THC in their systems during competition days. Some of these athletes have been banned from the sport for many years, so they have to be extremely careful when they use cannabis products.
Why are so many Athletes Growing Marijuana?
The problem many athletes face when purchasing medical marijuana products is that they can’t be sure exactly what is inside the cannabis. When the plant was growing, did the grower use harmful fertilizers, and what type of nutrients did they use?
Plenty of athletes nowadays grow their own marijuana to make sure everything that goes into the plant is safe for use.
Many athletes use Sativa seeds to grow their marijuana plants. Unlike the Indica strain, Sativa is an uplifting cannabis strain that keeps athletes alert. They can use Sativa cannabis products during the day and still remain active and motivated. It is great for joint pain and can help with the athlete’s recovery process. The Sativa strain is also known to help people suffering from stress, with many athletes face both. Training and performing can take its toll on both the body and mind, especially trying to compete regularly at a top level, so consuming marijuana is the perfect escape.
Nowadays, there is a wide range of strains available both online and in physical cannabis grow stores. Most online stores have a long list of Indica and Sativa seeds for sale so athletes can decide for themselves what strain is best for them and their recovery.
How does Cannabis Benefit an Athlete’s Recovery?
It seems studies have only been carried out to see how the substance affects an athletes performance in recent years, however here are a few of the obvious benefits when it comes to an athletes recovery:
- Reduces feelings of both anxiety and fear: Athletes often struggle with feelings of fear and anxiety. Most athletes at some stage of their career worry about failing or what they will do when their career comes to an end. Some athletes, even at the top of their game manage to make very little cash. The cost of training, food, travel, etc. can add up, even with a top sponsor on their side, so feelings of anxiety are common.
- Improves sleep: If an athlete is in physical or mental pain, they might have issues sleeping at night. Sleep is critical when it comes to recovery, so many athletes use cannabis products to help them get a good night’s sleep. The Indica strain will help athletes sleep better.
- Induces relaxation: Just like sleeping, relaxing is another extremely important part of recovery.
- Reduce the risk of muscle spasm: Athletes often get muscle spasms.
- Relieves stress: Dealing with injuries, competing with other professional athletes, and performing and training at a professional level can be very stressful.
With all these benefits, it’s no wonder so many athletes are advocating medical marijuana products.
What Sativa Strains are Athletes Using?
Most people find it a bit overwhelming and slightly confusing when it comes to different strains. It’s no wonder, considering that there are thousands of different strains to choose from. Although each person reacts differently to different strains, here are a few of the most popular choices that many athletes consume
- Sour Diesel: Also known as ‘Sour D’, this is one of the world’s most popular Sativa strains. This is known to help enhance a person’s vision and boost a person’s motor skills.
- Durban Poison: Athletes who perform and train in colder temperatures often use this strain. The Sativa strain gives the individual a head high, which can help distract them from the cold environment. It is also known to give the individual an energy boost, which is often needed in a cold climate.
- Kali Mist: This strain is known to give those that consume it extra energy. This can help athletes communicate with one another while performing.
Although the Sativa strain is very popular with athletes, many also use Indica strains too. A popular Indica strain, Bubba Kush, or Gelato 41 is very popular among athletes as it helps them to relax after training or performing. Most Indicas are known to fight against muscle spasms and other areas of the body that might be in pain.