Marijuana and Sports: How Does It Help and Hurt?

Man with Afro and Headband Smoking Joint
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The medical benefits of marijuana are a major point of controversy in our society. We have come to a point where many are starting to accept the potential cannabis has to offer. Leading to an important point: How do marijuana and sports overlap, and are there any dangers we should be aware of?

In fact, there are more and more proponents of cannabis every day. As we continue to research and understand marijuana, the widespread understanding of weed’s purposes and uses will continue to grow. For instance, cannabis has been found to help with the treatment of cancer, seizures, arthritis, diabetes, and many more.

How Can Marijuana Help Athletes?

Smoking marijuana has been a touchy subject within professional sports for a few years now. Football in particular has recently been in the spotlight of medical marijuana. Organizations like Athletes for Care, founded by retired NFL player Eben Britton, are major cannabis activists. Britton, along with 26 other professional athletes, is focused on changing the way athletes are medically treated.

Professional athletes push their bodies to their maximum potential. Not only does this cause athletes a crazy amount of mental stress, but by the end of their careers, their bodies are worn down. With a majority of injuries being treated with painkillers, there has been a drastic rise in opioid addictions amongst players. Medical marijuana not only has the potential to help with opioid addictions, but it has medical qualities to help treat the same injuries that opioids are used for.

What are some of the most common injuries amongst athletes? Athletes in nearly every sport have suffered from some sort of muscle sprain or tear. Medical marijuana has been found to have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that could help athletes recover from workouts quicker, keep their muscles loose and relaxed, and even help sprains and tears heal better.

The ability to help athletes heal properly from their workouts and injuries could potentially help prevent future injuries. Pushing your body too hard in a workout or recovery can actually cause more problems down the road. The anti-inflammatory components of cannabis could drastically help athletes heal properly from workouts and recover from injuries. There needs to be much more research done, but the potential is definitely there.

How Can Marijuana Hurt Athletes?

 

Man Kicking Soccer Ball on Field Futbol
Photo by: Andrey Yurlov/Shutterstock
Marijuana has a ton of potential medical uses for athletes. However, there are certain methods of smoking cannabis that should be avoided by athletes. The actual method of smoking cannabis flower is not the best for an athlete’s lungs, since it involves the combustion and inhalation of plant material. However, there are methods of ingesting cannabis that bypass this health risk.

 

There is a common statement that medical marijuana may cause certain athletes to not perform the best they possibly can. Sure, ingesting cannabis before or during a match may not be the best thing for every athlete. Cannabis affects everyone differently, and it would be common for certain athletes to not perform at their best if they are high.

Yet, there are many athletes out there that would say ingesting cannabis before a game reduces their anxiety and gives them more focus. We need much more research in order to come to any conclusion about cannabis affecting the performance of a professional athlete.

Professional athletes deserve to have the facts about medical marijuana and its benefits. That is why organizations like Athletes for Care are trying to push the NFL and other associations to research the medical uses of cannabis. It is about time that we fully understand the benefits of this remarkable plant and begin providing it to those who need it.

Article by: Justice Council