June 29, 2020 5 min read
This story originally appeared on The Fresh Toast According to science, cannabis provides significant benefits to athletes in both performance and recovery. Physically speaking, marijuana can reduce inflammation, alleviate pain symptoms, and improve symptoms caused by traumatic brain injuries. Those who don’t like the psychoactive effect of THC should know CBD acts as an effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory as well.
Other reviews show how cannabis also delivers a mental boost for athletes. Studies have shown training with marijuana increases focus and motivation in the gym. But it can also allow professionals and amateurs alike to reduce anxiety, depression, and tension in competition, as stated in a comprehensive 2011 study, published in the journal Sports Medicine.
“Furthermore, cannabinoids play a major role in the extinction of fear memories by interfering with learned aversive behaviors,” the study’s authors wrote. “Athletes who experienced traumatic events in their sports career could benefit from such an effect.”
This science, in conjunction with damages caused by pharmaceutical opioids and anti-inflammatories, has inspired former sports pros to speak out. Football, basketball, golf, and hockey players are among those who have advocated for professional leagues to allow cannabis as an alternative medicine and eliminate penalties around its use. By focusing on marijuana’s health and wellness attributes, these athletes have disassociated some long-standing stigmas around the cannabis plant, some of which they used to believe.