Can cannabis aid athletic training? See what these Athletes have to say.
Many professional sports players are coming out in favor of cannabis. Its benefits and increasing legality across the country is giving courage to those who support its effects and healing properties.
Cannabis has become a big part of the running community. Its distractive properties help runners like Andrew focus on the experience, not the journey ahead. In an interview with the Greatest Andrew said “If I don’t smoke before a run, I’m constantly thinking about the miles and how much further I have to go, rather than just enjoying the experience.” Avery Collins, a major name in the running community, completed 30 ultramarathons in the last three years and has no problem discussing his cannabis use. “It was amazing,” Collins said in an interview with The Guardian. “It helps me stay in the moment and embrace what’s going on right then and there.”
Many runners seem to enjoy different types of consuming marijuana. Vaping and edibles seem to be the most popular. Instead of inhaling harmful carcinogens that could hurt their much needed lung capacity, runners instead consume cannabis in a more homeopathic way.
Probably the most publicly known advocates for cannabis are football players. Many are coming out in support of marijuana, saying that it truly works. Cannabis is known for its pain relieving properties and in large quantities, high percentages of CBD can help alleviate pain in the muscles and joints, something professional football players know all too well.
Leonard Marshall, former defensive linemen for the New York Giants, said “We need to publicly embrace [marijuana]” in an interview with MarketWatch. Marshall was diagnosed with CTE, a common brain disease among retired players. It’s symptoms include headaches, memory loss, depression, tremors and more. His condition helped him to see that marijuana was a one-size-fits-all solution. Marshall was also a keynote speaker at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition in which he strongly advocated for the recognition of marijuana by the NFL.
Other football players outwardly speaking about the benefits of cannabis include Raven’s lineman Eugene Monroe, former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, retired defensive end Marvin Washington and many more.
Another sport closely in line with the NFL in regards to cannabis is the NBA. Much like the NFL, players in the NBA use marijuana as a pain reliever, the only natural supplement than can relieve knee, ankle and hip pain associated with years of professional basketball. The NBA surprisingly doesn’t test for marijuana use. It’s mainly because statistics show 80% of NBA players consume cannabis.
Of these cannabis imbibers, Steve Nash, LA Lakers, has been spotted repeatedly wearing marijuana paraphernalia after games and has been known to light up. When asked if he smokes, his reply was “I’m from Vancouver, bro.”
Jay Williams is also a fan of cannabis and for the right reasons. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Williams said “I’m not condoning for anyone under 18 to use cannabis or marijuana, but from a medical perspective, it’s about time some of these brands like the NBA and MLB become a little bit more progressive and start thinking forward instead of being held captive in the past.”
Many professional skiers and snowboarders like to use cannabis for its relaxing effect. By calming the nerves, marijuana helps riders let loose and focus more on the course than their own anxiety.
Tanner Hall, a talented freestyle skier who has brought home seven gold medals from the X Games, signed a deal with Black Rock, a cannabis-accessory company. In a New Yorker interview, he says the proof of his success lies in marijuana. “I used [chron] when I competed at the X Games,” he said. “It helps with the stress, with the anxiety. And then, afterwards, as a relaxing agent and pain reliever. When your body is all tensed up, if you’ve got a pinched nerve or something, chron helps with that. I wouldn’t think about not using when I ski, because I don’t really know anything else. I’ve used it on a daily basis for about half my life, since I was maybe eighteen or nineteen. I prefer joints, but I also like edibles and vaporizers.”
SnowBomb, a supporter of annual ski and snowboard festivals across the country, recently confronted cannabis legalization and pushed for cannabis recognition within ski resorts. Founder Jim McAlpine said “I’m trying to force resorts to look at cannabis as something that they have to officially address. You can’t pretend it’s not there. The time for that has to end with legalization.”
From the stands, baseball is America’s favorite pastime, a family-friendly game that has long been the backbone of American sports culture. But, just like the NBA and NFL, the MLB also has advocates for marijuana, so much so that they have stopped marijuana testing due to many players who consume cannabis on a regular basis.
Former Florida Marlins reliever Ryan Tucker is a major cannabis advocate. During his time in the MLB, he stayed away from cannabis, resorting to alcohol and pills to numb the excessive pain many professional baseball players endure. He’s now starting a cannabis business in California and striving toward helping people relieve pain through cannabis.
Other baseball advocates include former pitcher David Wells, Dirk Hayhurst and other anonymous MLB players.