Cannabis and sports don’t seem to many people as two words that should be used in the same sentence. Yet, there’s reason to look at why for some people it’s self-evident. As such, in this new Suzy’s Cannabis World Blog we’re going to take a closer look at why cannabis and sports do go well together.
NBA and NFL loosening up drug testing for cannabis
There’s been plenty of basketball players that have been drug tested positive for cannabis, whether it be for recreational use or medical use. Their luck is finally changing however. Most recently it was announced the NBA would no longer be drug testing for cannabis in the 2020-2021 professional basketball season.
The other big American sports league NFL also announced last year they’d be testing less and they’ve raised the amount of THC that is allowed in a test with 35 nanograms to 150. Meanwhile at least 9 (ex-)professional football players have already joined the cannabis industry.
This is all happening about 20 years after French goalkeeper Bernard Lama was banned for two months following a positive drug test for cannabis. And he’s surely not been the only one. In December 2020 it was announced that Mario Götze, former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich player now playing at PSV Eindhoven, has invested in a CBD company. How the times change!
Cannabis most common in extreme sports
While you could argue the NFL and the NBA are in their ways extreme sports too, cannabis is most linked with extreme sports like snowboarding, skiing, surfing and skating. It fits the lifestyle and these sports also regularly face injuries which can be mended with cannabis.
Cannabis companies are more than eager to sponsor these athletes too. In 2019 skier and 7 times golden medal winner on Xgames Tanner Hall became the first professional extreme sports athlete sponsored by a cannabis brand. In fact, nowadays he even owns his own cannabis brand.
If you’ve ever tried cannabis on high altitude, you will know you won’t need as much cannabis too as you normally would down below the mountain. But the effect is quite pleasant, although we recommend trying for experienced cannabis users that like to ski or snowboard. There are actually cannabis-friendly resorts already in the United States.
And when you’re not skating, it’s nice to watch other people while you’re enjoying a smoke, is it not?
Boxing and MMA fighters
Again for the same reasons as extreme sports athletes, NFL and NBA athletes, also boxers and MMA fighters have shown appreciation for cannabis. Nick Diaz went as far as to create a CBD brand with his brother: Game Up Nutrition.
Meanwhile living legend Mike Tyson created his own brand too: Tyson Ranch. And as far as him using cannabis? On his regular podcast Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson he can be seen using cannabis in pretty much every episode.
Mixing it in your gym routine
Even if you might not be doing any of the sports mentioned above, other than watching them of course, you do might be hitting the gym. In fact, one of the most famous weightlifters used to be a cannabis consumer: Arnold Swarzenegger. We don’t know if the old governor of California is still using cannabis, he did openly admit to using cannabis when building up his muscles. He said that he would take a puff and start weightlifting, during which he’d ‘forget’ what he was doing and continued on for longer than he otherwise would.
This is also very useful when you’re running. The high you get from cannabis and the runner’s high is linked, a study found.
“A class of chemicals your body produces, endocannabinoids, is related to cannabis, the active ingredient in marijuana,” writes Dr. Jeff Brown in his book, The Runner’s Brain. “Scientists believe the endocannabinoid anandamide has an especially potent ability to lift mood, dull pain, and dilate the blood vessels and bronchial tubes in the lungs. When your brain and body cells release enough of these happiness molecules, you get the rush of good feelings that lead to the runner’s high.”
There’s going to be inflammation and chronic pain, especially if you’re doing something wrong or building up your muscles. So while it helps to get started, cannabis can also help afterwards.
Cannabis helps with chronic pain, stress and anxiety
As such there’s plenty of reasons why a healthy lifestyle with sports can be combined with cannabis use. And many athletes have already gone before you. Physically for chronic pain, which sadly goes with many of these sports, for a more speedy recovery after intense sports, but also mentally to aid with stress and anxiety.
A study published in 2011 concluded that from what we understand now about the endogenous cannabinoid system, is how it demonstrates an important role in many critical functions that could positively affect sports performance. “This fact, together with the detrimental health effects of cannabis and its violation of the spirit of sport, supports the prohibition of cannabis and its analogues.”
While in 2015, a study found preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrating CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD.