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Marijuana Can Relieve Pain and Improve Athletic Recovery. So Why Isn’t It Legal in Sports?

A few things happen to the body when you put it through stress, as happens during a sport or workout: there are muscle tears that will only begin to heal after you rehydrate and refuel. Most people use supplements such as whey and regular food to speed up the process, and lately, there has been a new addition: weed. If you are within a state that allows it, you want to try something like the Oreo strain with its calming effects that will allow your body to rest so you can recover since most muscle healing happens while you rest. If you are in a regulated sport, this option may not be available to you because marijuana is yet to be accepted at the level of competitive sport.

How Weed Helps with Recovery

Injury and sports: these go together because most sporting activities are extremely physical, and anyone involved should expect to struggle with some form of injury at one time or the other. Sports people have learned to train and live with pain, but most throw in opioids and other painkillers to help them manage things. These can lead to addiction, hence the need to strike a balance.

As we always say in matters concerning marijuana, little is known since not much has been dedicated to its study. Even though more research would help, what is already known is the anti-inflammatory qualities of weed that get some work done to help muscles recover after extreme activity. Post-workout, most athletes complain of delayed onset muscle syndrome that presents in the form of soreness and pain, and some users say weed makes the pain more bearable as an analgesic. The calming effects are also great for making you relax and sleep soundly to speed up recovery that sore muscles direly need.

The trials that have been going on bring both THC and CBD to the fore, where users use one of either or a combination of both. The main idea of these trials is to see whether weed helps with pain relief in specific areas and what doses work best if it does. Some users have noted that smaller doses of THC work well while larger ones accelerate the pain. This finding is already a good one because THC has psychoactive qualities that lead to a high that most users want to avoid, thanks to the anxiety and hallucinations some people report.

Does weed give users an unfair advantage? Since it is not a steroid, it doesn’t, as it has only been seen to calm the mind, ease pain the same way medically-accepted drugs would, and maybe make the user introspective. These mental benefits will not give the user an unfair edge over a non-user, so it often makes no sense why sporting authorities disallow its use post-match. It lessens anxiety and makes the athlete focus on their sport, especially CBD, known to calm the mind.

Why Marijuana is on the WADA Prohibited List

For any drug to be accepted for public use, it has to pass through the many bureaucratic routes laid out by the FDA, and botanical extracts are frowned upon because there isn’t enough studying in the area. Products on the World Anti-Doping Agency - WADA prohibited list have to meet three qualities:

  • Pose a threat to athletes.
  • Give them an unfair advantage.
  • Violate the spirit of the sport.

The organization says athletes that use marijuana pose a threat to themselves and others due to the tendencies to take risks they may not if they weren’t under the influence, react slower in the field, and have poor execution of functions. As for the team spirit, the Feds and other entities in other parts of the world still regard weed as illicit, so it does not pose a good example to younger ones that may look up to said athletes as role models. The organization also says that reports from the field, interviews, and results from animal studies show that weed may enhance the performance of some players.

The organization delisted cannabidiol in 2019, so athletes in various disciplines can use it in controlled doses. There is still so much work to be done to remove the stigma on the product, and hopefully, more tests in this area will shed some light.

Conclusion

The legalization of medical marijuana in 32 states and adult-use weed in 19 has led to its de-stigmatization to some extent. A lot is still to be done, but the few tests already starting on some athletes may shed more light on its use and effects on the body. When/if the Feds legalize it, we might finally start to see supplements with doses of THC and CBD that active athletes can use without the fear of being stopped for having an illegal substance in their bodies, but until then, they may have to look elsewhere.