We’ve already covered the increasing awareness of the athletes themselves of the health benefits of cannabis. We’ve also looked at how (former) professional athletes are seeking to enter the cannabis industry. And we’ve referenced the “training and recovery” benefits of cannabis.
A new article, written by someone who has worked with over 100 world and national champions details 7 ways in which cannabis helps to improve athletic performance because of both the medicinal and health-promoting properties of cannabis.
1) Reducing pain
There is now overwhelming empirical evidence of the medicinal value of cannabis in reducing pain. Medical science now believes cannabis directly impacts pain as an analgesic. It also reduces pain in indirect ways due to the additional medicinal properties of cannabis (discussed later).
Obviously, pain reduction improves recovery with respect to the acute aches and pains that come from participating in sports (especially contact sports). It also deals with chronic pain issues, allowing athletes to perform to their full potential.
2) Sleep aid
As an insomnia epidemic sweeps through our society, medical science has increased our awareness of the importance of sleep to rejuvenate us, through both enhanced healing and better recovery from the previous days activities. We also know how “a good night’s sleep” makes us generally more proficient.
Cannabis has been long been known as both a powerful and benign sleep aid. This translates into better performance not only for athletes, but in both our career and academic pursuits.
3) Appetite stimulant
Colloquially, cannabis consumption has long been associated with ‘the munchies’. But there is serious side to this. The human body naturally produces cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the cannabis plant. Mother’s breast milk contains cannabinoids that are passed to infants, to stimulate their appetite.
Obviously, taking in sufficient nutrition is not only vital for athletes, but for all of us. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that cannabis also boosts our metabolism, making it easier to maintain or even lose weight. Eat better, weigh less. Again, this is something that can benefit everyone, not only athletes.
4) Swelling and inflammation
Inflammation in various parts of our body can arise from acute causes (i.e. over-exertion) or from chronic health issues. Empirical evidence is showing that cannabis can reduce inflammation in various ways/context.
Athletes frequently suffer from inflammation due to both acute and chronic causes. So do people in the general population. Because of this, cannabis is playing an increasing role in both the prevention and treatment of inflammatory issues.
5) Healing tendons and bones
There is now medical evidence that cannabis (and CBD in particular) can speed the healing from bone fractures. Meanwhile, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis improve the recovery and promote the health of the body’s tendons.
Once again, this helps athletes in terms of recovering from injuries as well as the general recovery process after performances and/or workouts. Once again, the general population has similar needs in both the healing of injuries and general health promotion.
6) Neurological support
One of the many absurd myths about cannabis is that it causes neurological damage, even brain impairment. The truth is, as usual, opposite to the anti-cannabis fiction.
Cannabis (and its cannabinoids) is now seen to be strongly supportive of our neurological system. For this reason, cannabis is being used medicinally to treat numerous medical conditions with neurological components, from Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis. It also generally promotes neurological health, which is important for athletes (and all of us).
7) Recovery time
All of the ways in which cannabis boosts human recovery have been previously detailed. What this all adds up to is much faster recovery. The speed at which we recover from injuries (or illness) or from our general day-to-day exertions is a vital factor in not only (athletic) performance, but also our general well-being.
Cannabis and cannabis products make athletes (and all of us) feel better due to both the therapeutic and health-promoting properties of this amazing plant. Again, this translates into improved performance, both in the realm of athletics and in all other human pursuits.
As politicians reluctantly legalize cannabis, we continually hear that in doing so they do not want to “promote cannabis use”. Why not? Why don’t the politicians want people to be healthier?
We could ask Bill Blair, the Minister in charge of cannabis legalization in Canada.
“It's not the government's intention to promote the use of this drug but rather to make it legally available in a well-regulated manner to reduce the social and health harms often associated with cannabis use.” [emphasis mine]
We see the answer. Complete ignorance.
In the real world, cannabis is good for us. But in the fantasy world in which most politicians still dwell, we need to be “protected” from the imaginary "harms" of cannabis.
For investors, this explains delays in the growth of the cannabis industry. Political intransigence, derived from complete ignorance about cannabis and simply sheer stupidity: the choice of politicians to remain ignorant about cannabis.
As the truth about cannabis spreads – and universal legalization follows – the long-term growth of the cannabis industry will dwarf all current projections.