Cannabis Use And The Active Athlete
Cannabis has been used in the treatment of pain dating back to 2900 BC, so it may not come as a surprise that with the recent common-sense wave of legalization, many modern athletes turn to Cannabis for that reason and others.
According to a survey published in PLoS ONE (June 28, 2019), “Cannabis Use in Active Athletes: Behaviors Related to Subjective Effects,” athletes who ingested both THC and CBD long-term
reported the most benefits from cannabis, including reductions in pain, anxiety and improved sleep.
Of the 1,161 triathletes, runners, cyclists, and swimmers who took the Athlete Pain, Exercise,
and Cannabis Experience (PEACE) Survey, nearly half reported acute or chronic pain and 26 percent reported regular Cannabis use. These were split into three groups: 1) Medical CBD
- Athletes over 40 who only used medical CBD; 2) Mixed Users – athletes of various ages engaging in mixed-use of THC and CBD; and 3) Long-duration COMBO - Athletes of
mixed-age using cannabis long-term with THC and CBD co-use. It was this “Long-duration Combo” cohort that experienced the greatest benefits.
Lest you succumb to a mental picture of the slacker stereotype, consider that 73 percent worked out 5-7 days per week with 89.5 percent reporting six or more hours per week of exercise.
“The results … suggest that athletes are using cannabis successfully to improve pain and well-being in a manner that is not negatively impacting their athletic performance. Cannabis may have a role in the daily health regimen for active athletes suffering from pain, anxiety, and insomnia,” said Joanna Zeiger, CEO of Colorado-based Canna Research Group.