How Cannabis Can Enhance Athletic Performance

It can reduce anxiety, promote healing, and relax the body and mind. Here are some other ways athletes use cannabis to enhance performance.
How Cannabis Can Enhance Athletic Performance
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This story originally appeared on The Fresh Toast

Anna Symonds, Education and Partnership Manager for East Fork Cultivars, has been a  rugby player for 18 years and attributes a lot of her longevity as a professional athlete to cannabis. 

While she experimented with cannabis as a teenager, she discontinued this practice when she got more serious about sports. After she smoked with some teammates after a game, she experienced immediate healing and muscle relaxation. “I started to have this mental shift of seeing cannabis as medicine.” About five years ago after she got a back injury, cannabis proved to be the only thing that would provide her with pain relief and muscle relaxation, while increasing her functionality without the side effects from other medications.

Some time ago, Symonds observed how she would play better if she smoked the night before. “In addition, it  helped with the anxiety that comes before a competition, as well as relaxing the mind and body.” Also, the munchies enabled her to take in enough good calories so she could power up for the next day.

By microdosing before practice with a 1:1 full spectrum chocolate edible containing 1 mg THC, Symonds found the sweet spot where her pain would reduce and her mind would get into flow state where she was fully present and performing fully optimally.

RELATED: Study Finds People Who Use Cannabis Get More Exercise

Choosing Cannabis over OxyContin 

Nathan Quarry, a Former UFC contender and ZombieCageFighter, grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness, where he was indoctrinated into the Refer Madness way of thinking about marijuana as a drug. “From day one, I was told that if I smoked marijuana, I would be excommunicated from the church and God would kill me at Armageddon.”

In his twenties, he began questioning his faith and trained to become a UFC fighter. For twelve years, he took the abuses he suffered as a child and took it out on his opponent. As his injuries mounted, his OxyContin use increased to 120 mg daily. 

Then after taking cannabis on the recommendation of a friend, he slept solidly for eight hours and he felt incredible. He’s now complexly off OxyContin. “I start my day with CBD and it really helps to get everything moving.”

RELATED: Is Cannabis The Next Recovery Revolution For Pro Athletes?

Cannabis as an Aid for Performance and Recovery 

While Antonio DeRose, COO, Green House Healthy, has used cannabis recreationally for over 15 years, he didn’t begin using this plant to help with his performance and recovery as a trail runner until about 5 to 6 years ago. He describes himself as a “wake and bake” person. “When I wake up in the morning, I use cannabis to recharge my endocannabinoid system. Then I do some sort of physical activity.” 

DeRose prefers a high dose edible followed by some flower before he runs. “Cannabis is a bronchodilator, so it allows me to absorb more oxygen with each breath.” He finds cannabis aids in recovery by calming down his nervous system and reducing inflammation. Topicals work well for isolated areas where he has specific pain. Also, he uses hemp as a nutritional supplement, noting that as the body regenerates bones every ten years, technically he’s made of hemp.

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