Attitudes on cannabis have taken a radical shift in recent years, with everyday people overwhelmingly supporting legalization, and even consuming marijuana themselves. Now, more and more professional athletes are speaking out about how the plant is helping them manage pain, focus on movement, recover from workouts, and take their performance to new highs.
Cannabis > Opioids: A Better Way To Manage Pain?
When former Denver Broncos wide receiver Rick Upchurch was trying to manage the pain he experienced during his nearly decade-long NFL career, he turned to cannabis. “I kept telling our trainers and our doctors that I wasn’t going to take any of the opiates … they made me sick. After a game I did my marijuana. I could sleep, I could eat, I was focused, I got my rest.”
Now he — and other former sports greats — are using their platform to help players across the professional sports world.
In an industry where injuries and the often addictive medications that treat them are common, “Maybe we can prevent all that — if we gave [players] a sustainable way to manage pain, sleep and anxiety in the first place,” says ex-NHL player Riley Cote.
Learn more on Upchurch, Cote, and the fight for alternative treatment for professional athletes.
“I Never Had Something Where I Could Be Coherent and Still Have Pain Relief”
An opioid dependency can be formed in mere weeks. It’s a fact NFL football player Mike James knows all too well. The running back is blazing a trail in the professional sports world as an advocate for medical marijuana. Weed helped James manage an on-field injury AND kick the prescription opioid dependency — the result of doctors prescribing pills to manage the injury in the first place.
As the first NFL player to file for a therapeutic use exemption specifically for cannabis and be denied, he now faces a long battle with the league — one he’s determined to win.
Read more on James’ fight for his health — and his career.
Is It Time To Call A Foul On The NBA’s Cannabis Ban?
Is it time for professional sports leagues like the NBA to call off the ban on marijuana? Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr seems to think so.
Kerr, despite admitting that pot just isn’t his thing, says there’s “no question” that weed is better for your body than opioids like Vicodin. “And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C,” he says, “like it’s no big deal.”
Hear more insider opinion on why the NBA should drop the cannabis ban.
“It Wasn’t a War on Drugs. It Was a War on Certain People Who Used Drugs”
Enforcing marijuana laws costs $3.6 billion a year in the US— and it hasn’t stopped people from using marijuana or made it more difficult to buy. So what’s the point? Retired NBA player Al Harrington can tell you: There isn’t one.
Read Harrington’s 9 compelling reasons to end the war on cannabis — starting with the story of his grandma’s first time trying the plant.
Hitting That Runner’s High — and Using It to Win Ultramarathons
When you think of “performance-enhancing drugs” cannabis probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your head.
It should be.
Marijuana is what powers ultrarunner Avery Collins, an elite athlete who regularly covers 140 miles in a week. So what do CBD and THC do for him (like, other than make him a winner in competitions with names like ‘The Georgia Death Race’)? “The benefit of being high is you’re more in tune with your body. It keeps you more alert and aware,” says Collins.
Learn what it feels like to fuel up for a run with a bowl of cannabis instead of Wheaties.