Yesterday was the Super Bowl, one of the most watched sporting events in the entire world. And considering some estimate around 89 percent of NFL players use marijuana, you can bet a lot of the players in yesterday’s game toked up before or after the game. But what benefits could they get from using cannabis?
Here are five reasons pro athletes use marijuana:
1. Pain Relief
The biggest way marijuana helps pro athletes is relieving pain. Every sport requires athletes to push their bodies to the limit, which inevitably leads to wear and tear. Many athletes don’t want to take painkillers to relieve their pain, particularly today where opioids are destroying millions of lives around the country. So marijuana represents a safer alternative to relieving the pain they receive from doing their jobs.
Everyone hates giving a presentation in front of a room of 20 people. Now imagine if you had to give a presentation in front of 50,000 people and then millions more watching on TV. It would be pretty stressful, right? And even pro athletes feel stress and anxiety before performing. Bill Russell, who won 11 NBA championships in his career, says he threw up before every playoff game he ever played. But using marijuana can help reduce stress and anxiety and help people cope better to the pressure.
Some strains of marijuana can help people focus. This is largely due to marijuana’s relaxing effects. If you have a relaxed mind, your brain won’t be jumping around thinking about a million things at once. So your brain will more easily focus on the task ahead.
4. Muscle Spasms
There is evidence that marijuana can help reduce muscle spasms. That’s part of the reason why cannabis is often prescribed to patients with Multiple Sclerosis. And obviously muscle spasms can be a problem for professional athletes as well, so cannabis can help that as well.
5. Runner’s High
You’ve probably heard of a runner’s high, the feeling of happiness or euphoria while working out after an extended amount of time. Well a runner’s high is caused by the release of a cannabinoid in the human body called anandamide. And while anandamide is produced naturally in the body, using cannabis prior to working out can help heighten the effects of it. So you’ll get an even bigger runner’s high if you’re running while high.