Athletes who push themselves to the limit face the prospect of injury, medical treatment, and athletic recovery. When our bodies are in recovery mode after tissue damage, the resulting pain, stiffness, and discomfort are normal.
Current pain-management medical protocols advocate using opioid-based painkillers, such as tramadol, codeine, and oxycodone. However, many suffering from pain are turning to medical marijuana as more and more reports surface of opioid addiction and how pain-relieving effects of opioids dwindle over time as the body builds tolerance.
Let’s take a quick look at the social controversy surrounding marijuana use in athletes, how medical marijuana can aid athletic recovery, and current research into marijuana and athletic recovery.
Medical Marijuana Use in Athletics
Mirroring the nationwide increase in the acceptance of medical marijuana, its use among athletes in injury recovery is growing.
CBD use for athletes became legal at the start of 2018 when the World Anti-Doping Agency removed it from the list of prohibited substances. Many athletic organizations followed suit.
Cannabis Laws in Florida
Recreational marijuana use is still illegal in Florida, but medical marijuana sales to those possessing a state-issued cannabis card have been legal since March 2019. Chronic pain is one of the conditions recognized as valid for athletes suffering from it.
To get a Florida medical cannabis card, visit one of the many physicians who have completed the state’s marijuana education requirements. After determining your eligibility, the physician will send your information to the Florida Department of Health, which will place you in the Medical Marijuana Use (MMU) registry. Then you’ll be able to apply for a card.
Apply for a Florida medical cannabis card here.
The Stigma of Marijuana
Marijuana and athletes haven’t mixed well in the hyper-clean world of peak athletic performance. Society, professional athletic organizations, and fellow athletes demand that athletes be drug-free. Drug-free athletes ensure a level playing field and fair competition.
But prescription drugs are a widely-accepted medical treatment for athletic injury recovery. And physicians and lawmakers increasingly recognize that the benefits of medical marijuana are well proven. Thirty-seven states and four out of five territories in the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana.
There are several known issues with marijuana use. However, medical marijuana avoids most of these by containing CBD (cannabidiol) as the active ingredient instead of the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that gets you high. The hemp plants producers derive CBD from usually have extremely low levels of psychoactive THC.
You can reduce the issues further by choosing to ingest CBD through means other than smoking. CBD producers create hundreds of different edibles, oils, and gels, giving you many alternatives to smoking.
Although a petition to legalize recreational marijuana use in Florida failed to garner enough signatures for officials to put it on the ballot in 2022, lawmakers did pass Bill 679, containing needed amendments to medical marijuana regulations.
Of most importance to users is a provision to extend medical marijuana card validity to two years instead of the previous one-year limitation.
Cannabis producers are no longer allowed to have an interest in marijuana testing labs, which will help ensure impartial test results.
How Medical Cannabis Can Help With Athletic Recovery
Many athletes report that medical marijuana has anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it worthwhile for athletic recovery from the mental and physical stress of sports-related injuries. Because the exact physiological process is poorly understood, more research is needed.
Claims About Enhanced Recovery
Unlike other anti-inflammatory agents, CBD calms and soothes the stomach’s lining as it relaxes tissue and speeds recovery from intense workouts and injuries.
The National Football League’s (NFL) Draft Bible states: “…pain management is usually the first concern in many cases. CBD can be used for the typical football injuries such as sprains, strains, Rotator cuff injuries, Achilles’ tendon injuries, Runner’s knee and other injuries.
The anti-inflammatory properties within this natural substance assist in getting rid of swelling and stiffness in muscles. By bringing down pain and inflammation, athletes will be able to recover faster and feel better overall.”
The Science Behind Using Medical Marijuana for Athletic Recovery
Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) affects many critical body functions, including sleep, emotional processing, pain control, inflammation, eating, and immune response.
The ECS is composed of neuromodulatory lipids and CB1 and CB2 receptors. Psychoactive THC binds to CB1 receptors in your brain, causing you to get high. CBD binds to CB2 receptors in your blood and blood-producing organs, triggering healing and pain relief.
Your body naturally produces endocannabinoids in response to injury and stress. They attach themselves to CB2 receptors throughout your body. CBD supplements the endocannabinoids your body makes with phytocannabinoids produced by the hemp plant.
With more cannabinoids in your system, more CB2 receptors are triggered. All the critical functions of your endocannabinoid system are enhanced. You may sleep better, feel less depressed, and experience less pain.
Marijuana and Athletic Recovery Research
Because the therapeutic benefits of CBD have not been adequately researched, in February of 2022, the NFL commissioned a study by the University of California San Diego’s Center for Pain Medicine.
Research is also ongoing at many other institutions that will build a body of evidence to help support athletes’ many anecdotal reports on the efficacy of CBD.
Cannabis Products Helping Athletic Recovery
VidaCann has created a medical marijuana product to suit nearly any situation or preference. You can shop top-quality VidaCann products by category or the feeling you want the product to induce.
If you choose to consume cannabis products for athletic recovery, it may help to know that vapes are the fastest acting, the effects of edibles last longest, and concentrates are the most potent.
Here are all the categories you can pick products from:
For athletic recovery and to help overcome negative emotions about the injury, CBD may help to induce the feelings of being pain-free, relaxed, sleepy, or even blissful.
Here is the complete list of feelings VidaCann products are designed to induce:
- Freedom from pain
No matter how you shop for medical marijuana to aid your athletic recovery, you’ll find an effective solution at VidaCann.