Cannabis & Sports

Cannabis has been notoriously taboo in professional sports. Just recently some professional sports leagues have loosened up their regulations on punishing athletes for testing positive for cannabis, others are still calling it a hard no. There are a few things that are inevitable in the sports world, professional, amateur, and leisure included and that is injury. Injuries and wear and tear on athletes' bodies are whens not ifs. Cannabis has been used for relief from common ailments like pain, and inflammation without the need for opioids. So why are sports teams still pushing back?


Cannabis has always been a punishable offense across professional sports leagues, until recently. Some sports have begun to “go green”, slowly but surely the rules against cannabis have started to loosen up, a small step in the right direction. Here is the current regulations in the Big 4:

  • Baseball (MLB): Cannabis was removed from the list of banned substances, and is now treated the same as alcohol 
  • Hockey (NHL): Players are not punished for positive tests, but high THC amounts are treated like any drug or alcohol abuse with treatment. 
  • Football (NFL): A new policy of a smaller testing window and a higher amount of THC to test positive to be suspended is being voted on. 
  • Basketball (NBA): Cannabis still remains on the banned substance list with harsher punishment with every positive test. 


As we discussed in a previous blog on Cannabis & Opioids, cannabis has been used for thousands of years for pain relief, and has been used as an alternative to opioids. Athletes deal with chronic pain, pain from injuries, and pain from wear and tear on the body. Opioids are overused and overprescribed to professional athletes, many who become addicted during their time as an active athlete and carrying on into retirement. Opioids have serious long term effects, and a high rate of overdose, cannabis has neither of these. As the rules loosen on athletes on cannabis, we are hoping to see a shift away from opioid use in athletes to the safer alternative. 


Injury is inevitable in sports. Whether that's small bumps and bruises, sore muscles, to anxiety and head trauma, cannabis could be the solution. Cannabis not only can protect against some of these ailments, but can aid in pain relief, inflammation relief and a speedier recovery from some of these injuries. Some athletes have even reported cannabis to be helpful for “game day jitters”, helping them focus on the game. Cannabis could be your new game day and recovery best friend! 



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