Medical Marijuana for Sports
Although medical marijuana is legal in over 23 US states, in the world of sport, it remains strictly prohibited. It has caused so many problems over the years in drugs tests that it has resulted in penalization for some athletes. Despite its bad reputation however, scientific studies have found that it could actually be the best option for many athletes.
In 2014, it was announced that NFL commissioners might eventually agree to permit those athletes that have a medical need for the substance to use the drug in states that have already legalized it. This is great news to the sports community, as there are many great benefits to using cannabis. Many of the best athletes could do much better in their sports if they were able to enjoy marijuana without the current consequences.
Manage Pain Safely
It is a well-known fact that marijuana is highly effective at managing chronic and severe pain. The NFL commissioner has accepted these medical marijuana benefits. Many of the NFL players, especially those who have sustained severe injuries in the past suffer from severe pains. Marijuana would be a great way for them to manage their pain. The alternative to using marijuana for pain relief is to choose one of the various prescription opioid pain medications, many of which are very addictive. As well as being addictive, they can have additional unwanted side effects that can take a while to leave the user’s system. This is not a problem with marijuana as its effects don’t last for very long and even when the substance is still in the body, it will not necessarily be having any effect on the user.
It Is Fine for Lungs
There are many people who think that smoking is bad for the lungs, and maybe smoking nicotine is. It has been proven however, in a study in 2012, the largest of its kind, that smoking cannabis has no negative impact on lung health. The study took 20 years to complete and using 20,000 adults who each smoked a joint daily or weekly, they determined that this had no adverse affect on the state of their lungs.
The study actually found that those who had been smoking the cannabis for prolonged lengths of time actually had slightly improved lung function overall. It is believed that the reason for these medical marijuana benefits is due to the way that cannabis is traditionally smoked. Cannabis users take longer and deeper inhalations as they smoke compared with nicotine users who tend to breathe more shallowly. It is thought that this is what improves the lung capacity.
Athletes Can Avoid The Side Effects of Alcohol
By using medical cannabis instead of alcohol to cope with stress, pain or to sleep, athletes can avoid the usual after effects of alcohol. Due to bans on using cannabis, many players do turn to alcohol, which can result in serious damage to the body. Hangovers and liver damage are just two of the effects that alcohol can have. Cannabis use has no such effect on athletes.
Improved Rest and Performance
Because there are so many sports rehabilitation benefits to using medical cannabis, it has been argued that it should stay banned amongst athletes. It’s performance enhancing features are noticeable. The muscle relaxation properties of cannabis can help athletes in extreme sports and players can also benefit from less anxiety and less fear from past experiences. This can help to enhance a player’s performance. It can also help to promote better sleep patterns too, leaving athletes feeling more relaxed before a game.
These sports rehabilitation benefits to using marijuana highlight the importance of the drug, but whether or not it should remain banned due to its performance enhancing properties is the decision of game officials and decision makers.