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Survey Finds Athletes Report Using Cannabis Products To Promote Exercise Recovery

weight room gym lifting exercise athletics athlete

For many years athletes were discouraged from consuming cannabis at all costs. They were often told by their coaches and trainers that cannabis was bad for them, that it was a ‘gateway drug,’ and that it would ruin their athletic aspirations.

These days many athletes openly admit to being cannabis consumers, including elite athletes in professional sports leagues. Those athletes, as well as amateur athletes who consume cannabis, are proving that cannabis can absolutely be a part of an active lifestyle.

A recent study was conducted in the United States that surveyed athletes to gain insight into their cannabis consumption habits. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Kent, OH: Those who engage in regular exercise frequently report consuming cannabis products to assist in recovering from physical activity, according to data published in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

Researchers affiliated with Kent State University in Ohio surveyed over 100 subjects who reported using cannabis and regularly engaging in aerobic and/or resistance exercise.

Investigators summarized their findings as follows: “Twenty-two participants (20 percent) reported using CBD for recovery from aerobic exercise and 25 participants (23 percent) reported CBD use to recover from resistance exercise. Sixty-eight participants (61 percent) reported using THC after aerobic exercise for recovery. Similarly, 67 participants (60 percent) reported using THC after resistance exercise for recovery. When participants were asked, ‘Do you feel that cannabis in the form of CBD aids in your recovery?’ 93 percent stated ‘yes’ while seven percent stated, ‘I’m not sure.’ When asked, ‘Do you feel that THC aids in your recovery?’, 87 percent of participants stated, ‘yes’ while 13 percent stated, ‘I’m not sure’. No participant answered, ‘no’, for either of these questions. All of the participants felt that use of cannabis was low risk regarding health outcomes.”

The authors concluded: “The present study demonstrated that in addition to more traditional recovery methods, cannabis is used as an ergogenic recovery aid by individuals that exercise regularly. … More data are necessary to understand the role of cannabis in exercise recovery as well as perceived ergogenic benefits of cannabis by individuals who both regularly participate in exercise and habitually use cannabis.”

Another study published in the same journal earlier this year reported that the twice-daily use of topical CBD alleviates chronic pain in former elite-level (professional) athletes.

Several other studies have found that cannabis use is associated with increased exercise frequency, including among older adults. Yet another study, published in July, found that subjects reported “a more positive exercise experience” when they ran immediately after having used cannabis compared to when they did not.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use for exercise recovery in trained individuals: A survey study,” appears in the Journal of Cannabis Research.