There’s been a lot in the news lately about celebrities treating various ailments with cannabis. Pro athletes, especially, have been vocal as of late regarding weed as medicine. While this is nothing new, we’re hearing more about it now than ever before as cannabis continually gains mainstream acceptance. But what is behind this, how exactly does weed help athletes with pain management?
Much of it has to do with relaxing the body without the harsh side effects and addictive qualities of traditional prescription pain relief pills. Many athletes also report a reduction in inflammation in their joints, particularly in high-impact areas such as the knees. Athletes now go so far as to seek authorization for legal cannabis usage in medical only states.
Brittany Griner, who is currently being detained in Russia, testified during her trial that she uses cannabis for a variety of medical reasons, including extreme pain from a broken ankle that confined her to a wheelchair for several months. She also stated that prescription painkillers had debilitating side effects that don’t exist in taking medical cannabis.
Additionally, athletes also report better sleep after having used cannabis, and better pain tolerance, if not outright relief from symptoms.
Even though these reports are still widely considered anecdotal, the reports are starting to get taken more seriously. The NFL recently announced they are funding a clinical trial that will assess the therapeutic effectiveness of THC and CBD. The trial will also compare the results with that of a placebo.
Once we begin to see the results from these high-profile trials, backed up by hard data, we will see cannabis taken that much more seriously in terms of treating pain. Not only will we see this for professional athletes, but also for the public at large.