How Cannabis is Disrupting the Sports Industry

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

The rising cannabis trend and the expanding legalization across major US states have put cannabis in the spotlight of various industries, including sports. Studies have found that cannabis have a wide-range of therapeutic benefits that can be beneficial for athletes. In fact, some retired athletes admitted their use of CBD products throughout their active days.

Former NBA players like Matt Barnes, Al Harrington and Kenyon Martin and former NFL players like Shaun Smith, Ryan Clady and Bo Scaife came out to admit their use of CBD products in various ways, including easing stress and pain relief.

Major states in the US are legalizing the therapeutic use of cannabis and more sports organizations are easing up their restrictions. So, it’s not surprising that more athletes are turning in to cannabis to improve their performance, pre and post game.

Sports Organizations and Cannabis Restrictions

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Major League Soccer (MLS), Major League Baseball (MLB), and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ban the use of marijuana in their substance abuse policies. National Hockey League (NHL) is the only major professional sports league who doesn’t ban the use of marijuana in its policy.

However, eighty-seven professional US sports teams currently have athletes playing professionally in a state that legalized medical or recreational marijuana. Elite athletes are coming forward to advocate the use cannabis and major sports organizations are feeling the pressure, prompting them to look and study the issue.

Players can’t deny their use of different CBD products during offseason, though. A lot of active players from NBA, NFL, MLB and other major sports league are seen smoking weed and other CBD products during offseason.

Benefits of CBD to Athletes

Researches focused on cannabis are still limited, but it’s showing positive signs towards its effectiveness in easing pain, inflammation and muscle soreness. These conditions are part of athletes’ everyday life as they use their body to perform.

Aside from pain management and muscle recovery, athletes can also use CBD to boost their mental health. Athletes are always feeling the pressure, whether it’s for winning or losing, thus triggering stress, anxiety and depression. These conditions are known as motivational disorders, and research suggests that CBD may help ease the symptoms of these conditions.

CBD can also help with appetite, weight control and boosting immune system. CBD has antioxidant properties that can strengthen immune system and help the body fight stress and infections. 

Elite Athletes Using CBD Products

Because of the rise of CBD in the past several years, thanks to major states in the US legalizing it, CBD products are available in many forms. CBD oils, tincture, creams, cigarettes (click here to check some great hemp cigarettes) and pre-rolls are among the popular products for athletes.

Former professional cyclist and triathlete Andrew Talansky uses CBD oil in easing his hip flexor injury. Talansky was quote saying:

“I took it for a couple of weeks, and there was a noticeable difference immediately. And it wasn’t just that my hip was feeling better. I was less anxious, and I was sleeping better.”

Titans’ linebacker Derrick Morgan becomes second active NFL player to advocate CBD. Hoping to preserve his brain and protect it from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Morgan regularly uses CBD.


The benefits of CBD are not just for athletes, it can be beneficial to everyone too. Ordinary people can also experience physical and mental health issues, which symptoms can be eased with the use of CBD.

If you want to try CBD for the first time, it is better to start slow and slightly increase the dosage until you find the dosing range which is optimal for you.

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