Cannabis is a great plant that offers a variety of health benefits. Even athletes and other people involved in sports activities can benefit from it, particularly when injuries happen. This article will tackle the connection between sports injuries and cannabis.
What Is Cannabis?
Cannabis collectively refers to a group of flowering plants of the Cannabaceae family. Cannabis plants are known for their psychoactive properties, particularly the Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. The said psychoactive properties and other health effects of cannabis are mainly attributed to the naturally occurring chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoids are the cannabidiol (CBD) and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both have the same chemical structure but have different psychoactive effects. THC has euphoric properties and is responsible for the high feeling of cannabis user experiences when consuming cannabis. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that gives users a relaxing feeling and treatment for several conditions.
In Canada, ever since it was legalized for medical and recreational purposes, hundreds of strains derived from cannabis plants have been available for purchase. Each strain has different medical benefits it can offer.
Medical Benefits Of Cannabis
Cannabis is not all about the high. As mentioned, depending on the cannabinoid present on a strain, it offers different effects. The most notable benefits of consuming cannabis include easing and alleviating symptoms of an underlying disease. Other conditions may also include those experienced in therapeutic circumstances.
These medical benefits include:
- Sleep Disorders
- Poor Appetite
There are more health conditions that cannabis can help with. Please note that first on this list is pain, which is common when one has an injury. The use of cannabis for pain relief can be one thing that provides a link between sports injuries and cannabis.
Types Of Medical Marijuana
As mentioned, the most well-known cannabis plants are Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.
Cannabis Sativa strains and products have lower CBD and higher THC content. That is why Sativa strains are known for euphoric effects and head-focused high. Some of the significant health effects of Sativa strains include:
- Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety
- Pain reliever
- Increased focus and creativity
- Uplifted mood
- Increased appetite
Some of the most popular Sativa strains include Ghost Train Haze, Sour Diesel, and Jack Herer.
Cannabis Indica strains and products have higher CBD and lower THC content. It gives users a body-centric effect, which is why it is preferred for medical use. Some of the significant health effects of Indica strains include:
- Mental relaxation
- Muscle relaxation
- Pain reliever
- Increased appetite
- Decreases nausea
Some of the most popular Indica Strains include Purple Kush, Hindu Kush, and Northern Lights.
Sports Injuries And Cannabis: Can Be Fused In Sports?
There is still an ongoing debate on whether cannabis can be fused into sports or not. Even if cannabis offers, most sports organizations still prohibit the use of cannabis, and athletes who are caught through drug tests must undergo rehabilitation and are not permitted to play for some time.
It does not matter whether a person plays for a professional level or a hobby. There is truth to sports activities acquiring injuries. The most common injuries that athletes, both professionals, and amateurs are prone to experience include concussions, sprains, muscle-related injuries, fractures, and other bone-related injuries.
Research for finding new treatment methods to treat injuries effectively and allow fast recovery is always underway. And some are about the relationship between sports injuries and cannabis. However, professional sports leagues have a code that lists prohibited substances in sports.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is responsible for “The Code” in which sports organizations adhere to drugs in sports. They have delegates in every country, which makes sure that the code is followed. For Canada, it is the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, while for its neighboring country USA, it is the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Even if there is a code present, which bans the use of cannabis in sports, there is still hope. With Canada and other parts of the world legalizing the medical and recreational use of cannabis, the fusing of cannabis into sports may be within reach. It is not just a dream. Sports organizations, particularly in the Canadian and North American professional sports league, are negotiating and advocating for the athletes’ anti-doping policies.
Athletic Injuries And Pain Relief Using Cannabinoids
The road of cannabis being fused to sports may still be a long one, but as mentioned, some sports leagues are advocating for its legalization. One of these is the National Football League (NFL). They have shown interest in studying marijuana. Their player’s labor union, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), researched cannabis and its potential use for pain management treatment.
At first, the NFL had difficulties in relaxing their policies with cannabis use. But recently, this year 2020, they had made a huge step in their cannabis advocacy by relinquishing suspensions on players who tested positive for marijuana. The legalization of cannabis in some parts of the US may be one of the factors that gave the NFL a push for this policy renewal.
As mentioned, the NFLPA has been researching the use of cannabis for pain management treatment. This NFLPA is one reason why sports injuries and cannabis can go hand in hand and be a new face for sports medicine. One of the key people that supports this is the former NFL player Ricky Williams.
Williams and other former NFL players have been praising cannabis for the health benefits it gave them. It’s mainly focused on treating the chronic pain they are suffering due to the injuries they sustained when they are still playing. According to them, cannabis helped them improve their well-being in so many ways.
The current medications given to athletes who have been suffering from long-lasting pain have been ineffective for some and have side-effects. That is why the use of cannabis as an alternative medicine for pain relief has been advocated not only by former NFL players, but also other professional athletes in different sports such as mixed-martial arts fighters, hockey players, Olympic athletes, and others.
Does Cannabis Help Heal Wounds And Injuries Faster?
There have been records that cannabis had been used by ancient people in treating wounds, scrapes, and cuts. Cannabis has been known since then that it can help with alleviating pain, swelling, and bleeding. Today, modern studies suggest that cannabis has a resilient anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Furthermore, it was noted that the endocannabinoid system is fundamentally involved in the wound-healing process and plays a vital role in scar tissue formation.
One of the cannabis products that can help with wounds and injuries is the hemp seed oil, a full-spectrum oil extracted from a Cannabis Sativa plant. Studies showed that it could heal mucosal skin wounds obtained from surgery. Furthermore, cuts, lacerations, burns, and other related injuries may be safely treated with hemp seed oil.
Green Serenity is composed of a group of cannabis enthusiasts and advocates who firmly believe that everyone should have responsible access to enjoy cannabis’ medical and recreational benefits. A few who could truly benefit are the athletes and other people involved in sports activities. Sports injuries and cannabis can go well together, making it beneficial for the said group of people.
We also believe that people should be educated about this fantastic plant. There are more health benefits that cannabis has to offer. We are advocating that the cannabis industry should not be controlled and monopolized. People should be educated about the medical and recreational benefits of cannabis and have access to it. Be one of Us! Join the Cannabis Revolution!
Indica vs Sativa: Understanding the Differences Between the Two Cannabis Plants