Why Cannabis is Famous in Athletes

cannabis athletes

Michael Phelps, Connor McGreggor, Matt Barnes. What do they all have in common besides being exceptional athletes? They all use cannabis. But there are many more sportsmen from all disciplines and all around the world who use cannabis. So if you also like doing sports and smoking mary jane, you don’t have to give up on one of these activities.

Be sure to check out our article on the famous athletes who smoke weed.

Of course, it all depends on what type of strain you choose to smoke, so read all the information provided on sites like lasvegasleaf.com before you do so. But why is cannabis so popular in the world of sport? To answer that question, we need to check a few facts.

Cannabis Benefits for Athletes

It’s normal for athletes to try everything they can when it comes to enhancing their fitness and performance. Things like drinking beetroot juice or ice baths are common in the world of sports and are proven to help athletes in improving their performance, overall fitness, and well being. Can cannabis become a standard part of many athletes’ lives in the future? It depends.

There have to be some benefits coming from cannabis in sports, though. Otherwise, athletes wouldn’t even consider taking it. But what exactly are those benefits? Many studies conducted throughout the years have suggested that cannabis can have many positive effects on athletes. According to them, marijuana can:

  • improve vision and concentration
  • reduce muscle spasms
  • aid in pain relief
  • help forget traumatic events such as injuries
  • increase the amount of oxygen delivered to tissues

More research needs to be conducted on both THC and CBD, but it seems that cannabis can genuinely improve the overall athletic experience.

Athletes! Assemble

Now that you know the scientifically proven benefits of cannabis in sport. Let’s see two examples of professional athletes who use marijuana to improve their performance, and what are their opinions on the topic of cannabis usage in sports.

Our first example is a former NFL player- Eugene Monroe. In March 2016, he became the first active American football player to openly stand for marijuana use to treat injuries and chronic pain. In the same year, he asked the NFL, and it’s commissioner Roger Goodell to stop running tests for cannabis among players. He stated that cannabis is much safer than many prescribed medications that long-term usage was bad for athletes’ health.

The second athlete on our list is the 28-time Olympic winner Michael Phelps. The American swimmer is commonly known for his marijuana use and is one of the best examples of cannabis ability to improve performance. Phelps was even once caught smoking a bong in 2009. Even though it made the headlines then, right now, an incident like that wouldn’t have even made it into the paper probably. Phelps’ example shows that you can forget about the marijuana lowering the capacity of lungs; it might be affecting them quite the opposite.

Of course, there are many more cannabis using athletes, and it’s not a coincidence why this form of natural doping is so prevalent in the world of sports. Marijuana will likely become one of the most popular ways of enhancing performance, and a common aid in injury treatment.

The Ongoing Debate

While cannabis is gaining its popularity among athletes, there are still a lot of questions and law regulations that are slowing the process of cannabis entering the sports world for good. By many athletes, marijuana shouldn’t be considered a performance-enhancing drug, but a natural thing used to help athletes, just like beet juice and cold baths.

Even the scientists are divided when it comes to cannabis not only in sports but in general. Cannabis usage under the age of 25 is often linked with long terms of negative effects like memory loss and learning difficulties.

When it comes to athletes, one negative effect that cannabis causes may be increased heartbeat. It can make athletes achieve their limits much quicker, and therefore decrease the overall performance.

There are also negative effects that cannabis can have on the human body. Some participants of a study on marijuana smokes’ impact have experienced problems like breathlessness or wheezing. Of course, this particular concern appears when it comes to smoking or vaping marijuana.

There’s also the legal problem. As we all know, cannabis is not legal in many states and countries, therefore its usage, even when it’s connected to the sport, is prohibited. Marijuana is also banned by the World Anti-Doping agency when it comes to THC based products. However, in 2018 CBD products were crossed out from the list of prohibited substances.


Cannabis is still a niche when it comes to the number of athletes using it, but the simple fact is that their number is increasing. The debate on the possibility of marijuana becoming one of the natural, and more importantly, legal doping drugs is getting more attention all around the world. Chances are, that when more athletes admit their love for cannabis, the odds of making it legal may increase. So dear athletes, don’t hesitate then, it’s time for coming out.

Hannah Jones
About Hannah Jones 7 Articles
Hannah Jones is a Tulsa-based writer and post-graduate from University of Oklahoma. She's the Editor at Cannabisherald.co & contributing writer to CrystalWind. She’s been writing about Cannabis since 2014. When not writing about cannabis, she enjoys playing Chess and hanging out with her dog Froski.

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