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How marijuana affects your athletic performance

Derek Bennett provides an insight into the effect of marijuana on athletic performance.

Ever wonder why marijuana is a banned substance at most sporting events? Several professional athletes are curious to find out. Does weed affect workouts?

Many users swear by its ability to speed up recovery. Others claim it takes the edge off after intense training. But, what does science say?

Some experts claim that the substance can have a positive impact on users. In certain disciplines, it can even allow users an advantage over competitors. The effects vary depending on the type of cannabis.

Sports tokers typically favor buds that come from sativa marijuana seeds. These options have energizing properties that also boost your mood and improve creativity.

But, do not go lighting up your bong just yet—the research is only anecdotal, and there are certain risks involved. Keen to learn more? Keep reading to explore the links between marijuana and sports performance.

Does marijuana give you a competitive edge?

Several elite athletes claim that they can go longer when they train after using marijuana. They also report that they barely feel tired or in pain when done. For some, the euphoria takes the monotony out of workouts, while others say it helps them focus and get into the 'zone.'

Although research is limited in this field, the available data shows no basis for these claims. If anything, the substance reduces performance levels slightly.

So, if marijuana and sports performance are not a healthy mix, why is it a banned substance?

The goal of sports regulatory agencies is to ensure fair play and safety among all participants. Since there is not enough evidence to support or deny marijuana claims, it is best to err on the side of caution.

Like other psychoactive substances, cannabis affects individuals differently. And, what may be an advantage to one athlete, may be harmful to another.

In sporting events like archery, regulators believe that relaxing stimulants like marijuana can give athletes an unfair boost. In these disciplines, precision is key, and nervousness often affects the outcome.

Participants who can suppress this factor have an advantage

The positive effects of cannabis for athletes?

How does smoking weed affect athletes?

There are different cannabis variants and strains, each affecting the body differently. The compounds behind these effects are mainly cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The former is associated with healing and medicinal use, while the latter is responsible for psychoactive effects.

So, is weed healthy for athletes?

There is no clear-cut answer yet, but reported benefits include:

Anti-inflammatory properties

Cannabis features blends of various chemicals and compounds. Some of these are called terpenes. These are found in many plants, and they are responsible for the colors, aromas, and flavors of fruits and vegetables.

Different marijuana strains have unique terpene combinations, which lead to varied effects.

Users believe that buds with a combination of CBD and certain terpenes have anti-inflammatory properties. During recovery periods, some athletes ingest weed to help with tissue inflammation. Others use a marijuana-based ointment as a topical treatment.

Healing aid

How does weed affect workout performance when used medicinally?

Injuries like sprains, fractures, and broken bones frequently happen in the sporting industry. Athletes sometimes try alternative therapies to facilitate the healing process, including marijuana.

Many medical tokers report that the results are positive. It helps them heal quicker and makes transitioning back into their training routines easier.

These reported benefits extend to soothing muscle pain and tension that professional athletes commonly experience.

Calming qualities

How does smoking weed affect athletes' sleep?

One of the most well-known aspects of marijuana is its relaxing qualities. When taken in moderate doses, the substance relaxes both body and mind, setting the mood for a soothing slumber.

Having a good night's rest is essential for any sportsman, especially when they have exerted their bodies during training. Users claim that marijuana strains with balanced CBD and THC content offer the best results for a peaceful sleep.

Tokers assert that smoking weed affects athletes thanks to these tranquil properties. They claim that it eases anxiety, stress, and depression conditions that inhibit peak performance. And that by using marijuana, they are calmer and have better control over their nerves.

The risks regarding marijuana for athletes

Does weed hurt athletic performance?

There are several risks involved when you mix cannabis and physical activity. If you smoke it, you weaken your lungs. Keeping these organs healthy is essential for physical activity. Issues like cancer also serve as a deterrent to using the substance.

Authorities also state that because marijuana is an intoxicant, it could impair users' motor skills and affect their decision-making. This could be dangerous with certain sports disciplines.

Misuse is another concern. While there may be benefits to consuming moderate doses, overindulgence can have side effects. Depending on the user's sensitivity, it can range from mild discomfort like cottonmouth to more severe symptoms like paranoia and depression.

Smoking victory

If you are wondering, does smoking weed affect athletic performance? The answer is Yes.

There are positive and negative effects on athletes. It can help them unwind and potentially make recovery easier after injuries. But, the substance also comes with a few risks.

The jury is still out on whether or not marijuana and sports performance have a positive link, but what is certain is that user feedback looks optimistic.

Why not grow your cannabis seeds and decide for yourself? Visit the i49 seed store to get started.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • BENNETT, D. (2022) How marijuana affects your athletic performance [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Derek Bennett, a Cannabis Extraction Technician at I49 Seed Bank with more than 5 years experience of successful work in a weed processing field. He’s proficient in hemp products handling and familiar with separating and extracting the chemical compounds within cannabis. In addition, he has expertise in refining separated compounds to improve their overall purity.