Cannabis use among athletes is poorly known. It is also more observed via the spectrum of the doping substance, cannabidiol (CBD) has been removed from the list of doping substances early 2018, reasons that push athletes to use it.
The study: Pain, Exercise, and Cannabis Experience (PEACE) attempted to answer these questions by determining the frequencies of use and the subjective effects that adult athletes sought.
Among a cohort of 1274 athletes and 1161 respondents, 302 (26%) had used cannabis in the previous two weeks. 3 types of consumers could be identified:
– Older athletes who primarily use CBDs.
– Athletes of all ages who consume cannabis (THC and CBD) primarily for recreational purposes.
– Athletes of all ages who have been consuming for a long time for medical or recreational reasons.
The three main reasons for use are:
less pain, helps sleep, relaxes and reduces anxiety.
Athletes who use a combination of THC and CBD have shown the best benefits in terms of well-being and calm with minimal side effects.
In general, Cannabis analyzes focus on behaviors related to problematic use .
The current study suggests more than adult athletes are using cannabis responsibly, mainly for medical conditions such as pain and anxiety.
Among the study’s consumers, less than 30% had only recreational use, 10% used cannabis more than twice a day, and 61% reported using cannabis to relieve pain . In addition, these same consumers exercise at a high frequency: about 63% of them exercise 5 to 7 days a week and 71% of them 6 to 15 hours a week.
They also reported a pain rate of 61%. People with chronic pain tend to show lower levels of physical activity than healthy people, although there is evidence to support the use of physical activity as a treatment to improve health overall and the symptoms of pain. Early studies suggested that older cannabis users practice more physical activity.
More and more scientific studies suggest that cannabis is an effective painkiller. Professional athletes, who are more exposed to injuries and pain, are heavy users of painkillers and are in fact more exposed to the opioid addiction that ravages the United States (more than 70 000 overdose deaths) in 2017).
Cannabis could replace these controversial drugs.