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Ayres: Cannabis and athletes often a winning combination beyond the field

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By Colby Ayres | Point of View

Joe Montana. Mike Tyson. Al Harrington. Calvin Johnson. Jake Plummer. Allen Iverson. J.R. Smith. Randy Moss. What do all these former professional athletes have in common? They’re all vocal advocates in support of cannabis use for health and wellness.

Marijuana usage is growing in popularity and legality for athletes, and both the NFL and NBA have loosened their restrictions over the years when it comes to cannabis usage among players. In addition, as many athletes retire, they can use their platform to speak up about the health benefits of cannabis—in particular CBD—and many have even started their own canna brands.

Professional athletes make a living using their bodies, and it’s no surprise that many of them—during the sport and after they retire—search for ways to help their bodies deal with the wear and tear from their sports.

Multiple studies back the array of health benefits that come from CBD and cannabis use, including pain relief, making it an ideal consideration for athletes looking for natural ways to address their injuries and feel relief.

Professional sports leagues are so interested in the fact that cannabis may help with athletes’ pain and recovery speed that the NFL is currently funding a study to learn if cannabis provides post-game therapeutic benefits to elite athletes. The study is currently ongoing, but investigators predict the results will back multiple athletes’ claims that cannabis usage does help in pain management and the recovery process.

As multiple professional sports leagues lessen their restrictions on cannabis usage and some even stopping testing for marijuana altogether, the future for acceptance of cannabis in professional sports is bright and beneficial for the athletes and their fans.

When professional athletes, including those who are currently playing and those who have retired from their respective sports, speak up about their own cannabis usage, it helps to destigmatize usage among the fans who look up to them. This in turn helps the industry when it comes to acceptance and maybe even encourages nonathletes to consider cannabis usage to address their own health issues.

As a cannabis industry expert, I believe this pendulum sway toward acceptance of cannabis usage among athletes can only benefit the athletes and their chosen sports.

Editor’s note: Mr. Ayres is publisher of azmarijuana.com.

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