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Athletes Who Use CBD & Cannabis

Considering WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) has banned the use of cannabis in competition, it may be surprising that more athletes than you think already use cannabis or cannabis-based products to aid their performance and rest, particularly as the jury is still out on whether cannabis and CBD actually enhances or inhibits sports performance.

However, in 2019 WADA removed cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, from their prohibited list, with various sporting bodies thereby allowing the use of CBD by their respective athletes for the first time.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some athletes across various sporting disciplines who swear by the use of cannabis-based products for the enhancement of their performance.

George Kruis and Dominic Day

George Kruis and Dominic Day are professional rugby players, both second row forwards for English and European Champions Saracens. Day began using CBD oil following knee surgery and found that his sleep, inflammation in his knee and pain improved. Kruis, also a current England international, then followed Day’s example after spraining his ankle and states that his use of CBD products helps him to use less products in the treatment of his low-level chronic pain.

Both players believe so vehemently in the ability of CBD oils, balms and capsules for the rest and repair of their bodies following rugby-related injuries that they’ve formed their own business, ‘fourfivecbd’, to promote and sell their CBD products to others. As stated by the business partners on their company’s website: ‘We use cbd as part of the daily routine in our rugby careers. It helps us maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the highs and lows of professional sport’.

The duo maintain that the use of CBD products like those they create has helped them to cut their previous reliance upon painkillers and anti-inflammatories that Day stated he had to take ‘four or five times a week just to get to the weekend to play’. According to the pair, Saracens and the anti-doping teams at the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Players’ Association have no issue with their CBD use due to WADAs approval of the product and the substance’s legality in the UK.

Lucas Glover

Former winner of the U.S Open Lucas Glover is an American golfer who currently plays on the PGA tour.

Glover currently uses a CBD pill, a topical cream and CBD tincture drops. Glover reports that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have helped his performance insofar as the substance aids his recovery and sleep. Speaking to Golf Digest, Glover continues: ‘As far as my overall health, I feel great. I can tell the difference when I wake up in the morning and that’s a big part of it’.

The golfer also reports that CBD appears to help with his anxiety, a problem he has always struggled with.

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes is a retired NBA player who formerly played for the Golden State Warriors and won an NBA championship with the team back in 2017. Barnes has revealed since his retirement that during his career, he’d often smoke cannabis prior to his matches.

When asked how the substance affected his matches and performance Barnes replied that for ‘All [his] best games [he] was medicated’.

Barnes does not appear to be alone in his cannabis use amongst professional basketball players – the sport carries quite the reputation for cannabis use, whether this is recreational or professional. Indeed, speaking to Bleacher Report in 2018, former player Kenyon Martin estimated that during his career 85% of players smoked cannabis.

Andrew Talansky

Triathlete and former professional cyclist Andrew Talansky began using CBD for the treatment of pain when he strained a hip flexor in 2017. Upon starting to use CBD products, Talansky reported an immediate difference as his hip began to feel measurably better and he experienced the pleasant side effect of his anxiety and sleep patterns improving at the same time.

Like Kruis and Day, Talansky stated to Runner’s World that he prefers to use CBD for the treatment of his pain and inflammation as he doesn’t like to take stuff like ibuprofen or prescription medications’, instead preferring to try out more natural alternatives.

What do you think about cannabis use in sports? Should it be allowed? Or is it an unfair advantage? Let us know in the comments below.

For more information on this topic, take a look at our evidence base, a ground-breaking systematic review of the history of research in this area and a global first-of-its-kind searchable database for clinical referencing.

The rest of our comprehensive resources on medical cannabis are available on our website. We urge anyone considering the use of medical cannabis products to consult with a trained medical professional prior to beginning use.

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