“Athletes need something to help them get through the night, to wake up sharp in the morning, and that something is cannabis, not pharmaceutical drugs.”
Former Philadelphia Flyers bruiser Riley Cote, who spent five years in the NHL, is excitedly discussing cannabis because it’s long been a source of pain relief for him. “Whether there was a game or no game, I was using cannabis at night to help with anxiety and pain,” he says. “It’s better than feeling like ass in the morning.”1
Cote lambasts the drinking and pill-popping culture inherent in hockey, which can lead some players down dark roads. “I’ve seen many players have to pay the price for that kind of substance abuse,” Cote recalls. “Why not lean on an herb that’s not as destructive to society?”
Cote is the co-founder of the Athletes for CARE, an organization dedicated to helping retired athletes. Other cannabis-using athletes in the organization include the NBA’s Al Harrington, the NFL’s Jake Plummer and the NHL’s Darren McCarty.
“There are a lot more athletes using cannabis than people realize,” Cote says, adding that while the NHL tests athletes for performance-enhancing drugs, the league won’t discipline players for testing positive for cannabis. “I found out it’s just for data collection. I’m glad the NHL is like that, unlike the NBA or NFL, where cannabis use can get you suspended for like 20 games.”
Some current athletes are afraid to follow Cote’s lead. As this report from the Canadian Medical Association Journal wrote, “Public endorsement of medical marijuana remains taboo among current NFL players, however, because taking a stand could cost them their jobs.”2
Some NFL players aren’t concerned about that designation. Running back Mike James, a free agent since being injured while playing for the Detroit Lions, told reporters he needs cannabis to help heal his worn-out body that suffered many blows as he ran the ball into the gut of the defense. He said: “To be able to play this violent game and deal with my chronic pain, I need an option for that.”3
Less mainstream leagues are backing cannabis use, though. Ice Cube’s BIG3 3-on-3 basketball league, which features many former NBA pros, announced that it would let players use cannabis-derived CBD products for pain management and recovery.
Cote envisions a future where team doctors won’t just prescribe pills when an athlete is facing a severe injury. “Team doctors aren’t willing to put their careers on the line right now, but I can see that changing down the road, when many doctors realize the sports-recovery model needs to evolve to reflect how safe cannabis can be for athletes.”
Canada is now the first G7 country to legalize cannabis for recreational use, but some Canadians may still be unsure of safe consumption strategies to ensure they aren’t in any hot water, criminally or socially.
Cannabis is the type of drug that is so complex, researchers and physicians have only studied the tip of this medicinal iceberg. In light of the need for more research into its effects, what can be confusing to the public is how the teen brain reacts to cannabis use, which we’ll break down in this comprehensive post.
When 21-year-old Sarah Claremont goes to work out at her Chicago gym, she almost always uses cannabis before slipping on her sneakers. “It helps me with my stamina,” she says in an interview. “And it helps with my focus because sometimes my mind can be all over the place due to my ADHD.”
When U.S. Olympian and Ironman champion Joanne Zeiger recovered from a devastating bike accident in 2009, which caused severe structural and nerve damage, she spent five years taking a variety of opioid medications to help ease the pain coursing through her body. But those narcotics didn’t work.
Cannabis worked for six-year-old Kate Pogson when no other medication helped her. As someone with epilepsy, she suffered hour-long seizures once every two days before her family discovered the value of CBD-heavy cannabis oil, says her father Barry in an interview.
While it may be simple for some Canadians, talking to a physician about cannabis use can be difficult for those inexperienced in bringing up this topic to health care professionals. Knowing the right questions to ask can be critical to helping your physician understand your symptoms and determining if you should be prescribed a cannabis product.
For the past five years, Jim McAlpine has watched cannabis and athletics form a strong bond. As the brainchild behind 420 Games, the largest cannabis-focused athletic event in the world, McAlpine is optimistic for where sport and cannabis can take their budding relationship.
Contrary to many blogged opinions and dubious advice, there’s no safe amount of cannabis exposure for babies in the womb. Prenatal exposure to cannabis could harm children by affecting their birth size, adolescent behavior and chances of developing psychosis.
It’s bad enough when children sneak out of their bed to eat cookie dough or Nutella, but the situation could be a lot more dire if those curious hands get a hold of their parents’ cannabis stash.
Two years ago, when Dan Goulet was going up the stairs in his Toronto apartment, he slipped and smacked his head sharp against the steps. Then when he got up, he quickly blacked out and struck his head again on the steps. He was later diagnosed with a concussion.
When the two children of Winnipeg resident Steven Stairs come down for breakfast every morning, they pass by jars of cannabis on the counter. They don’t bat an eyelash. They know this is dad’s medicine he requires daily.
If you know cannabis, you know extracts are a crucial segment of the industry. The essential oil of cannabis - a concentrate of all the active pharmaceutical ingredients in the plant - is a dynamic substance that can be turned into numerous forms for consumption. Extracts can take the shape of tinctures, transdermal patches, tablets, drink powders, suppositories and oral tablets, not to mention the commonly-used vaporizing and dabbing oils.
As stocked as the shelves have been for cannabis consumers in Canada, or the e-shelves if you’re in Ontario, you won’t find a product that is gaining traction in the cannabis community: topicals.
Lynn Wells only nibbles on a cannabis brownie monthly(,) but she’s one of many Canadian seniors clamouring to a plant they tried decades ago and have now returned to in light of some aches, pains and other conditions.
You might think getting high and stretching your body into various positions is an odd combination, but for many Canadians cannabis use before yoga provides an ideal opportunity for them to combine two activities they love.