Although cannabis has been legalized for medicinal purposes throughout much of the country, there’s still a vast amount of the population that casts doubt on its healing properties. Unfortunately for athletes, in most cases, it’s the people who aren’t familiar with the healing properties of medical marijuana who still happen to be in control of many governing bodies within the sports world.
Even so, the reality is that cannabis can be equally as or even more effective than the opioids and painkillers most athletes are used to taking. There are several factors that make cannabis a more appealing choice for treating injuries than over the counter medications.
Cannabis Isn’t As Addictive as Opioids
One of the most common ways of dealing with sports injuries is by consuming opioids like vicodin and oxycontin. It’s no secret that opioids may offer pain relief, but not without the prospect of long-term addiction. Although there is the prospect of developing a marijuana dependency, research shows that just less than 10% of consumers end up doing so. Additionally, opioid abuse can lead to fatal consequences. Although marijuana dependence can be detrimental, there are no recorded marijuana overdoses on record.
Cannabis Doesn’t Come With Side Effects of Traditional Painkillers
Along with the risk of developing long-term addiction, using traditional painkillers can lead to a host of other lifelong side effects. Some of those conditions include kidney failure, stomach bleeding and liver failure among others. Cannabis serves as an effective alternative because it can provide relief for many of the same ailments as over the counter drugs like ibuprofen. There’s also a wide variety of cannabis products to choose from that can relieve pain. From CBD tinctures and topicals to THC cartridges and edibles, there are numerous options available that can treat pain without putting the long-term health of consumers at risk.
Cannabis Can Provide Faster Relief Than Traditional Painkillers
The wide variety of cannabis products on the market today means consumers are no longer restricted to over the counter pain medications that can take varying amounts of time to take effect. In many cases, over the counter drugs like ibuprofen can take as long as 30 minutes to set in, whereas consumers who inhale cannabis pretty much feel the effects instantly. Even CBD topicals only take up to about 15 minutes to set in after application.
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How Cannabis Can Help Lead to Faster Recovery
People unfamiliar with marijuana aren’t usually aware that it has so many healing properties, mainly its anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammation can result after an injury either on the field or due to conditions like arthritis. CBD is especially effective when it comes to fighting chronic pain caused by inflammation because the compound can easily communicate with the receptors within the endocannabinoid system.
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The sooner the sports world accepts cannabis for its medicinal properties, the better life will be for everyone involved. By using cannabis instead of over the counter drugs, athletes have an opportunity to not only make a faster recovery from their injuries, but to also benefit from being able to return to their sport without ingesting drugs that could potentially put their post-sport future at risk.