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Why Brittney Griner and other athletes use cannabis for pain

Aug 3, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Despite the large numbers of cannabis users involved in sports, there’s not a lot of research on the matter.

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Brittney Griner, who recently testified before a Russian court after being arrested for possession of cannabis, claimed she used the drug medicinally to treat her sports injuries.

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Griner reportedly explained to the court that she has had injuries “over the long career of basketball, from my spine, no cartilage in my knee, I was in a wheelchair for four months, I broke my ankle and I also sprained my knee really bad, so I was wheelchair-bound,” per Reuters.

She shared that she had purchased the cannabis in Phoenix, Ariz. and had winded up with them in Russia by accident. “In the seven years that I came back and forth (to Russia), I never brought any substance that needed to be declared. And I didn’t plan on bringing any substance when I came on Feb. 17,” she said.


  1. Is Cannabis Better For Sports Injuries Than Traditional Painkillers?

  2. Brittney Griner (left) has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 after being found with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. PHOTO BY ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES ANDJIM WATSON/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

    Elon Musk about Brittney Griner prisoner swap deal: ‘Maybe free people in jail for weed here too?’

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    One of the greatest players in rugby league history is using medical cannabis to get back on his feet

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While banned by all sports, it’s been suggested that athletes are among the most consistent cannabis users in the world.

In an interview with GQ, retired NBA pro Al Harrington said that he thought about 85 per cent of NBA players used “some type of cannabis.” Martellus Bennett, a retired NFL player, said he believed “about 89 per cent” used cannabis.

It’s usually when players retire that they come clean about their drug use, claiming that cannabis helped them calm down and manage the pain that comes from submitting their bodies to long hours of stress and exercise.

“When we looked at the positive effects of cannabis for this population, sleep, pain levels and the ability to calm down were the most common areas where athletes saw improvement,” said Joanna Zeiger, who conducted a study on the matter.

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Despite the large numbers of cannabis users involved in sports, there’s not a lot of research on the matter.

Kevin Boehnke, a researcher at the University of Michigan’s Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, spoke with the New York Times and explained that while cannabis tended to be safer than anti-inflammatories and opiates, “that doesn’t mean it’s without risk.” Still, Boehnke said he believes the drug should be studied.

Although there is the prospect of developing a marijuana dependency, research shows that less than 10 per cent of consumers end up doing so. Plus, unlike opioids, there are no marijuana overdoses on record.

Griner’s future is not yet known. She pleaded guilty to a cannabis charge, but made it clear that it wasn’t her intention to smuggle any substances into Russia.

The FreshToast.com, a U.S. lifestyle site that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.

Subscribe to  Weekend Dispensary, a new weekly newsletter from The GrowthOp.

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