Many people believe that pro athletes have dream jobs, and in many ways, that is true. They make millions of dollars, have huge social media followings, get to travel to many exciting cities, and all they have to do is play a game people play for fun. However, playing in pro sports leagues like the NBA is no easy task. The NBA season lasts from September until June, players have to make cross-country flights in the middle of the night to play a game the next day, and there are only 450 NBA players, making it hyper-competitive to get on a roster. NBA players need any edge they can get. Many players turn to cannabis to enhance their athletic recovery and cope with stress. Today, cannabis in the NBA is ubiquitous.
Likely since the NBA began, players used cannabis. However, the NBA rules surrounding cannabis were once strict. Now, cannabis rules are changing all the time. Players can use cannabis at their discretion without fear of being suspended. Also, new rules allow players to invest in cannabis companies, but with a catch. But why exactly is cannabis so important for NBA players? To find out why cannabis in the NBA is always a hot topic, let’s explore how NBA players use cannabis to their benefit and what the future holds for cannabis.
Recovery, Sleep, and Coping With Stress
It’s game seven, and your team is down by one. The clock is ticking down, and the ball is in your hands. Your team is deep in the playoffs, and you played over 100 games this season. You were on the floor for over 40 minutes tonight, and you ran nearly three miles. One of the best defenders in the league is in front of you. You need to score at all costs to cement your legacy as one of the best players of all time.
For many players, the above scenario is a reality they deal with on a nightly basis. To defeat their opponent, one can understand why they need any advantage they can get. A bit more energy at the end of the game can make the difference between going home and a victory celebration. For players on the end of the bench, good play can make a difference between playing in the NBA for 10 years and getting cut for an up-and-coming rookie. To accomplish their goals, NBA players need to be in peak physical condition, have a rock-solid mindset, and be able to deal with the pressure at the moment. These needs are why cannabis in the NBA is essential – it helps keep players in peak physical and mental shape.
You twist your ankle during a game. The team doctors tell you there is no serious damage, but playing will be very painful. You have two days before your next game. How will you get back on the floor to help your team?
Many NBA players turn to cannabis to help manage pain and recover from injuries. Many studies show that cannabis works as an anti-inflammatory to kill pain and kick-start recovery. Especially for long-term, chronic pain, cannabis is a boon for recovery. NBA superstar Klay Thompson tore his ACL in back-to-back seasons, causing a painful recovery. Thompson used CBD products to help him through his recovery and thought they made such a big difference he invested in a CBD brand. Furthermore, for players who need to be mentally sharp for games, CBD does not cause a high. So, a bit of CBD before a game can kill pain and keep players on the floor.
It’s the middle of the NBA’s long regular season. You finish a game on the west coast at 10 pm. Tomorrow, you have a game on the east coast at 3:30 pm. In that time, you must get on a plane, sleep in an unfamiliar hotel, and prepare for the shoot-around before the game. How are you going to sleep?
Studies show that sleep is essential for athletes. To sleep comfortably on a cramped plane and in an unfamiliar hotel room, many NBA players turn to cannabis. Anyone who tried cannabis before can tell you it ensures a great night’s sleep. Many studies show that cannabis induces deeper sleep and helps users stay asleep longer. In the NBA, where one made shot can make the difference between a win and a loss, proper sleep is essential, so many choose to use cannabis to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Coping With Stress
It’s been 30 years since your team last won the championship. Your home city is electrified and is desperate to see a victory. The hopes of people everywhere rely on you playing your best. It’s a lot of pressure to carry on your shoulders when you are trying to make clutch free throws.
The relaxing qualities of cannabis help with stressful situations. Using cannabis whenever one is stressed out is unhealthy, but a relaxing high can help put things in perspective. When it seems like everything in the world depends on your game, the high from cannabis helps one realize that there are more things in life than winning a basketball game.
Cannabis in the NBA: New Rules
A few years ago, NBA players faced suspensions for cannabis use. Due to the negative stigma surrounding cannabis, sports leagues blindly ignored its potential for health and performance. Now, the NBA no longer tests for cannabis. NBA cannabis users everywhere can rejoice, recover, sleep, and cope with stress now goes unpunished.
Another change from the recent collective bargaining agreement, players can invest in cannabis companies. At first, it seemed as though NBA players could sponsor cannabis brands. However, the idea of a cannabis company having a “LeBron” or “Luka” strain is not the result. The NBA allows players to invest passively in cannabis companies, not actively sponsor them. Considering that the NBA partners with gambling companies and their commercials constantly air during NBA games, this is ridiculously hypocritical. Potentially, in the next collective bargaining agreement, the NBA will allow players to sponsor cannabis. In a few years, you might see NBA players drinking CBD sports drinks on the sidelines. For now, at least NBA players can gain an advantage by using cannabis without fear of suspension.