Cannabis and sport: Your questions answered

It’s a contentious issue, but cannabis is a hot topic. Since the United States relaxed its rules on growing, selling, and consuming cannabis responsibly, several other prominent nations are considering similar moves. Pro-cannabis campaigners in the United Kingdom believe things are moving in the right direction there, albeit slowly. 

Will your country, state, or city be next on the growing list to welcome weed? Cannabis use isn’t legal across all States. The situation is similar to that of gambling. Following a game-changing ruling, the best sport betting sites are now licensed to operate in the most prominent regions outside of Las Vegas. But try to bet in the wrong city, and you could run into trouble. You must stay up to date with the laws during a period of change for Americans.

It’s a complicated business

Cannabis in sports is another issue shrouded in uncertainty. At present, professional athletes in some sports can incorporate cannabis use into their training regime. The aim is to help promote good sleep and quick recovery. In other sports, cannabis use remains prohibited, with those found to be ‘drug cheats’ suffering hefty penalties and lengthy suspensions. 

Additionally, athletes must respect the laws of the land where they’re based, and things can get complicated and fast. Thankfully, we’re here to help. You sent us your questions regarding cannabis use in sports, and we put them to our expert, who provided the answers below. The aim is to provide our readers with the latest and most reliable information online.



Is cannabis use permitted in boxing?

Combat sports and cannabis use have a strange relationship. Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world, but officials have never quite taken to cannabis. It remains banned by all significant sanctioning bodies, which won’t change anytime soon.

Evidence of cannabis use in a pre-fight drugs test would result in the suspension of that boxer. Officials will also cancel the bout, leaving promoters with a late dash to find a new opponent. Following the investigation, a fighter may be banned from the sport for 12 months or more. Continuously failing drug tests for cannabis may see a boxer banned indefinitely.


Can I vape at amateur and college levels?

Each college and sport governing body have its rules on cannabis use. Even if cannabis is legal in a state, that doesn’t automatically mean you can vape cannabis in competition. Please check state laws on cannabis before attempting to vape in a city while competing.

A new trend is emerging in college sports where cannabis use is permitted. Several governing bodies boosted the threshold for cannabis in the bloodstream last year. The move allows athletes to consume cannabis if it’s not for performance-enhancing purposes, such as dealing with stress or pain relief.


Do NFL players take edibles?

Football is another sport that has modernized its previously dated rules on cannabis use amongst players. If a player used cannabis edibles before 2020, they would’ve been hit with a length ban and advised on how to save their career. Many football players fell foul of those rules over the years. But things are changing and for the better.

In 2020, the NFL updated its cannabis rules, and players aren’t tested for the drug between April and May each year. It allows players to enjoy cannabis during the off-season. Although regular use during the season starting in September is a different matter. Players who use cannabis edibles during the season will suffer harsh punishment.


Will smoking cannabis ruin my fitness?

We know lots about cannabis and its effects on pain, chronic injuries, and mental health. But there hasn’t been the same level of studies into how the drug affects performance. 

There is some evidence to suggest cannabis use can improve your workout. It gives focus, raises your pain threshold, and allows you to perform at high levels for up to 60 minutes after consuming cannabis. Cannabis use won’t ruin your cardio or strength training. It’s more likely to enhance your routine and speed up recovery.


Should I start using cannabis in sports?

Although there are some benefits associated with adding a small amount of cannabis use into your training regime, we don’t yet have all the facts. Please speak to your coaching team and doctor before proceeding.

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