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Athletes & Cannabis: The Top Stoners in Sports

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Athletes & Cannabis: The Top Stoners in Sports

Athletes love cannabis and CBD! Fitness experts believe cannabis can help you recover after training or enhance your ability to work out longer and harder. 

Cannabis use is a rising trend amongst athletes and fitness professionals. Research suggests that marijuana can actually be used to enhance your exercise routine and aid in recovery. Stoners are often stereotyped as slow or lazy, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. When it comes to athleticism, weight loss, and competitive sports, smoking weed may give you a serious edge.

Athletes Choose Pot Over Pills

Current research on athletes using cannabis is scarce, but there is a ton of evidence to support the medical benefits of weed. The cannabinoids in marijuana interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to alleviate pain and inflammation. For this reason, many fitness experts believe that cannabis could be helpful for post-training recovery. 

Athletes place a lot of stress on their bodies. The physical trauma will lead to wear and tear, which in turn leads to injuries and chronic pain. Over the counter anti-inflammatories are useful for treating pain, but they can have long-term side effects. Chronic use of drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen has known health risks, including increased chance of stroke and heart attack. With an opioid addiction epidemic and a problem with over-prescribing medication, it’s appropriate to turn to alternative alternatives. It makes sense that athletes are examining their options for pain relief, and turning to cannabis and CBD.

Is CBD Legal For Competitive Athletes?

Competitive athletes are allowed to consume CBD. In 2018, The World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from the list of forbidden substances. However, synthetic cannabis and THC are still now allowed in competition. For outside of competitive situations, check your local cannabis laws.

Cannabis-Friendly Athletes

The list of athletes who use cannabis is exhaustive. Some of the most famous 420-friendly competitors include Riley Cote, Michael Phelps, Eben Britton, Greta Gaines, Frank Shamrock, Cliff Robinson, and many more. How has marijuana helped these athletes compete, train, and win?

Avery Collins

Avery Collins is an ultra-marathoner and cannabis activist. He has expressed his support for cannabis use amongst athletes and claims that smoking weed before races helps with his concentration. Cannabis helps Collins thrive by reducing his worry about performance times.

Ricky Williams

NFL star Ricky Williams is vocal in his support for marijuana use, despite this costing him endorsements and other opportunities. Williams used to be a spokesperson for the antidepressant Paxil, but ended the deal by admitting that “marijuana is 10 times better for me than Paxil.” This football player adores weed due to its anti-inflammatory properties and mood elevating effects.

Marcel Bonn-Miller

Marcel Bonn-Miller is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Psychiatry department of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Not only is he an advocate for cannabis use to manage mental health issues, he also says that runners and cardio enthusiasts can benefit from marijuana use as well.

Katina Morales

Katina Morales is a long-distance runner that uses cannabis for aiding the healing and recovery process. After a photo online surfaced of her holding a bong, she lost her job at the University of Southern Florida. This event led her to create her own company, Betty Khronic, that specializes in making edibles and other cannabis-infused products.

Mark Stepnoski

Super Bowl champion Mark Stepnoski is an outspoken advocate for marijuana use and legalization. After retiring from the NFL in 2001, Stepnoski became an outspoken legalization advocate. He confirmed that he engaged in the ‘responsible use’ of marijuana during his pro career. “After a game you need something to relax,” said Stepnoski. “I’d rather smoke than take painkillers.”

Liz Carmouche

Liz Carmouche is a competitive Mixed Martial Arts fighter who promotes the benefits of CBD amongst elite athletes and average people alike. Carmouche promotes that CBD is safe to use for physical activities and is non-addictive. She often advocates alongside the Diaz brothers, are another pair of MMA fighters who are vocal in their support of cannabis.

Scott Dunlap

Scott Dunlap doesn’t necessarily think that THC is beneficial to aerobic or strength performance, but that it can help athletes unwind. According to Dunlap, runners and other fitness professionals may like to decompress after a race by enjoying cannabis. In this scenario, marijuana is no different than alcohol for other people after a long day.

Ethan Zohn

Ethan Zohn, a fitness expert and competitor from the show Survivor, speaks candidly about the life-saving qualities of cannabis. As a former professional soccer player, Zohn acknowledges that marijuana can improve your athletic performance. When Zohn was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer, he began to advocate for medical cannabis even more.

Although his cancer is now in remission, he continues to use of cannabis to relieve his anxiety and manage any pain. Zohn uses CBD tincture daily, and sometimes consumes a more potent oil with a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC

Eugene Monroe

Eugene Monroe is an NFL player who chooses pot over pills. He believes that cannabis is far healthier, less addictive, and better for pain management than pharmaceuticals or other alternatives.

Nate Jackson 

Nate Jackson is a former NFL player who advocates for cannabis use over pills. After experiencing a significant injury in 2009, he turned to marijuana instead of traditional, over-the-counter medicine. Jackson has found cannabis to be the most effective pain relief treatment for his injury.

Amy VanDyken

After an ATV accident in 2014, Amy VanDyken became a paraplegic. She gives credit to CBD for helping her live with and manage her neuropathic pain.

Jim McAlpine

As a fitness enthusiasts and a born athlete, Jim McAlpine loves boosting his workouts and speeding up recovery with cannabis. He defies the lazy stoner stereotype by enjoying weed while still participating in an active lifestyle. 

Greg Horton

Greg Horton, the founder of The Casual Athlete, provides fitness advice to people of all abilities. Horton claims that cannabis is a unique tool for people looking to achieve physical and mental health and wellness. He also promotes the use of cannabis for physically disabled individuals. As Greg Horton often says, “winners don’t use cannabis, champions do.”




Philip Ghezelbash is passionate about presenting complex science in an easy to digest manner and is a firm believer in the power of cannabis. As an ex-personal trainer, science graduate, best-selling author, and freelance writer, Philip has helped educate millions of curious people around the world about science-based health, nutrition, and fitness.


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