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Cannabis & Sport Recovery

Discover Brian’s story and how cannabis helped him to recover from sport injuries.

My name is Brian, I’m from San Mateo California, which is 30 minutes south to San Francisco.

What is your athletic background?

My athletic background is I was a rower, I rowed in high school and then got actively recruited in college and I rowed for 4 years at the varsity program at Columbia university. It was very intense, pretty much the entire academic years I was spending 30 to 55 hours a week devoted to the team, training wise, we had practice 6 days a week in the morning on the water for about 90 minutes and then often times, double days probably 4 days a week. So, quick back the envelop math, I was probably training literally on the rowing machine or on the water for 20 hours a week.

How did you find your way to cannabis?

It was not so much that I found my way to it. Obviously, I found my way to cannabis to help me, but I think more I sort of discovered as a lot of people do, I guess use it more recreationally to begin with. But then, as especially as my rower career ended and I was kind of discovering chronic issues I had in my body due to literally millions of strokes, rowing strokes which is the same repetitive motion as so pretty severe imbalances in my body. Primarily resulting like lower back discomfort with really heavy tightness in my hip flexors and psoas which is the muscle that connect to your lower back and kind of wrap around the front of your pelvis.

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How did cannabis help you recover from your sport injuries?

I think trying to be proactive in providing the release in the areas that I have that are very tight. Cannabis really helps me relax in a way that allows my mind and the rest of my body to isolate those problem areas and what I’m doing things especially like whether it will be yoga or certain sorts of stretching activities when you have certain issues that are so deeply ingrained in you for like so many years of repetitive motion at a very high level were muscles and tendons are very strong and highly used. Having something that allows you mentally to drown out the noise and calm the body to a point where you are really getting to that next level of relief when you are doing your activities that are just as much mental that they are physical. Cannabis especially as a former athlete, the body will recover itself in different areas at different rates and so, you get a lot of imbalances in different ways that surface over time. You are not just with coming off of that training but also the natural things that come with aging. I just turned 30, I am definitely not old but it’s definitely not as spry as I used to be. And with incorporating marijuana, cannabis whatever the PHC term is this day, is something that allows me to kind of flush out the noise when I am really trying to address my body’s own kind of natural way of recovering itself post those many years of extremely high-level output. The guys that I rowed with were in the Olympics. And I can watch Olympic row and be like that guy is not good, that guy could be better.

What research did you do on its applications for your condition?

I think it’s more like most journeys and something that you experience and then kind of research and learn about sort of hand and hand. It’s one of those things where you’re like anytime you have some sort of issue with your body, you will have your opinion about what you need and then if that’s not working and even if it is working, you’re just kind of thinking about it a lot especially if it’s just a chronic issue. So, you’re always kind of like, have your ear out for something that might be a possible solution that you could incorporate into your routine or problem-solving toolkit or whatever. Cannabis was something that I used in sort of experimental ways when I was doing things that I was trying to idealize for certain health benefits and more like a “ha ha” moment type of things, where I will use it and then notice that while I was doing the activity or even post, realizing that I was getting more of what my body needed when I was incorporating cannabis into particular activities.

What would you say to people who are skeptical about cannabis benefits?

I think a lot of people see cannabis as something that, it depends on where you grew up and what your preconditions are on it. Especially where we are now as a society and the world on drugs and all of that, you’re growing up, you are raised to think that is considered a “drug” is really bad for you, just because it was illegal. But as society luckily is waking up to the fact that it’s not cannabis is bad, it’s overused or abused of something that’s bad and to demonize something for reasons that are really rooted in fear. It’s like teenagers, don’t let one bad apple ruins the all harvest. It’s something that just because there was a guy or a girl somewhere that someone knew in high school or when they were younger that smoked too much weed and didn’t go to class and caused problems doesn’t mean that they aren’t 10 times as many people who are using cannabis in a way that is very responsible. And actually enhances their lives and allows them to facilitate their own internal processes of doing something that is beneficial for them and makes them a better citizen actually in a lot of ways.

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Do you have any advice for people who want to try using cannabis?

I think if you want to try something for the first time, you can always test the water, you don’t have to go out there. You don’t have to use cannabis and have someone be like “oh yeah it’s pretty good”, super stone and something like that. You can try it and see how your body receives, see how mentally you’re processing it. A lot of time people when they are trying it for the first time, they don’t even feel anything, they don’t even know what they’re looking for. And that’s part of the process as well, understanding what cannabis is providing you and recognizing the benefits that you can get from it.