Four ways cannabis may be better for sports injuries than traditional painkillers

The array of available cannabis products means consumers are no longer restricted to over-the-counter pain medications that can take time to take effect.

The GrowthOp 3 minute read November 4, 2021

It’s no secret that opioids may offer pain relief, but not without the prospect of addiction. / Getty Images

Although cannabis has been legalized for medicinal purposes throughout much of the U.S., there’s still many in the population who casts doubt on its reportedly healing properties. Unfortunately for athletes, in most cases, the hurdle to the option may be in the hands of people who aren’t familiar with medical marijuana’s properties.

Even so, many will argue cannabis can be equally as effective, or even more effective, than the opioids and painkillers that most athletes currently rely on.

There are several factors that might make cannabis a more appealing choice for treating injuries than over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

Cannabis isn’t as addictive as opioids

One of the most common ways of dealing with sports injuries is by consuming opioids such as Vicodin and Oxycontin. It’s no secret that opioids may offer pain relief, but not without the prospect of addiction.

Although some people do develop a cannabis dependency, some research indicates less than 10 per cent of consumers end up doing so. Additionally, opioid abuse can lead to fatal consequences while marijuana dependence, which certainly can be detrimental, has not resulted in any recorded deadly marijuana overdoses.

Cannabis doesn’t come with the side effects of traditional painkillers

Beyond the risk of developing long-term addiction, it has been reported that using traditional painkillers can lead to a host of other life-long side effects. Some of these conditions include kidney failure, stomach bleeding and liver failure.

Some regard cannabis as an effective alternative because it can provide relief for many of the same ailments as over-the-counter drugs like Ibuprofen. There’s also a wide variety of cannabis products to choose from, from CBD tinctures to topicals, THC cartridges and edibles, that have proved effective in combating pain without putting long-term health of consumers at risk.

Cannabis can offer faster relief than traditional painkillers

The wide variety of cannabis products on the market today means consumers are no longer restricted to OTC pain medications that can take varying amounts of time to take effect.

In many cases, OTC drugs like ibuprofen can take as long as 30 minutes to provide relief, whereas consumers who inhale cannabis generally feel its effects almost immediately. Even CBD topicals are likely to only take up to about 15 minutes to set in after application.

How cannabis can help promote faster recovery

People unfamiliar with cannabis aren’t usually aware that among its healing properties is its anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammation can follow an injury on the field or resulting from conditions, such as arthritis.

CBD is reported to be especially effective when it comes to fighting chronic pain caused by inflammation because the compound can easily communicate with the receptors within the endocannabinoid system.


The, 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.

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