Can marijuana help athletes? Doctor explains how cannabis affects athletic performance


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sha’Carri Richardson’s 2020 Olympic dreams came to an end when the runner tested positive for THC, found in cannabis.

Richardson claims she used the drug for mental health reasons.

“The rules are the rules, I can’t imagine the athlete didn’t know this,” said Dr. David Berger of Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care.

But the pediatrician says cannabis can provide psychological benefits for athletes.

“Performance anxiety and social anxiety, being in front of a crowd of 10,000 people, cannabis can lower people’s anxiety levels. That’s what people use Prozac for, that’s what people use Xanax for, legally,” Dr. Berger explained.

Berger told 8 On Your Side there were also some physical advantages.

“It’s an anti-inflammatory, it does have an anti-pain impact. Could an athlete potentially recover quicker if they had an injury? Could they do better getting deeper into stretches because their muscles are more relaxed? There could be some advantages there,” he said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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