Science Doesn’t Support Idea That Marijuana Aids Athletes’ Performance

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Contradictory data, contested claims, and highly speculative research seem to be behind the Olympic ban on cannabinoids. Science Doesn’t Support Idea That Marijuana Aids Athletes’ Performance

when Sha’Carri Richardson was barred from the Olympics this month after testing positive for marijuana it ignited an ongoing conversation about whether the drug should be classified as performance-enhancing for athletes. Does getting high really improve strength, speed, agility, or other outcomes?

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In Ms. Richardson’s case, the answer doesn’t matter, because marijuana is also prohibited. As enforcement organizations assert that it can harm athletes and that its use violates the spirit of the games. Her ban stands whether or not the drug is performance-enhancing.

Still, the question of the drug’s influence on athletic ability also plays a part in its placement on the list. And the World Anti-Doping Agency has said that one of the 3 reasons. It has banned cannabis is because the drug can enhance performance. As signatories to the WADA code, the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee follow its rules.

On the contrary, the evidence is inconclusive at best. While an overview of the research concludes that marijuana hinders performance by reducing stamina. And peak performance while increasing heart and breathing rate. Science Doesn’t Support Idea That Marijuana Aids Athletes’ Performance

A close examination of the scientific literature reveals an additional wrinkle: In justifying its ban on the drug, WADA. Which sets the policy for drug prohibition, has overstated anecdotal and speculative evidence, experts said.

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