Cannabis and sports performance
2 min

Best Cannabis Strains To Boost Sports Performance and Recovery

2 min

Despite its reputation as a drug for dropouts and couch potatoes, cannabis is gaining new friends. Endurance and professional athletes are beginning to tout the benefits of using cannabis to improve concentration and performance or to help with recovery.

Forget the stereotypes of couch-locked stoners. There is growing evidence that cannabis can actually help improve athletic performance. It also appears to be an increasingly useful tool in sports medicine. Formal studies are few and far between. However, anecdotal evidence is certainly growing that cannabis may create more stamina, confidence and concentration during athletic activities. It may also help the healing process afterwards.

Long distance runners, for example, have begun to talk openly about how using the drug before a run helps them have better endurance. Skiers and snowboarders are publically describing how the drug helps them focus on the “now” and lose fear on the slopes. Weight lifters mention how the drug lessens the pain after a particularly brutal lift. There is even a discussion of how the drug might help professional football players. This includes coping with off-field pain better than traditional painkillers. Many believe that cannabis might help players better treat traumatic brain injury.


Runners, in particular, are beginning to wax downright enthusiastic their weed use. Marathoners like Avery Collins are championing weed use because it betters performance and increases enjoyment.

Chris Barnicle is a runner living in LA who promotes cannabis use as part of a healthy lifestyle. He even calls himself the “world’s fastest stoner,” on Twitter.

Pro-cannabis running groups and online communities are also starting to become more common. These include more local endeavours like Denver’s Run on Grass. They also include national online groups, like NORML Athletics. The offshoot of the advocacy group promotes the use of cannabis as part of a healthy living routine.

But it is also not just runners who are getting into the act.

There are a number of well-known professional athletes who are beginning to discuss the impact of cannabinoids on performance. This includes basketball players like NBA champs Jason Williams and Lamar Odom. It also includes football stars including Superbowl player Santonio Holmes, and boxing welterweight champion Nick Diaz.

Pro-pot athletes don't attribute all their success to weed use. But more and more of them are beginning to tout the positive impact of selective strains on both performance and recovery.


Just like finding the right cannabinoid medication, sports enthusiasts need to experiment with the right strains. Every metabolism is different. So are the physical requirements and impact of different sports. The following is a list of seven strains that can boost athletic performance or ease the pain after a power workout.

7. Casey Jones

Casey Jones, this strain is actually a blend of three other powerful cannabis strains: Train Wreck, Sour Diesel and Thai. It is an indica-based strain. As such it is particularly good for the aches and pains that occur after overtraining.

6. Bruce Banner BX 2.0

Bruce Banner BX 2.0, this Sativa dominant strain is also known as the “strongest strain on the planet." It is not only known for its potency. It has won numerous awards and contains up to 30% THC potency. This strain also has a medium to high yield with a flowering time of 10 weeks.

5. Lemon Haze

Lemon Haze, known as the “love child” of Lemon Skunk and Amnesia Haze. Like its parents, Lemon Haze creates a powerful head rush with a lemon twist. Effects also last several hours before dissipating into a relaxing finish.

4. Sour diesel

Sour Diesel, this popular sativa dominant strain creates a high that is predominantly cerebral. Good for those seeking inspiration, motivation or a sense of being more alert. It has a pungent taste and aroma. The strain also relieves stress, chronic pain, anxiety, tension and migraines.

3. Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush, this popular indica strain creates bulky, compact buds smothered in resin. With a 90%/10% indica-sativa mix, Bubba Kush is an intense, relaxing strain. It also helps patients suffering from sleeping disorders and muscle pains.

2. Durban Poison

Durban Poison, a unique taste containing overtones of liquorice and anise. This sativa dominant plant not only delivers good yields in a relatively short period of time (between 8-9 weeks) but also creates a long-lasting, positive high.

1. OG Kush

OG Kush is a California classic, with a sumptuous taste and aroma. The result of mixing Chemdawg, Lemon Thai and Pakistani Kush, OG smoothly delivers sweet and sour flavours. Has a high (20%+ THC level), and a relatively fast budding time. Growers can expect high yields of high-quality bud. This strain is particularly good for chronic pain, anxiety, stress, insomnia, migraines and muscle spasms.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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