Cannabis in Sports

Written by Akila Wickramaratna, Illustrated by Eva Andrews – 4/20 Edition 2024.

Athletes continuously seek ways to enhance their performance, whether that be high intensity training, watching highlight reels, or dietary plans to help growth and recovery. While they are not all “athletes,” most people still partake in various sports because they find it enjoyable and find it a good way to stay fit. But, looking for ways to enhance your game doesn’t have to be as rigorous as we think.

In the past, indulging in cannabis was frowned upon, especially playing sports after consuming cannabis. As times changed and laws became more progressive, overall cannabis use has grown. With this growth people started to experiment with different strains, ways of consumption and overall usability in everyday life. As we know now, cannabis has multiple medical and recreational uses and people use it for relaxation and health benefits.

As cannabis use has become more common, some have began combining cannabis with sports. Oregon student Max Von Arx does just that.

Von Arx is the recipient of an Intramural Championship. He recalls his final game as a monumental moment in his intramural basketball career. An ankle injury kept him on the sidelines, missing the previous two games. Down 20 points, Von Arx found himself ripping his dab pen on the bench, eager to play. Despite the injury, he put on an ankle brace and laced up. On hiis first play, he walked down the court and hit a three, no warm ups, nothing. “First play I walked that bitch down and pulled that from deep… splash,” said Von Arx.

His favorite way to consume cannabis are blunts rolled with Backwoods, as they taste the best compared to other forms of smoking according to Von Arx. He loves smoking cannabis because it not only enhances music and food, but elevates his game. Standing at 6’3, 210 lbs he loves basketball because it is a fast paced game with plenty of action.

“It’s just fun and, there is a lot more involvement than other sports, and lots of strategy…and I love dunking on people.” said Von Arx

Smoking cannabis makes Von Arx feel more creative and allows him to enjoy the game instead of being negative while he is playing. He is a “pass first” type of player and loves getting others involved in plays at the UO Rec Center.

Basketball is not the only sport where cannabis consumption has appeared. Third year Oregon State student Ivo Kerefeyski believes consuming cannabis while climbing unlocks a new type of freedom.

Kerefeyski enjoys smoking cannabis either from a bong or blunt. He likes to consume cannabis as a way to relax and stay grounded when feeling overwhelmed. “I think it has performance enhancing benefits like helping you get into the flow quicker, as well as helping with recovery after working out,” said Kerefeyski. Cannabis allows Kerefeyski to focus on climbing instead of worrying about the negatives.

“It helps me focus on what’s in front of me when I’m in a scary position high up instead of falling,” said Kerefeyski. Using cannabis while climbing allows Kerefeyski to have fun with his sport and eliminates the fear of failing.

Cannabis allows people to stay on their grind while enjoying themselves. Staying active, perfecting their craft, all while being enjoying its benefits. You don’t need to sacrifice cannabis to be active, and you certainly don’t need to sacrifice being active for cannabis. As society starts to learn more about cannabis, hopefully the stigma behind its lazy unmotivated stereotype will be replaced with its benefits.