Guest Post: The History of Marijuana Use in the Fitness Industry


There’s no denying that professional athletes hailing from every sport have tried supplementing with everything and anythingover the years in order to get a head start and surpass their competitors. Being the star athlete of your generation and rising up the proverbial ladder to a prominent and profitable sports figure is definitely not an easy thing to achieve, so you can’t really blame your favorite athletes for doing everything to achieve the results they need.

One drug that seemed to have had an impact on many an athlete’s career over the decades is marijuana. As the world’s athletes are coming out about its uses and benefits, and medical professionals are advocating its use in certain instances, we can assume that there truly might have been some merit to the effectiveness of marijuana and its derivatives such as CBD oil. Let’s take a look at the history of marijuana in the fitness industry, and how it shaped the world of sports over the years.

The hippie movement and basketball

Marijuana has been used as an herbal remedy for millennia, but when it comes to professional sports, its use can be traced back and associated with the rise of the hippie movement in the sixties and seventies. During the period of love, peace, and unencumbered freedom, the hippie doctrines began to permeate the media, sports, and everyday life in the US, and professional athletes took special note of the calming benefits of cannabis.

One of the first records of marijuana use in sports can be traced back to Bill Walton, former UCLA playerknown for its contribution to John Wooden’s powerhouse UCLA Bruins in the early 1970s. Whether Walton is one of your favorite basketball players of that decade or not, the fact remains that Wooden allowed Walton to enjoy his daily puff without fear of getting kicked off the team. The reasons for this remain shrouded in mystery, but it might have had something to do with Walton’s exemplary performance during those early years in the 1970s.

The need for weed in Formula 1

Any Formula 1 fan will remember the debonair and utterly eccentric figure that was James Hunt back in the 1970s. Without a shred of doubt, this guy was a certified badass. His reputation as a Formula 1 champion was oftentimes overshadowed by his wild personality and substance abuse when he was not racing. So naturally, weed found its way into his life alongside alcohol and cocaine.

Hunt wasn’t the only racer to partake in cannabis abuse, as the professional racers of the time used the drug immensely to alleviate the pressure of competition, steady their nerves, and unwind both physically and mentally. As for James Hunt, it is uncertain how much marijuana per se had an impact on the nature of his retirement.

The Golden Era of bodybuilding

If you’ve heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger, then you’ve heard about his marijuana use. There is not a soul in the bodybuilding community who has not seen a picture of young and successful Arnie puffing away with a blissful smile on his face. Unsurprisingly, this was at the time when bodybuilding was immensely popular, a time known as the Golden Era.

Making sure not to fall prey to weed overdosingor for the substance to be found in their bloodstreams, the bodybuilders of the time were using cannabis to for a myriad of reasons. In fact, these are the same reasons bodybuilders and strength athletes use the stuff today – to help with total-body recovery, banish inflammation, and eliminate performance anxiety.

The drug NFL players loved

Moving a bit closer to the present day, the 90s was the decade when the NFL got a lot of heat when word came out of its athletes using marijuana on a regular basis. It seemed that not a sport in the world was able to stay cannabis-free, and NFL players in particular had a good reason for using it.

Randy Moss, Ricky Williams, Eben Britton, Laremy Tunsil, and many others before them have admitted to marijuana use over the years. The reason always seemed to be the same: to alleviate the soreness and injury-induced pain, and preserve a positive mindset. NFL athletes to this very day use cannabis for this very reason, especially now that the world is lifting the ban and making the substance legal for recreational use.

Marijuana is an ancient remedy, and it can undoubtedly bring certain benefits to those suffering from chronic pain and other medical conditions, but that doesn’t mean that the drug doesn’t come with its risks. The professionals in the fitness industry have been using it for decades, however, whether or not marijuana had anything to do with their success stories remains a mystery.

About the Author:

I’m a fitness and health blogger at, and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. I follow all the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life, and l love to share my knowledge in this field through useful and informative articles.



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