Photo courtesy of Conor McGregor
It wasn't too long ago that an athlete would be shunned from sports for using cannabis, and at times, it's still happening today.
The world of professional sports always seemed out of touch with the cannabis community due to many tight and stringent regulations regarding athletes and marijuana use.
The industry is evolving every day. Thankfully, so are sports and their regulations, making it easier for athletes to take advantage of cannabis’ healing and recovery powers and allow them to create brands and capitalize on the plant. Here are five professional athletes that are proud cannabis users.
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Back in August, Conor McGregor posted a story to Instagram that showed him smoking a pretty substantial blunt, which he was probably using to cope with his defeat from Dustin Poirier. Now, McGregor is making his love for cannabis known through his line of recovery products dubbed TIDL Sport, which offers CBD topical lotions and ingestible oils.
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The legendary NBA star wrote in his 1983 autobiography that he’s quite the cannabis consumer. “I’ve certainly smoked more than my quota of weed,” he wrote, adding that he once didn’t want to hang out with people who didn’t smoke weed. Abdul-Jabbar doesn’t have a company or line of products, but he continues to advocate for the plant after being arrested for marijuana possession in Toronto 20 years ago, where it’s been legal for the past four years.
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There aren’t many female professional athletes that advocate for cannabis or make their use of it known. But American women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe is one of them, alongside wife and player Sue Bird. Together they are ambassadors of Rapinoe’s twin sister’s CBD brand called Mendi. The products are available throughout the country and focus on athlete wellness and recovery, coming in the form of CBD oils, gels, and creams.
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36-year-old former NFL player Calvin Johnson began using cannabis when attending college at Georgia Tech. He then went on to smoke after every home game during his entire 9-year NFL career. Inspired by his love for cannabis, Johnson then launched his cannabis brand, Primitiv, in 2021 throughout Michigan, a recreational state. The brand offers THC edibles, concentrates, wax, and flower.
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While players like Calvin Johnson took a while to admit his cannabis use, Randy Moss, on the other hand, was a proud advocate from the get-go. We saw him open up about his admiration for the plant in 2005 during an episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, where he admitted to using cannabis since he began his NFL career in 1998. He’s also been eager about persuading the NFL to lighten its cannabis regulations, which are finally starting to unfold.