The research surrounding marijuana and its effects on the human body has been murky, at best. But some professional athletes, most notably Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, have admitted to using marijuana. The drug's potent medicinal effects, particularly as a muscle relaxant and painkiller, attracts athletes to partake in marijuana use.
Robert Szatkowski, better known as Rob Van Dam, is a professional wrestler who at one point owned the championship belts of World Wrestling Entertainment and Extreme Championship Wrestling. The 45-year-old wrestler is also an avid consumer of marijuana, noting its effects on his mood.
"I've been known to apply smoking to everything throughout the day," the Michigan-born wrestler told the Washington Post. He said the drug is instrumental in helping him "think good thoughts, because ... in front of millions of people that paid to see you at your best, who expect you to be in action-figure shape and condition on that particular night for that moment, you've got to deliver."
Gordy Megroz, a correspondent for Outside magazine, decided to perform his own study on whether or not smoking marijuana could make you a better athlete. Megroz used a treadmill to conduct his experiment.
He found that he performed better while high on the treadmill than when sober. The correspondent also found that he was less sore after an intense session of squats, indicating that weed may have some substantial recovery effects.
"I do a heavy squat session while high, which would normally leave me sore for two days, but I'm surprisingly fresh 24 hours later," Megroz wrote for Outside. "Even when not stoned, other aches and pains seem to dissipate, too. Humphreys says studies have shown that the drug has an anti-inflammatory effect, which is one reason why medical marijuana is so prevalent."
However, the effects of smoking weed after a workout are still very unclear. Further research is harder to come by because marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Until there is access to more research on the effects of marijuana and exercise, the jury is still out.