Cannabis and CBD oil is being endorsed by more and more professionals in all fields, but their use by athletes has catapulted the topic into mainstream discussion. Currently, the W The trial of the US basketball star focused on Tuesday on testimony that cannabis is regarded as having legitimate medicinal use in America Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who remains detained in Russia since February on drug smuggling charges, insists that she had no intent to break Russian law or indeed bring anything
Why do Brittney Griner and other athletes use cannabis to treat injuries?
C annabis and CBD oil is being endorsed by more and more professionals in all fields, but their use by athletes has catapulted the topic into mainstream discussion.
Currently, the WNBA’s Brittney Griner is stuck in Russia, facing a court appearance for cannabis charges.
She reportedly had vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage and this is why she is currently in custody in Russia.
Why does Brittney Griner take medical cannabis?
When testifying in her trial in Russia, Griner said how it had helped her recover from an injury hell.
“There are injuries that I’ve had over the long career of basketball, from my spine to no cartilage in my knee, and I was in a wheelchair for four months,” she said.
“I broke my ankle and I also sprained my knee really bad. So, I was wheelchair-bound.
“The benefits from medical cannabis definitely outweigh the painkillers that they prescribe.
“The painkillers have really bad side effects. With medical cannabis, there are honestly no side effects that harm you.”
CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory properties help athletes ease the pain from injuries or day-to-day training.
Many have credited it to helping them get over chronic pain from recurring injuries, and it has neuroprotective qualities that defend the nervous system against both short-term and long-term damage.
What have other athletes said about using medical cannabis?
While there’s still research going into its long-term effects, athletes have pointed out the mental health problems with some painkillers.
Meanwhile, the NBA stopped testing for medical cannabis in 2020, while the NFL, MLB and NHL all allow its use with various limitations in place.
“85 percent of the players in the NBA smoke or use some type of cannabis” Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson told GQ in October 2021.
“It’s a safe and alternative way to deal with s**t.
“Yes, we are supermen. We do make a lot of money, but we have a lot of stress and s**t on our plate constantly.”
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Nets‘ Kevin Durant has partnered with a tech company Weedmaps, which directs users to their closest marijuana dispensaries.
However, he wouldn’t comment on whether he used the substances.
“I think it’s far past time to address the stigmas around cannabis that still exist in the sports world as well as globally,” Durant told ESPN.
In England, various cases of extreme epilepsy are treatable by CBD and this has brought it into the public spotlight and forced rules to be relaxed about its use in everyday life.
Brittney Griner’s legal team argue cannabis has legitimate medical use
The trial of American basketball star Brittney Griner in a Russian court focused on Tuesday on testimony that cannabis, while illegal in Russia, is regarded in other countries as having legitimate medicinal use.
Griner has acknowledged that she was carrying vape canisters containing cannabis oil when she was arrested in February at a Moscow airport, but she contends that she had no criminal intent and that the canisters ended up in her luggage inadvertently because of hasty packing.
“We are not arguing that Brittney took it here as a medicine. We are still saying that she involuntarily brought it here because she was in a rush,” defense attorney Alexander Boykov said after the session in which a Russian neuropsychologist testified about worldwide use of medicinal cannabis.
“The Russian public has to know, and the Russian court in the first place has to know, that it was not used for recreational purposes in the United States. It was prescribed by a doctor,” he said.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The medical testimony and Griner’s admission that she had the canisters is aimed at bringing her a mild sentence.
“We have a lot of mitigating factors. So we do hope that the court will take it into consideration. And the courts in Russia, in fact, have very broad discretion with regard to the sentence,” said Maria Blagovolina, another of Griner’s lawyers.
The trial of the two-time Olympic gold medalist began on July 1 but only five sessions have been held, some them lasting only about an hour.
The slow-moving trial and Griner’s five months of detention have raised strong criticism among teammates and supporters in the United States, which has formally declared her to be “wrongfully detained,” a designation sharply rejected by Russian officials.
Elizabeth Rood, the US embassy’s charge d’affaires, attended Tuesday’s court session. Griner “confirms that she is doing OK and as well as can be expected under these circumstances,” she told reporters.
Griner was arrested in February amid heightened US-Moscow tensions ahead of Russia sending troops into Ukraine later that month. Some supporters contend she is being held in Russia as a pawn, possibly for a prisoner swap. US soccer star Megan Rapinoe last week said “she’s being held as a political prisoner, obviously.’’
The Russian foreign ministry last week denied the US contention that Griner is being wrongfully detained and said Russian laws should be respected.
“If a US citizen was taken in connection with the fact that she was smuggling drugs, and she does not deny this, then this should be commensurate with our Russian local laws, and not with those adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
“If drugs are legalized in the United States, in a number of states, and this is done for a long time and now the whole country will become drug-addicted, this does not mean that all other countries are following the same path,’’ she added.
Russian media have speculated that Griner could be exchanged for prominent Russian arms trader Viktor Bout, who is imprisoned in the United States, and that Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia for espionage, may also figure in an exchange.
US officials have not commented on the prospects for such a trade. Russian officials have said no exchange could be discussed until the conclusion of the legal proceedings against Griner. It is unclear how long the trial will last, but a court has authorized Griner’s detention until 20 December.
Previous trial sessions have included character-witness testimony from the director and captain of the Russian team that Griner played for in the off-season, along with written testimony including a doctor’s letter saying he had authorized her to use cannabis for pain treatment.
Brittney Griner: I don’t understand how cannabis oil ended up in my bags
B rittney Griner, the WNBA star who remains detained in Russia since February on drug smuggling charges, insists that she had no intent to break Russian law or indeed bring anything into the country.
The basketball player’s legal team are hoping for leniency from the Russian legal system, arguing that Griner was still recovering from COVID-19 and “stress packing” ahead of going to Russia.
Griner herself says she did not expect to see the cannabis oil found in her luggage and had not intended to pack it, saying it ended up in there by accident.
“I still don’t understand to this day how they ended up in my bags,” Griner said at a hearing in Khimki.
“I didn’t have any intent to use or keep in my possession any substance that is prohibited in Russia.
“With them being accidentally in my bags, I take responsibility, but I did not intend to smuggle or plan to smuggle anything into Russia.”
As part of her defence, Griner and her legal team are also focussing on how much she enjoys going to Russia and how she considers it her second home.
She also claims she had been advised against travelling to Russia in the US, but she wanted to uphold her commitment to her team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, who she has represented during the WNBA off-season since 2014.