As people age aches, pains, and the risk of developing health conditions increases. This is true for athletes and people that live active lifestyles. Wear and tear comes with the territory when people are consistently putting their bodies through rigorous physical activities, and no matter how ‘in shape’ someone is, as people age they become much more likely to be diagnosed with a number of age-related conditions and/or are at a higher risk of injury.

Older Americans are the fastest growing demographic of cannabis consumers in the country, and for good reason. Studies have shown that cannabis has the ability to help older Americans (athletes included!) in a number of ways. Below are some of them that the Uncle Cliffy team would like to point out. Please share this article if you know older athletes that are on the fence about using cannabis for wellness purposes.

Pain management

Dealing with ongoing pain is no fun. Virtually every older athlete deals with some form of pain related to injuries incurred while competing and/or exercising. Studies have found that cannabis can be an effective part of a pain management regimen. According to a study from 2010, “Our results support the claim that smoked cannabis reduces pain, improves mood and helps sleep.” A number of other studies have arrived at similar conclusions.


Most athletes deal with inflammation at one point or another when they are competing. It could be from something as simple as a sprained ankle, all the way up to a very serious injury that results in the need for a medical procedure. As the body ages, inflammation becomes more common. The human body is quicker to swell up the older it gets. Cannabis has been found by a number of studies to help reduce inflammation.

Replaces prescription drugs

One of the most commonly referred to signs of a person aging is the increase in prescription drugs present in their medicine cabinet. When people are younger they use less prescriptions, but by the time they are nearing retirement age they are often taking a whole host of prescription drugs. This is especially true for athletes. Some prescriptions result in the need for yet more prescriptions to combat the side effects of the initial prescription(s). Cannabis has been found to reduce the use of prescription drugs, including a number of studies showing a dramatic reduction in the use of opioids. Cannabis is safer than most pharmaceutical drugs, so any reduction in prescription drug use is a great thing.

Helps improve brain health

Brain health is a topic that is being talked about more and more inside and outside of the sports world. Athletes who compete in contact sports are particularly at risk of experiencing a brain injury. Even if an athlete does not experience a brain injury, brain health is something that should be on every older athlete’s radar. Just like the rest of the body, the human brain reduces in functionality as people get older. Cannabis can help improve brain health as people age, as a number of studies have shown.