An association focused on cannabis, health, equity, and medicine hosted a virtual summit last weekend to discuss integrating cannabis into sports medicine.
On Saturday, more than 200 athletes, coaches, medical professionals, and sports fans with shared values and a vision of health equity logged on for the Association for Cannabis Health and Medicine’s (ACHEM) Global Health Summit: Athletes and Associations.
The event was the second in ACHEM’s Global Health Summit series, covering various topics related to cannabis and sports medicine.
ACHEM says the one-day summit featured a full slate of informational and educational cannabis programs that it curated with its coalition partners.
According to ACHEM, current rules prohibit athletes from consuming cannabis because of alleged health risks, performance-enhancing capabilities, and a belief that cannabis use violates the spirit of sport.
ACHEM says that, despite the prohibitory rules, many athletes have increasingly embraced cannabis for potential health and wellness benefits.
Still, current sports organization rules, which ACHEM calls antiquated, punitive, and non-scientific, hinder athletes.
ACHEM says it created the Athletes and Associations edition of its Global Health Summit to capture those sentiments and give attendees the necessary resources to advocate bringing about long-overdue changes to sports rule-makers.
MPP President Toi Hutchinson says the summit was a powerful example of ACHEM’s mission of serving communities and improving the accessibility of health and wellbeing in action.
“At MPP, we’re working to foster inclusive legalization, policies, and practices across the cannabis industry,” says Hutchinson. “Events like ACHEM’s Global Health Summit help us realize our goal. I believe this event will have a long-lasting impact on athletics and advance conversation and action towards normalizing cannabis to achieve health equity in sports.”
ACHEM Board Chair Dr. Rachel Knox delivered the keynote address before the start of the sessions, which included Cannabinoid Sports Medicine, Health Equity in Sports, and Sports Policy Reform.
Speakers at the event included former NFL linebacker Lofa Tatupu, MPP President Toi Hitchinson, Canna-Centers Founder Dr. Bonni Goldstein, Cannabinologist Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, retired NFL player Marvin Washington, and MMA fighter Elias Thodorou.
ACHEM says the event provided opportunities throughout the day to connect with summit speakers and sponsor organizations during networking sessions.
The summit also featured a yoga session with SannaOhana Yoga & Wellness to provide an opportunity for attendees to relax and recenter themselves.
The summit allowed participants to learn from sports and medical professionals about the difficulties pro-cannabis athletes face.
ACHEM says Elias Theodorou discussed his exhausting five-year fight to get an exemption to use cannabis as an MMS fighter, and professional rugby player Anna Symonds talked about health-focused cannabinoid use and difficulties with drug testing.
Marvin Washington shared his NFL story at the summit, revealing that many current players support cannabis use, but not publicly for fear of consequences.
According to ACHEM, there was also a discussion regarding the future of sports medicine and how beneficial cannabis can be for athlete health.
ACHEM says it wants to build awareness and competency in the medicinal and clinical applications of cannabis science.
The company says the Global Health Summit provides a way for people from different backgrounds and industries to learn about cannabis in a supportive environment, stay at the forefront of cannabis innovation, and collaborate in advocating for change in healthcare and medicine.
According to ACHEM, the Athletes and Associations summit took the mission a step further by addressing the implications of cannabis in sports medicine for athletes, trainers, coaches, and supporting associations.
ACHEM says it plans to host a series of community watch parties that feature summit panels focused on advancing health equity in sports.