Roller Derby is an intense, highly strategic, hard hitting physical sport played on quad roller skates. This is not the old Roller Derby you used to see on television. The sport has evolved to become some of the most dynamic game play, which is dominated by some amazing athletes.

I have been playing competitive Roller Derby for seven years, five of which have been at an internationally ranked level. This sport is amazing and is what I have decided to dedicated most of my life to, but it is incredibly hard on the body.

When I am in season, I train almost every day. My schedule can be packed full with both on and off skates training. This leaves little time for recovery between training sessions and, with the full contact nature of the sport, injuries are always an issue.

In the past, I have done a variety of things to help aid in my competing, training, and recovery.

  • I have submerged my entire body into a bathtub full of ice for minutes at a time.
  • My teammates have pulled at my legs and arms to try to settle them back into their sockets.
  • I’ve seen chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists, and countless doctors for multiple injuries.

All of these things have helped keep me going, but nothing has helped me more than medicinal cannabis.

I started using medical cannabis as a treatment for an injury in January (2018) when I suffered a shoulder dislocation. I was in exceptional pain with any movement, it was almost unbearable. I began with the Blue Widow strain from Canna Farms, which I used to make infused coconut oil, and turned into a beautiful vegan fudge. Using micro doses throughout the day, I found I was able to substantially take down my pain level as well as the inflammation almost instantly. Prescription medications were not giving me nearly the amount of relief my delicious little fudge was. Not only was my pain dissipating, but I was also able to maintain a clear head at work.

After the success in treating my injury, I started looking at other ways I could utilize cannabis in my training and recovery process.

This is when I discovered an article that talked about a neurotransmitter called anandamide, which stimulates the same cannabinoid receptors that cannabis does. Your body produces anandamide when you participate in intense physical activity. Commonly people would refer to this as “runners high”, but athletes also experience this when hitting a high level of intense activity.

Often when you hit this status in your training, either at practices or games, you find that you are more focused, your endurance is higher, and your reaction times are sharper and more precise. The problem is that it can take an excessive amount of work to get to that physical state for your body to start producing anandamide. Once I figured out that utilizing cannabis can help create a similar effect, I began experimenting with different strains as well as different THC/CBD combos to see what worked best for me.

I found that using 1:1 sativa capsules has benefited my performance the most, Midnight from Medreleaf has been my go-to. I take my capsules before practice, so that they come into effect halfway through my session. I then vaporise a mid-range THC sativa prior to my session to get me in a balanced state of mind before my practice or game.

I began to notice a big difference between days when I did and didn’t medicate. When I medicated prior to a session, the recovery time seemed much shorter, even after a particularly grueling practice.

Utilizing cannabis with my training has also helped keep me calm and focused. I found that nerves don’t tend to get the better of me because I am only focused on what is happening at that moment and what my next move is.

I’m encouraged by all of the articles coming out about the benefits of cannabis in athletics. I can’t wait to discover more ways medical cannabis will help keep me rolling on all 8 wheels for many years to come!

— Tina Jansen, Aka #117 Girlmeat, Patient Educator Winnipeg.

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