Cannabis Products for Recovery & Pain Management—with Don Moxley – EP119

 In Podcast

As endurance athletes, we know that recovery is key in optimizing performance. We also deal with pain on a regular basis. For those reasons, many of us are curious about the medicinal benefits of cannabis as an anti-inflammatory and pain remediator. But with all the hype out there, how do you know what products to choose? Do you need CBD, THC or both? How do you identify a quality supplier?  




Don Moxley is a respected exercise physiologist who specializes in tracking and improving performance and alleviating unnecessary suffering. His work with elite athletes led to an interest in the role of cannabinoids in the central nervous system and his current role as an advisor at Mendi, a company using cannabis to build recovery tools that optimize performance. Don has 30-plus years of classroom and industry leadership to his credit, and as an athlete, he served as captain of The Ohio State University Wrestling Team, earning a Big 10 Title in 1985.

Today, Don joins us to discuss the medicinal value of cannabis and explain the differences among THC, CBD, THCA and CBDA. He describes the role of CBD in athlete recovery, sharing how he manages his own knee pain and inflammation with cannabis. Don also uncovers the important role of anandamides in the central nervous system and addresses how elite athletes can leverage intentional recovery. Listen in for insight on the appropriate ratios of THC and CBD in topical and ingested products and learn to be an informed consumer of cannabis!

Topics Covered

[2:32] The different species of cannabis plants

  • Vary by percentage of TCHA + CBDA
  • Neither psychoactive until heated
[5:16] The medicinal value of cannabis

  • Powerful anti-inflammatory
  • Pain remediation
[7:44] The role of CBD + THC in athlete recovery

  • CBD + CBDA seems to give bump in HRV
  • Find right combo of THCA, THC, CDBA + CBD
[11:38] Don’s personal experience with cannabis

  • Manages knee pain and inflammation with CBD
  • Topical + oral ingestion relieves pain, anxiety
[14:18] Don’s advice on being an informed consumer

  • Pay less than $50/gram of CBD
  • Ask for certificate of analysis (COA)
[17:46] The THC + CBD ratios Don recommends

  • 1:1 THC to CBD for topical, 250 mg of each in 2 oz. jar
  • Ingest 1 mg of CBD/lb. body weight daily (pain, anxiety)
[19:11] How cannabis plants have evolved over time

  • From 5% to 28% THC by weight since 1970’s
  • Starting to breed for CBD content now
  • Need both THC + CBD for relaxing effect
[21:58] The impact of smoking before a race

  • May help regulate pain
  • Not recommended
[25:32] The role of anandamides in the nervous system

  • Exercise benefits by building anandamides
  • Fear conditioning leads to drop (causes hypervigilance)
  • Consumption of exogenous cannabinoids to normalize
[30:49] Don’s insight around intentional recovery

  • Elite athletes must alleviate environmental stressors
  • Chronic cannabinoid deficiency limits performance
[33:58] Don’s advice around finding cannabis products

  • Start with quality CBD product, CBDA if available
  • Look in established markets (WA, OR, CO + CA)
[36:15] Don’s tips for Ali Fitness listeners

  • Shed tradition to see new opportunities
  • Use HRV as tool to monitor benefit and recovery

Learn More About Don Moxley


Don on LinkedIn

Don on Twitter

Don on Facebook

Don on Instagram


‘Microdeletion in a FAAH Pseudogene Identified in a Patient with High Anandamide Concentrations and Pain Insensitivity’ in The British Journal of Anaesthesia

‘Fear Conditioning, Synaptic Plasticity and the Amygdala: Implications for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder’ in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

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Dr. Ethan Russo

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Polar Heart Rate Transmitters on Amazon

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