Sports Cannabis Interviews

Anna Symonds | Moving the Needle Forward in 2022

“Cannabis helps me physically, mentally, and emotionally by offering rest, recovery, and a helpful change of perspective. It lifts away the burden of chronic pain, soothes with its anti-inflammatory properties, and grants an all-over relaxation that allows my body to do deeper self-healing. I wake up the next day recharged and more able to take on all that is ahead.”
Photographer : Nicolle Clemetson | Creative Contributor : Matthew Nielsen

Retired Rugby Icon, Anna Symonds dominated the field with highlights that include; a USA Rugby Div 1 National Championship, a Sydney (Aus) Premiership Championship, and 4 national championships in the sport of Touch Rugby along with representing the USA Women’s Team at the 2015 Touch Rugby World Cup.  Since retiring, Anna has taken her talents off the field as a thought leader, cannabis advocate and educator.

Anna Symonds discovered the profound healing effects of cannabis for recovery and relief after sustaining an injury;

“In the fall of 2013, I injured my back pretty badly. It turned out to be a herniated disc with two bulging discs above it, but I didn’t have that imaging for several months so I was toughing my way through the pain. At the time, I was playing rugby and also training in MMA, so there were a lot of demands on my body… I was already using cannabis edibles to help with sleep, but I found that smoking flower gave me the best, most effective and reliable relief from the muscle spasms – without the negative side effects of prescription muscle relaxants and painkillers. Cannabis really got me through the initial injury and then allowed me to manage the pain, to continue training and competing consistently at the intense level that I needed to perform. And less than a year after the injury, I won a national championship with my rugby team and competed in two MMA fights – experiences that I treasure and wouldn’t trade for anything.”

Today, cannabis is helping Anna in a variety of ways;

“Cannabis helps me physically, mentally, and emotionally by offering rest, recovery, and a helpful change of perspective. It lifts away the burden of chronic pain, soothes with its anti-inflammatory properties, and grants an all-over relaxation that allows my body to do deeper self-healing. I wake up the next day recharged and more able to take on all that is ahead.”



With an opportunity to break the stigma and normalize the cannabis conversation, Anna’s focused on educating and sharing invaluable information with the cannabis community;

“We need to recognize cannabis as a medicinal herb: a therapeutic agent that is powerful but relatively gentle to the body. We’re working to correct decades of intentional misinformation about the plant that unscientifically paints it as a drug of abuse. So we need to clear away that propaganda so that the conversation can start from a different, helpful place. As for substance abuse: any medicine can be abused, and that can certainly be an open part of the conversation, but it shouldn’t be the starting point. And stigmatizing a substance only makes it more likely to be abused.”

Looking forward, Anna believes the core focus should be;

“The US needs to follow Canada’s lead and federally legalize cannabis. People should simply not be arrested for possessing this plant, period. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also needs to remove cannabis and THC from the in-competition prohibited substances lists, allowing athletes worldwide the ability to use this medicine as needed.”

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