Everybody is smoking weed these days, or at least it seems that way. Medical marijuana and THC infused products are more accessible than ever, so how’s it going to affect your fitness?
BECOME A BETTER HUMAN WITHOUT BREAKING THE LAW
You may have noticed that marijuana is becoming legal in states all across the U.S. and people are changing the way they look at smoking weed. In fact, fitness gurus everywhere are promoting marijuana use as a performance enhancer and challenging the lazy stoner stereotype.
Is it possible that cannabis is an incredible miracle plant, that increases performance during physical activity or are there negatives that outweigh the positives?
Let’s take a look at both sides from the perspective of the medical community, fitness enthusiasts and experts in the cannabis industry.
Here’s a positive benefit that you may not be aware of, marijuana can reduce inflammation. Let’s take an objective look at this.
CANNABIS MAY REDUCE INFLAMMATION
Research has shown this may very well be the most important benefit of marijuana use to an athlete. In various studies, researchers have found that CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana may help ease inflammation. Researchers are now looking into the use of CBD to treat autoimmune conditions like Lupus, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease.
In Colorado there’s a yoga studio called Ganja Guru Yoga owned by this high-level instructor named Adam Brous. He recommends cannabis for relief of pain from inflammation and muscle soreness from a workout or surgery.
Guru Adam even recommends topical products to anyone that doesn’t like smoking CBD or feeling high. He says topicals and tinctures are great at targeting specific areas in concentrated doses.
Here’s another one. A former division 1 college pole vaulter and the current VP of marketing at Eaze, Jamie Feaster, chooses CBD for its anti-inflammatory properties after suffering an Achilles tendon injury.
So many athletes really sing the praises of CBD lotions, they say it usually delivers the best results when it comes to anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
SPEAKING OF SORENESS AND PAIN
I know a ton of cannabis users that say it alleviates pain and dramatically reduces inflammation. The research in this area shows very promising results. They say it reduces all kinds of pain, from chronic pain, to acute pain from muscle spasms and the best part is, it isn’t habit forming as it is with opiates.
Another advocate for marijuana therapies is fitness trainer Zach Scioli of DIAKADI Fitness in San Francisco. He believes it helps with muscle recovery and alleviating pain from injuries. He didn’t always think this way though.
If you ask Zach, he’ll explain it doesn’t take much digging into studies to find that cannabis’ compounds are anti-inflammatory, stress reducing, antioxidative, and pain mediating, to name just a few benefits. Mr. Scioli suffered a slipped disc in his lower back, he was bedridden for weeks and on a bunch of opiates. In his words, “Being prescribed extremely strong prescription painkillers to treat pain, I realized their high addiction and toxicity potential. I opted to try CBD oil and high-grade THC extracts to manage pain and inflammation. Looking back, it was the best choice I could have made.”
DOES CANNABIS HELP WITH MUSCLE SPASMS???
Something that researchers have been looking into is using cannabis to treat muscle spasms. Apparently cannabis has shown promising results when it comes to treating muscle spasms linked to diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s, and the benefits could extend to athletes suffering from spasms as well. Dr. Erich Anderer, M.D., chief of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn is quoted saying, “There have been studies in rodents showing some beneficial effect in muscle recovery and reduction of muscle spasm, presumably due to the anti-inflammatory properties the compound possesses,” explains That said, health application of cannabis is a new area of study, and Anderer says scientists need more research on athletes who don’t suffer from any of these disorders. “I don’t know any rats that do CrossFit, so more research needs to be done before we can recommend it for this use with any confidence,” he says. “The problem is that right now there is no scientific evidence it works in humans.”
EVERYONE WANTS TO SLEEP BETTER
Do you hate dreaming? ME TOO!
One of the coolest benefits of cannabis, no one is talking about. You kind of stop having dreams, so, if you suffer from anxiety, weed shuts that door for a lot of people. My sleep vastly improves, the more I’m separated from worry. Even people with sleep apnea felt like it improved their life. Meanwhile they are finding CBD can help with REM Sleep Disorder, you know… where people act out in their dreams.
HOW EMBARASSING RIGHT?
Everyone knows how important sleep is to overall fitness, don’t they?
Allowing your body to rest deeply, with enough time to make all the necessary repairs, is extremely beneficial to your athletic performance.
BOOM… ANOTHER BENEFIT
Did you know that marijuana is often used in place of traditional sleep medications, which can be habit-forming and come with a bunch of side effects. “Eaze recently released a MEN’s HEALTH 2017 State of Cannabis data report, They found that 95% of people that responded used cannabis to help reduce their sleeping and anxiety medication consumption,” says Feaster.
I personally consider cannabis a nootropic… a real smart drug.
Most of us grow up being taught that marijuana use makes you dull, however, contrary to popular thinking, marijuana may not have detrimental effects on brain function. In fact, it could be the opposite. Regular, low doses of THC actually restored cognitive function in old mice, according to a June 2017 study published in Nature Medicine. Anecdotally, many of the fitness experts who spoke with us said weed helped them get in the “zone” with their workouts.
“Cannabis has helped my mental game and focus incredibly. Early in my practice, cannabis helped to reduce anxiety, and keep me calm and focused on one task,” he says. “Later, I noticed that cannabis acted as a catalyst to achieve a meditative ‘flow state’ that is crucial to success in athletics.”