Please note: Before we start, it’s important to note that this blog in no way provides medical advice, and is only here to give general information. Though more research is being done today than ever before, the prohibition of cannabis has led to a lack of scientific research on it’s exact effects on the human body. Physical activity is not recommended for all people, and it’s important to speak to a medical professional before incorporating cannabis into any workout regimen.
Marijuana and Working Out
The secret is out that cannabis is a far cry from the “gateway drug” that it has been so wrongfully accused of since the days of “Reefer Madness”. With the slow end to it’s prohibition, marijuana is finally receiving the credit that it deserves for being an overwhelmingly versatile and functional therapeutic medicine. Legalization has afforded millions of people with the ability to live happy healthy lives.
Cannabis has well earned its place in the world of health and wellness, but what about cannabis and physical fitness? Athletes have been fired for cannabis use as it is still considered a performance enhancing drug, by the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and many more. The only professional sport organization that has taken marijuana off of the list of banned substances in the National Hockey League.
Cannabis’s place on the list as a possible performance enhancing drug has faced scrutiny as its use is associated with relaxation and appetite stimulation. As society becomes more accepting of cannabis and states continue to legalize it, athletes are becoming more vocal about its pre and post workout benefits.
Can cannabis help with my workouts?
Some of the scientific studies on the effects of cannabis use on exercise are quite promising. Cannabis can be either beneficial or detrimental depending on the specific exercise. Anecdotally, athletes often claim that consuming cannabis before a workout makes the workout more enjoyable. According to a 2003 study that looked at exercise and the endocannabinoid system, physical activity stimulates the production of the endocannabinoid anandamide which could be responsible for the “runner’s high” associated with exercise. Since cannabis binds to our cannabinoid receptors, it makes sense that ingesting cannabis before a workout could make the experience that much better and intensify the sense of euphoria that people experience during a workout.
Another known benefit of cannabis use in a workout regimen is its power to relieve pain. An animal study states that prereferral nerves that detect pain are also abundant in cannabinoid receptors. The attachment of cannabinoids to the receptors seemed to suppress pain being carried by the nerves. Pain is the number one condition that people use cannabis for medicinally, so it would make sense that it’s pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties would be useful for physical activity. Athletes claim that they can push themselves harder and workout much longer when they consume cannabis before a workout.
The relief from muscular and nerve pain can be a double edged sword when it comes to exercise. On one hand it can relieve chronic pain that hinders physical activity and lead to healing. On the other hand, pain exists to tell us that something is wrong. Working out with an injury could exacerbate the underlying issue and lead to some serious problems.
Another factor to consider is the impaired cognitive function associated with cannabis use. A 2000 study examined Regional Cerebral Blood Flow (rCBF) using Positron Emission Tomography (PET). The study found that after consuming cannabis, the subjects had restricted blood flow to the temporal and occipital lobes as well as other parts of the brain associated with task performance. The temporal lobe takes in auditory sensory information where the occipital lobe handles visual information such as depth perception. Despite the lack of blood flow, the participants had little difficulty with the dichotic tasks that they were given.
The study also found bother parts of the brain, including parts of the cerebellum had increased blood flow. Cannabis can hinder reaction time, focus, and at times, coordination, so it’s important to consider how cannabis could help or hinder performance during a specific physical activity.
Post Workout Relief
Though the idea of using cannabis to enhance athletic performance is relatively new, it’s use for muscle pain relief is well known. THC and CBD are anti inflammatory, and there are a few different ways to reap the benefits for post workout relief. Topicals are among the most popular products for preventing and treating delayed onset muscle soreness associated with working out. While THC is not legal in all states, it is beneficial to have THC in a topical since THC and CBD potentiate each other to provide the most relief. CBD is often referred to as the most therapeutic part of the cannabis plant. Consuming CBD will help relax the entire body from the mind to the muscles.
Recommended Products for Pre- and Post-Workout
We recommend Evolab Cartridges because these CO2 extracted oils are free from any residual hydrocarbon. Evolab holds their oils to the highest standards, and it shows. Vaping is a healthier option because it lacks the carcinogens associated with smoking. A sativa or sativa-dominant hybrid will get things moving pre workout, and an Indica will slow things down post workout.
Stratos 15:1 and 1:1 CBD:THC Tablets
We’ve already mentioned that CBD is great for post workout relaxation. Stratos tablets are a great edible option since they still offer a small amount of THC to work with the CBD. It is an added bonus that these tablets don’t have the sugar and calories that many other edibles have.
Mary’s Medicinals Muscle Freeze: Mary’s Medicinals Muscle Freeze is a medicated and methylated salve that is specifically designed to combat muscle pain. Delayed onset muscle soreness is no joke, and this amazing topical can be tricky to find. Luckily, Buddy Boy Brands has got you covered!