An increasing number of states in the United States of America have legalized the use of marijuana as a recreational drug. As a result, its accessibility and social acceptability have increased substantially. From rock stars to politicians, marijuana has become a part of mainstream culture in the last few years.
A recent report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates over 11.8 million people in the USA alone use marijuana. Of late, several sports professionals and athletes recommend marijuana for its health benefits.
Marijuana for Medicinal Use
So what is it then? Another cultural trend, or a promising way to enhance your performance? Let’s find out how marijuana can affect your athletic performance.
We all know the benefit of having a sound sleep does wonder about the fitness of our body. For athletics, the importance of sleep becomes more crucial. Hybrid Strains Marijuana helps in decreasing stress levels to improve the duration and quality of sleep.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in marijuana induces sleep while Cannabidiol (CBD) is capable of easing out sleep disorders like day-dreaming, and fatigue. Anti-depressant qualities of marijuana help in coping with chronic stress and emotional distress. According to a 2008 study, ingesting marijuana results in reducing REM Sleep, a sleeping disorder. Reducing REM sleep means less dreams. By spending less time dreaming, you remain in a deep sleep state for a longer duration that rejuvenates your body. More importantly, there is hardly any side effect or habit formation while using marijuana. Therefore, it provides a promising alternative to conventional sleep medicines.
The anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana help in controlling the inflammation in muscles and joints. Since athletes are prone to muscle and ligament injury, Cannabidiol offers a better way of reducing inflammation and fast recovery. Marijuana suppresses inflammation-causing proteins like cytokines and chemokines released in the blood. By activating immunological receptors in our body, marijuana boosts the immune system and provides an anti-inflammatory response. A study published in the Future Science Journal concluded Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs to treat inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
Apart from reducing joint inflammation, marijuana can help athletes with sunburns and skin-irritations, especially in sensitive skins. If you are wary of getting used to smoking marijuana, you can use it topically. Being an edible plant, it is available most commonly in oil form. Additionally, there are several lotions and tinctures for applying locally for instant relief.
Chronic pain management is perhaps one of the most promising effects of marijuana on our health. From sore joints to muscle pain, from acute pain to chronic pain, marijuana offers an alternate solution over powerful painkillers. Additionally, lab tests on rats and mice have shown a significant reduction in muscle spasms.
Athletes suffering from muscle or joint pain can use CBD-based skin creams and lotions. These topical creams have concentrated CBD and activate the receptors in the skin without entering the bloodstream to soothe the chronic neuropathic pain. Quite often, many athletes prefer pain-killers for sore muscles and joint pains. These powerful chemicals might result in indigestion and other side effects. Marijuana, on the other hand, being a natural product, gels well with the body and does not have any side effects.
While debated extensively, recent studies on rodents reveal that controlled doses of THC delivery restore the cognitive function. In humans as well, several fitness experts swear by the improvement in concentration while using marijuana. By boosting brain cognizance, marijuana helps in mental focus to train harder during workouts. Additionally, it relaxes the mind and helps in achieving a meditative state required to excel in athletics. By decreasing discomfort, it clears their mind and encourages them to train harder. Also, by increasing impulsive responses, it encourages risk-taking without hampering decision-making. As thoughts flow freely, it also encourages creativity among athletes. A relaxed mind reduces anxiety and nervousness, which in turn improves their performance.
By combining anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, marijuana offers better recovery to the athlete’s body after an intense work-out session. The pain controlling qualities of marijuana helps athletes train harder and longer by boosting their endurance. CBD-laced topical creams are easy to apply during or after workouts to mitigate muscle fatigue. By regulating fatigue, marijuana provides relief against mental and physical exhaustion. As a result, athletes are willing to go the extra mile and push their potential. It is, therefore, no wonder that it has become a go-to drug for most athletes after intense training regimes.
Summing it up:
Legal and social acceptance of marijuana, coupled with its easy accessibility, has surged its usage recently. Getting marijuana has never been easier.
The effects of marijuana on human health and fitness are subjective and depend on the individual. The article balances the benefits as well as risks on your athletic performance. However, if you have a history of respiratory and health problems, it is best that you consult an experienced doctor before including marijuana in your fitness regimen.