For years, the use of marijuana was stigmatized and led many to think that it encouraged laziness and impeded performance. However, since the plant’s legalization in the US, new information and early studies seem to contradict these outdated beliefs.
So is it worth buying Girl Scout Cookies seeds or any other exciting weed strain to help your athletic performance?
Here we investigate this green phenomenon by examining how cannabis can impact athletes and professional sports. You’ll also find out how to incorporate this therapeutic herb into your fitness routine.
Let’s get started.
7 Potential Impacts of Cannabis in Sports
The effects of marijuana in sports have become a hot topic, thanks to an influx of anecdotal reports from professional athletes. Many of these individuals have pointed to weed as their secret weapon, helping improve their mental and physical performance.
So why is cannabis banned in sports?
Below, we look at seven ways marijuana could assist athletes and give them an edge over the competition.
While there are a number of benefits to consuming CBD for medicinal purposes, athletes find its anti-inflammatory properties considerably helpful. Stars such as Nate Jackson and Eugene Monroe have credited the herb with allowing them to recover faster from injury.
Early clinical trials support these claims, as evidence suggests that CBD indirectly prevents T-cell proliferation. This cannabinoid can also mitigate the natural body response and stop these cells from sticking together.
As a result, athletes can target specific areas of their bodies and quickly bring down any signs of swelling.
It’s important to remember that these anti-inflammatory qualities are from CBD products, not ones with high THC levels. Therefore, athletes can utilize these benefits without inducing any psychoactive effects.
Another positive connection between cannabis and sports is its potential to help athletes by boosting the level of endorphins. Both CBD and THC are linked to this “feel good” chemical and may prove to be an effective way to improve your motivation.
These cannabinoids bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, making it easier to reach a state known as the runner’s high. Not only do athletes feel more compelled to train in the off-season, but they can also practice for longer.
The reason cannabis has these uplifting effects is due to its link to the endocannabinoid system. Weed helps to balance out the signals from these neurotransmitters, allowing your body to reach a state of homeostasis.
Lower Cortisol Levels
It’s fair to say that increased stress and anxiety can significantly hinder an athlete’s physical performance on the field. What’s more, these additional pressures can negatively affect one’s mental state, leading to low confidence and depression.
Various clinical trials point to CBD as a possible way to lower cortisol levels in your body. Results showed that this cannabinoid stops the secretion of the stress chemical, lowering your blood pressure.
It’s also attributed to preventing weight loss, allowing various athletes to maintain their physical strength. Even with anecdotal reports, products with THC may counteract these effects, increasing the feeling of anxiety.
Improved Focus and Energy
While no evidence suggests that using cannabis in sports makes you faster or stronger; it could improve your mental clarity. Many athletes claim that consuming low amounts of THC helps boost their focus and energy.
At the same time, high levels of THC have been shown to impair one’s motor skills, making it harder to maintain your balance. If you’re interested in experiencing these benefits, it’s best to stick to low potency sativa-dominant strains with more CBD.
It’s also worth mentioning that these uplifting effects differ depending on the individual. For the best results, you should record your usage, similarly to how cultivators keep homegrown diaries. That way, you can find a product that suits your lifestyle.
Soothe and Eliminate Pain
One of the main reasons for cannabis doping in sports is the plant’s natural analgesic qualities. Many athletes have turned to CBD products as an alternative treatment for pain management after an injury or operation.
Although there’s no scientific evidence to support these claims, marijuana could play a role in preventing fatigue during recovery. CBD and THC have also opened the door for athletes looking to avoid using painkillers and treat opioid addiction.
Reduce Feelings of Nausea
Early clinical trials on the effects of CBD support claims suggesting that cannabis can reduce the feeling of nausea. These antiemetic properties are due to the link between weed and the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Athletes can use these wellness benefits to their advantage when it comes to maintaining a nutritional diet. Some individuals have taken to combining CBD with superfoods, allowing them to maintain their appetite while consuming supplements.
Improve Sleeping Patterns
It’s hard to ignore the enormous pressure on athletes, especially in high-level sports, and its impact on their sleeping schedules. Without a proper night’s rest, it’s almost impossible to expect these stars to bring their A-game.
CBD aims to rectify this issue by improving athletes’ sleeping patterns, allowing them to wake up feeling refreshed. These products also eliminate the need for addictive medications, which can have disastrous effects in the long run.
Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?
The legalization of marijuana has changed many lives, but is there a connection between cannabis and sports recovery?
Despite the lack of scientific evidence, positive anecdotal claims from athletes using CBD and THC products continue to spread like wildfire. They report a significant decrease in stress, along with an increase in focus, allowing them to maintain their peak performance.
Further benefits include better sleeping patterns, healthier appetites, and improved injury recovery. However, until clinical trials are performed on humans, it’s difficult to support or refute these claims.
Why not find out for yourself by incorporating CBD products into your workout routine? Read our blogs to stay on top of the latest cannabis regulations and discover how this plant can impact your lifestyle.
Kyle Kushman is an American writer, educator, activist and award-winning cannabis cultivator and breeder specializing in veganic cultivation. He is a representative of Homegrown Cannabis CO company, has been a contributor for over 20 years, and has taught courses in advanced horticulture at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California and across the United States. Kushman also hosts a cannabis podcast called “The Grow Show with Kyle Kushman”.