Athletes, fitness experts, and doctors can dispel myths and clarify the facts about cannabis. More athletes and leading fitness experts praise the beneficial effects of cannabis and break down stereotypical visions of mane people regarding hemp. Today, scientists and doctors are helping them to dispel many experienced myths. The question is - whether cannabis is really an effective means of improving sports performance? And whether the benefits outweigh the side effects? The researchers asked experts from the fitness, medical, and hemp industries how cannabis can benefit or harm the sports condition of people.
The Benefits of CBD
1. Treatment of inflammation: The treatment of inflammation of muscles and joints is one of the most promising areas of cannabis research. Many studies confirm that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) helps to reduce inflammation effectively. Therefore, researchers are investigating the potential of this cannabinoid in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease, systemic lupus, or psoriasis. Some certified yoga instructors use cannabis in this practice and recommend it to their clients. They mostly recommend CBD topicals for athletes who want to benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of hemp without smoking or experiencing the psychoactive effects of cannabis. They also note that CBD topical or skin preparations and CBD tinctures in high doses are incredibly beneficial for targeted local regeneration. CBD significantly reduces stress levels and, as a result, improves sleep quality and duration. CBD has become one of the favorite forms of treatment for many people because it usually has the best results in terms of anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It should be added that Delta 9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) also has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty times stronger than aspirin and twice as strong as the steroid hydrocortisone. Nevertheless, Delta 9 THC is not recommended for professional athletes due to the forthcoming doping tests. Only some North American sports leagues, such as American football, ice hockey, and mixed martial arts, allow the use of THC (Delta 9), as it proves successful in recovering from serious injuries.
2. Pain relief: Hand in hand with the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis, goes its ability to relieve pain. Scientific research in this area has submitted many promising results. Studies have revealed that the cannabinoids present in cannabis soothe all pain, from chronic to compulsory muscle, caused by muscle cramps. And that is good news for anyone looking for an alternative to dangerous and addictive prescription opiates. Many professional trainers support cannabis therapies that help regenerate muscles and relieve pain after injuries. They note that cannabis can help not only with physical pain but also mentally, significantly improving the quality of life. You do not have to look too hard in studies to find that the substances in cannabis have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reduce stress, and provide pain relief. Generally, after a bad injury, the hospital prescribes extremely strong painkillers that are high addictiveness and even toxic.
3. Treatment of muscle spasms: Another area of medical use of cannabis is in the treatment of muscle spasms. Scientific research has shown that it has a positive effect in treating muscle cramps associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease and could therefore be of benefit to athletes suffering from exhaustion cramps. In addition, the studies on rodents have shown some beneficial effects on muscle recovery and reduction of muscle cramps, probably due to the anti-inflammatory properties of hemp cannabinoids.
4. Improving sleep: It is no secret that cannabis induces better sleep. However, studies have also shown that it can help people with sleep disorders and even suppress dreams, which is welcomed by people with post-traumatic stress disorder. In contrast, CBD can soothe REM sleep disorders and reduce fatigue during the day. REM is the phase of sleep in which people have dreams. Everyone knows how important sleep is for overall fitness, so it is in this area that cannabis can be a great asset to sports performance. Some coaches recommend CBD isolate to almost all their clients to improve their sleep. Pure CBD significantly reduces stress levels and, as a result, improves sleep quality and duration. However, the effect of cannabis on sleep is associated with certain reservations. On the other hand, one small study in 2004 discovered that young adults who took cannabis at bedtime slept normally but woke up tired and had impaired memory. Therefore, it is advisable to use full-spectrum CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC levels, which can shorten the third phase of sleep and better performance the next day in solving several tasks. Another advantage of cannabis is that it can be a suitable alternative to traditional sleeping pills, which can be addictive and have many side effects. According to one report, 95% of respondents use cannabis to reduce their use of sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications.
5. Improving mental performance: Contrary to popular belief, cannabis has no harmful effect on brain function. In fact, it could be just the opposite. According to a study published in one medical journal, regular low doses of Delta 9 THC restored cognitive function in old mice. In addition, many fitness experts said that hemp could help get into the right mental mood during training. They explain that at the beginning of the exercise, cannabis helps to reduce anxiety, keep the mind calm, and be focused on each individual task. In other words, fitness experts note that cannabis acts as a catalyst to achieve the meditative state that is key to success in sports.
1. Lung damage from smoking: Every athlete knows that a healthy lung is essential for overall fitness. So you need to be careful about smoking in general because smoking has significant negative effects on lung capacity.
2. Impairment of motor skills: It is no big secret that cannabis, like other anesthetics, can affect our motor skills. Cannabis use can markedly impair decision-making and motor coordination and make some activities, such as driving, more difficult. Marijuana can be a great post-workout recovery supplement, but it is not recommended to take high doses of Delta 9 THC, especially before the exercise. Because it can reduce reaction speed and overall stability, and you won't have a desire to lift heavy objects.
3. Increased risk of heart attack: In professional sports, there are known cases that even very young athletes have failed their hearts due to a huge load if they had any undetected biases. Therefore, recreational athletes should be warned by scientists that cannabis use may be associated with an increased risk of heart attack within one hour of ingestion. Combined with sudden labor, one of the main triggers of a heart attack, exercising too hard under the influence of cannabis can be potentially risky. Anyone with a history of heart problems should consult a doctor before beginning any exercise mode, and cannabis use, especially with high Delta 9 THC levels, is likely to be avoided altogether.
4. Increased probability of chronic depression. In medicine, whenever scientists are looking at the therapeutic use of cannabis, they want to make sure that the benefits outweigh the risks and that cannabis use carries certain health risks. One of the risks of long-term cannabis use is an increased chance of depression. They note that intensive long-term cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Depression is definitely harmful to the physical condition because it reduces motivation and causes numerous physical side effects. Depression and stress increase cortisol levels in the body, leading to weight gain, weakened immune systems, fluctuations in blood sugar levels, and gastrointestinal problems.