There has been a lot of debate and speculation about whether or not cannabis can be used to enhance sporting performance or not. Some people believe that it does indeed enhance sporting performance, while others claim that there is not enough solid evidence to support this theory. So what does science say? In this blog post, we will explore the current research on cannabis and sport as well as offer thoughts on the matter which also includes the benefits of consuming cannabis as an athlete as well as any evidence of its efficiency.
Keep reading to discover whether or not cannabis is a performance enhancer.
What is cannabis and how does it work?
Cannabis is a very ancient plant that can be found growing naturally all around the world. This plant has 2 main active ingredients which are THC and CBD. THC is psychoactive and is used recreationally while CBD is non-psychoactive and is used medically to treat a mountain of health conditions including pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, nausea, and sleep disorders to name a few. Cannabis used to be illegal however, in recent years, more countries have legalized cannabis as well as decriminalized it.
There are still some countries with strict cannabis laws such as China and Dubai. However, most places around the world are embracing this plant and its healing promise. Which is the reason why cannabis has become so popular in recent years. Cannabis consumers are now looking for new ways to consume their favorite plant. Whether it’s through the use of a vaporizer, oil pen, or other device, there are plenty of options out there. One such option that has gained popularity in recent years is using a dry herb vaporizer like this one offered by MagicVaporizers.
They’re convenient and easy to use, but most importantly, they’re a healthier alternative to smoking. People are starting to move away from consuming harmful pharmaceuticals and are instead embracing a holistic approach to healing which is where cannabis comes in. When you consume CBD, your body becomes calm and relaxed and all pain is numbed. THC on the other hand gives users high energy, motivation, euphoria, and creativity.
What’s in it for athletes?
Athletes have a very physically demanding job. When they are not competing, they are on a strict training schedule. Which can cause muscle tears, pains, and joint stiffness. Cannabis, mainly CBD, is a great way to treat these conditions that affect athletes. And the best way to consume it is via topicals. Topicals are lotions, creams, and balms that contain Cannabis. And when applied to the targeted area on your skin, you receive anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Topicals can even be applied onto stiff joints to relieve the stiffness because topicals naturally relax the applied area.
According to human and animal studies, cannabis has been shown to enhance the performance of some athletes in sports however, it should never be smoked and instead of THC, athletes should stick to CBD which is non-psychoactive. The reason why is because THC has side effects which include laziness and demotivation when consumed chronically whereas CBD does not. CBD can also be used to induce sleep and promote better quality and longer quantity of sleep.
This is very important for athletes who need a lot of good rest to recover from training and competing. Lastly, when consumed before a workout, cannabis can reduce the pain felt while exercising and promotes a stronger mind and body connection. CBD should be consumed via topicals and tinctures and not via inhalation.
What about performance enhancement?
Cannabis is still on the list of banned substances for athletes. Even though many athletes have been open about the fact that they use CBD for recovery. The World Anti- Doping Agency or WADA, believes that cannabis is a performance-enhancing drug as well as a health risk and they contribute this to the fact that cannabis is a drug that induces euphoria, improves confidence levels, induces a state of relaxation and steadiness, and relieves the stress of the competition.
Their study also reveals that athletes who consume cannabis are putting themselves and other athletes in danger. Because it makes the user want to take risks. Plus they have slower reaction times, poor decision making, and poor executive functioning. Many experts claim that the position of WADA is out of date and argue that cannabis is a performance degrading drug. And that users experience no peak in strength, speed, or anything else for that matter.
Cannabis induces impaired body movements and can make thinking difficult as well as increase heart rate according to experts. Not ideal for athletes competing.