With the increasing push towards making cannabis legal, people and businesses have been looking for new uses for cannabis. As more cannabis infused foods are being created we can see it is starting to become part of our lifestyle now more than ever instead of a simple recreational or medical “drug”. Could it also become part of how we workout and exercise?
Firstly it must be said that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) classes cannabis as an illegal performance-enhancing drug. However, a number of athletes and trainers think differently. This is clear from a feature by Bleacher Report this year (2018) where a number of retired NBA and NFL players spoke openly about their use of cannabis, sometimes even on game day.
Let’s look at the ways that cannabis could help with weight loss and how it could improve athletic performance.
While WADA may not allow cannabis it has allowed the use of Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis that has been found to provide benefits for people who work out. These include treating:
This can aid in helping someone to recover quicker from a workout. Think of the stiffness and soreness you feel after spending a long time running on a treadmill. Sure, as soon as you get off you experience a runner’s high, but what happens when that wears off? You’re legs ache the next day and your knees throb. CBD has been recorded in many studies and within many different anecdotal cases to provide anti-inflammatory properties for a wide range of conditions including glaucoma and arthiritis.
These anti-inflammatory properties could therefore be used to treat self administered inflammation caused by running and working out. Possible applicators include creams, sprays and oils which can be applied to troubled areas or ingested. Further research into the use of cannabidiol as part of a post or pre-workout routine will need to be conducted before official claims can be made however.
CBD and Treating Injuries
It’s a sad fact that if you exercise injuries can happen. How you choose to ease your recovery is up to you. People are now more are wary of opioids as further information about their addictive qualities becomes available. Stories of retired athletes and their struggles with opioid addiction cause everyone to think twice especially in fighting sports and professional werestling.
This is where cannabis has the potential to become a natural alternative with few serious side effects. Can cannabis help with a torn ligament? No. Can it repair a busted knee? No. Does it have the potential to work along side powerful medications to alleviate side effects? Yes. Cannabis has already been shown to help with the serious side effects of chemotherapy therefore it could also help in physical therapy in regards to inflammation as well as help with side effects from powerful steroids.
Proper directions must be considered before doing so however which is why seeking medical advice from your doctor or a registers medical professional is always recommended.
While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence regarding the benefit of cannabis for building muscle most of it is contradictory. Very few clinical trials have been conducted using humans regarding weight loss and muscle growth.
One of those trials showed that regular cannabis users have a fasting insulin level up to 16% lower than those who don’t take it. This means that cannabis does not contribute to fat gain. Before a weights workout, cannabis could therefore be used to increase protein intake which again can help to aid in providing mass to convert into muscle.
As you may have noticed a pattern is appearing in regards to what cannabis based treatments can and can’t do. While cannabis may not be directly responsible for a beneficial reaction, it is highly considered to be a great aid in helping with other process, treatments or therapies.
Up until very recently popular belief held that cannabis intake could lead to weight gain from a well known side effect in pop culture called “the munchies”. Well, this may not be true.
In a 2011 study by the American Journal of Epidemiology, it stated that even though cannabis consumption may increase appetite, “people using cannabis are less likely to be obese than people who do not use cannabis.”
As it is always the case with any cannabis based accusations more study is needed to exactly define what it happening. However, it is believed that THCV from cannabis can stop use from thinking about food in times of stress i.e. stress eating or eating when we are sad. This will not make us healthier as we could still eat unhealthy foods but what is understood is that it simply stops us from thinking about food as a form of reward or as a means to an end.