The recent discoveries ofthe medicinal importance of marijuana, many athletes are embracing its use to boost their performances and exercises. This has been given a jolt by the immense legalization of marijuana in several states across the United States of America as well as other nations such as Canada.
Most of these fitness maniacs and athletes attest that marijuana helps them reduce stress and narrows down their concentration to training and lifting weights. Pot has also been known to reduce be a strong painkiller for decades. It decreases s nauseates and leaves the user in a proper energetic mood ready to burn those calories. This has also been boosted by the invention of vaporizer, edibles and cookies which does not affect the lungs.
Taking into consideration that marijuana has been termed as an illegal substance by the World Anti Doping Agency it still remains a mystery what is in for athletes in future with the legalization of cannabis globally. Most Anti Doping Agencies across the world also still have marijuana on their banned drugs’ list.
How does marijuana affect the body?
Well, marijuana has over 700 compounds in it but the common ones are THC and CBD compounds. Apparently,thelimited studies which have been conducted on the plant have been focused only on these two compounds.
THC is responsible for psychoactive effects of getting high. When one inhales smoke from weed it takes between 3 to 8 minutes while it takes between 1 to 2 hours to feel the effects after ingesting an inedible. Cannabinoid (CBD) attaches cannabinoid receptors to the neurons as wellas the peripheral cells and endocannabinoid receptors which are naturally designed for internally produced CBD.
THC, on the other hand, binds the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) situated in the brain as cannabinol (CBN) binds the (CB2) located in the immune cells. CBD does not bind itself to any receptor, but still has numerous metabolic effects such as lack of appetite, immunity, pain relieving, stress reliever, and muscle and fat tissue signalling.
Get the ‘just right’ dosage
Since marijuana has different strains it is hard to determine the correct dosage for each strain as they contain varying levels of different compounds. However, since most people tend to go for THC manufacturers also focus mainly on this compound.
Marijuana and Athletic performance
Marijuana has been known to slow the functioning of the brain with it comes to reflexes. It,therefore, hampers the results of intensive sports which require quick reflexes. This effects only happen when THC levels are taken in high doses, however.
A flight simulation study revealed that volunteers who were high could not control the flight until after 6 hours elapsed. The study,however, used high doses of THC.
THC limits the flow of blood to the temporal lobe part of the brain, this part is mainly dealing with focus hence the slow blood flow reduces the ability to focus on tasks and making quick decisions. Marijuana,however, increases the flow of blood to the rest of the brain parts such as the frontal lobe and lateral cerebellum increasing their sensitivity. This parts which are mainly associated with decision making, sexual feelings, and sensory system increases the attention on these roles.
However, these studies are not reliable since the high doses of marijuana subjected to the volunteers are unreasonable. A sportsperson can still benefit from taking low doses of THC which will alleviate pains and increase the dilations of veins hence maximum metabolism rates.
Effects of marijuana on muscles
The question right now for gym fanatics is whether taking a joint before a gym session beneficial or not? Well, the answer to that still remains unclear because muscle growth depends on many factors ranging from meals to your workout routine.
Studies done using 210 mg of THC daily showed that weed hindered muscle development but that was a boatload of cannabis and no one will use that amount for recreational purposes. CBD has however been recommended for its medicinal uses. It is thought that it counteracts the effects of THC on muscle growth hence THC intake will need to be accompanied by a dose of CBD as well.
In conclusion, I believe more research still needs to be done but small doses of marijuana will certainly boost your mood and relieve physical pain but without any muscular promotions.