weed and sports, how cannabis might affect my fitness and health?

what is cannabis?

it goes by so many names; cannabis , marijuana ,pot, Weed, Grass, Dope, Reefer, Ganja, Hash, Herb, Chronic and so many more and there are too many slangs for it like Toking, Poking, Blazing, Cheeching, Smoking trees, Mowing the grass, Blasting, Blowing, Burning one down, Chasing, Going loco, Hitting the hay, Torching up, Getting the wind and etc. there are also a lot of ways to use this substance like smoking or vaping it, in water pipes(bongs), brewing it like tea, consuming it in the form of edibles(such as brownies or cookies), eating it raw, applying it as a topical treatment or creams and taking it as capsules or supplements.
weed short-term effects include relaxation, giddiness, experiencing things around you(such as sights and sounds more intensely), increased appetite, altered perception of time and events, and focus and creativity.
Smoking or inhaling: A sense of elation can start within minutes and peak after 10–30 minutes. The feeling will typically wear off after about 2 hours.
Ingesting: If a person consumes products containing cannabis by mouth, they will usually feel the effects within 1 hour, and the sensations will peak after 2.5–3.5 hours. One study suggests that the type of edible affects the time it takes to feel the effect, with hard candies kicking in quicker.
Topical: Transdermal patches allow the ingredients to enter the body over a prolonged period. This steady infusion can benefit people who are using cannabis to treat pain and inflammation.
Cannabis refers to a group of three plants with psychoactive properties, known as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. People use the dried leaves, seed oil, and other parts of the cannabis plant for recreational and medicinal purposes. It can have a pleasurable effect and may soothe the symptoms of various conditions, such as chronic pain.
the World Anti-Doping Agency includes cannabis as a prohibited substance in sport, partly because it is believed that it may enhance sports performance but Keep in mind that while cannabis comes from a plant and is considered natural, it can still have strong effects, both positive and negative.
Despite the lack of evidence that cannabis enhances performance, the concern led the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban cannabis use during competitions when it assumed responsibility for the list of prohibited substances in 2004. According to WADA, which is based in Montreal, Canada, and is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the drug meets all the criteria for being banned. As well as having potential to enhance performance, it poses health risks to athletes, and is illegal in many parts of the world.
Some of the ingredients in cannabis are psychoactive (mind-altering), but others are not. The potency and balance of the ingredients vary, depending on how the manufacturer grows and processes the plant.
The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, responsible for most of the intoxicating effects that people seek, is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The chemical is found in resin produced by the leaves and buds primarily of the female cannabis plant. The plant also contains more than 500 other chemicals, including more than 100 compounds that are chemically related to THC, called cannabinoids.
we should also mention that KIANABOLIK is not promoting or denying the use of any substance and is only trying to educate fitness enthusiasts about their decision.

weed and fitness

Policies regarding cannabis use are rapidly changing, yet public officials have limited access to scientific information that might inform the creation of these policies. One important area in which to begin investigations is the link between recreational cannabis use and health, specifically exercise.
Joel Minden, PhD, a clinical psychologist and the director of the Chico Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, worries that the short-term benefits of using cannabis while exercising may not be sustainable over a long period of time. but there are so many people who disagree on this idea. In a new study from UC-Boulder, researchers found that people who used marijuana immediately before or after physical activity (co-users) exercised more often and for longer than those that didn’t use it.
Researchers surveyed about 600 cannabis users aged 21 and up living in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington about their marijuana and exercise habits. And those who used the drug an hour before working out and/or within four hours after breaking a sweat reported getting 43 more minutes of exercise each week than the cannabis users who didn’t. 52% of those who worked cannabis into their exercise regimens said it made them more motivated to work out. And 70% said it boosted how much they enjoyed the activity, while 78% claimed it helped their recovery.
Another area of medical application for cannabis is in treating muscle spasms. Cannabis has shown positive results in treating muscle spasms associated with diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s, and its benefits could extend to athletes suffering from spasms as well. needless to say Marijuana can affect coordination and reaction time, so users must consider their own safety and the safety of others around them if they choose to exercise while high.
what you should keep in mind is what kind of physical activity you are doing and given the balance control effects, the motor control effects, the cognitive effects of cannabis, so it is important that certain high-risk exercises, such as rock climbing or using barbells, wouldn’t be advisable to individuals using marijuana because of potential injury, meanwhile, some people say cannabis increases their focus, concentration and mind–body awareness.
anecdotal evidence of marijuana allowing users to push through perceived physical pain during a workout does have some scientific merit.
A 2019 study showed that frequent cannabis use may affect immune system, but more studies are necessary to confirm this. also According to the American Dental Association, there may be a link between cannabis use and gum disease.
Athletes in sports, such as skateboarding and skiing, say that cannabis reduces competition anxiety that can hinder performance.
It’s no secret that THC induces sleep, but studies have also found that it can help people with sleep apnea and even suppress dreams, which is beneficial for those suffering from PTSD. Meanwhile, CBD can ease REM sleep disorder and daytime fatigue. Everyone knows how important sleep is to overall fitness, so this can be extremely beneficial to your athletic performance.
However, marijuana’s effects on sleep do come with some caveats. One small 2004 study found that young adults who took THC before bed slept normally, but woke up feeling sleepier and with an impaired memory. The same study found that a blend of 5mg CBD and 5mg THC resulted in less stage-3 sleep, but better performance the day after on a number recall task.

marijuana effects on lungs

Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2Max) is a gold standard measure of cardiorespiratory fitness and a strong predictor of an athlete’s ability to maintain peak performance.
in 2020 there was a study conducted by Andrew Kramer, Justin Sinclair, Lara Sharpe & Jerome Sarris published on Journal of Cannabis Research in which Chronic cannabis consumption had no significant effect on athletic performance. The included studies did not assess other elements, such as recovery or endurance.
there also has been other studies suggesting the same but it is a different story when combined with tobacco. effects of pot mixed with tobacco has shown to be detrimental to lungs. it is believed that weed makes our lung more susceptible to harm and when mixed with tobacco, it amplifies its degrading effects.
overall weed has shown to cause no harm to lungs when smoked alone. there even has been some studies suggesting that THC could benefit asthmatics but they also believe common asthma medications are more effective and demonstrate fewer side effects.
High-profile athletes including Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have admitted to using marijuana. Roger Boyd, a long-distance cyclist in the U.K, posts pictures of his travels(some 19,000 miles in two years) most of which he’s done while vaping. Among other places, the 37 year old has biked across Europe, India, Nepal, Australia, and New Zealand.
Boyd said: “I’ve always loved getting out on my bike and doing exercise while stoned, There is a negative perception about people who use cannabis compared to those who use alcohol, but alcohol is more harmful. there’s an imbalance there.”

pot and inflammation

intense physical activity puts stress on the body. It triggers a flood of chemicals known as cytokines, some of which inflame muscles, that manifests as soreness the next day.
Many studies have found that CBD helps ease inflammation. Now, researchers are looking into its potential to treat autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease, lupus, and psoriasis.
athletes who want to reap the benefits of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties without smoking it or getting the high can simply use it in topical products. Topicals and tinctures are incredible for locally targeted recovery in highly concentrated doses.
meanwhile, there are researches which suggest the use of anti-inflammatory agents, such as cannabinoids, might actually interfere with proper recovery from exercise.
although cannabidiol (CBD), has been shown to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines, the psychoactive part, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), stimulates both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. In other words, CBD could limit the feeling of sore muscles, whereas THC could help to both prevent and trigger the discomfort but Some studies suggest that THC can also help to manage pain, which might also boost recovery.

reefer and motivation

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that adults participate in at least 150 min of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise each week but Unfortunately, self-report data indicate that fewer than 50% of US adults meet these minimum recommendations and the biggest reason usually behind that is lack of motivation.
Common issues surrounding low exercise rates include inadequate enjoyment of and motivation to exercise, and poor recovery from exercise. It is unclear whether cannabis use shortly before or after exercise impacts these issues, and whether this co-use affects exercise performance.
the majority of people who use cannabis shortly before or after exercise reported that doing so enhances their enjoyment of and recovery from exercise, and approximately half reported that it increases their motivation to exercise.
Given popular stereotypes that cannabis use is associated with a lack of motivation and, indeed, extreme sedentary behaviour, increased cannabis use could worsen the sedentary lifestyle epidemic that the US is currently facing. On the other hand, cannabis use is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency because of its potential to improve sports performance, and numerous reports in the popular press suggest that endurance athletes utilize cannabis in their training.
Such conflicting ideas about the relationship between cannabis use and physical activity necessitate further investigation into how cannabis use may affect factors associated with regular physical activity participation.
An alternative suggestion is that exercise-induced euphoria originates in the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system controls pain sensation, appetite, temperature regulation, stress reactivity, immune function, and sleep as well as other processes.And perhaps even more interesting, muscle and fat tissue also utilize these receptors to control their processes.
A 2003 study found elevated levels of the endocannabinoid molecule anandamide in the blood of volunteers after they ran or cycled in a lab. Because cannabis targets these same endocannabinoid receptors, it is speculated that the drug might allow users to jumpstart those pleasurable feelings. so people who say they enjoy exercise with cannabis can create a positive feedback loop that motivates them to go back to the gym.
In medicine, whenever we look at the therapeutic use of a compound, we want to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks, and there are certainly health risks to cannabis use. One of the risks of extended cannabis use is an increased likelihood of depression. Heavy long-term usage of cannabis is correlated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
Depression can be detrimental to fitness, both by decreasing motivation and causing numerous physical side effects. Depression and stress increase the body’s cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain, weakened immune system, blood sugar fluctuations, and gastrointestinal problems.

cannabis and body fat

the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2017 that nearly 40% of the US population is obese. it is also believed every one in three people in UK is also suffering from high body fat percentage.
recent results from representative national surveys suggest a lower prevalence of obesity in cannabis users than in non-users.
a research done in 2014 by Randy A. Sansone, MD and Lori A. Sansone, MD indicated that cannabis users are less likely to be obese and have a lower BMI than the average. The researchers had expected the munchies to lead to greater weight gain, But they were entirely surprised by the results. this could be because TCH increases adrenaline levels which make you burn more calories.
cross-sectional data from the National Center for Health Statistics indicate positive correlations with cannabis use and measures of metabolic health, such as lower levels of fasting insulin, smaller waist circumference, and reduced prevalence of type II diabetes.

grass and heart issues

While smoking, and for about an hour afterward, marijuana is known to increase heart rate, blood pressure, and subsequently heart attack risk. These effects are also dose dependent(meaning the more marijuana used, the greater the effects on the cardiovascular system). The consensus of the available data at this time indicates that cannabis use alone fails to present a significant health risk to otherwise healthy subjects. as mentioned, it is mostly people who mix cannabis and tobacco which come to these bad effects.

what does the research suggest?

but still there are lots of mysteries about this subject and at the current time, there is limited scientific evidence to either accept or deny any claims with confidence. Given recent political, cultural, and legal trends, and the growing acceptance of recreational cannabis use, it is important to develop a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between cannabis and exercise, specifically the potential effects of use on exercise performance, motivation, and recovery.
scientists’ best guess is that marijuana smoking is particularly risky for people at high risk for heart disease. The higher one’s underlying risk due to age, blood pressure, diabetes, etc., the higher the potential risk from marijuana.
Even as public acceptance of marijuana grows, researchers are finding it difficult to fully investigate cannabis’s impact on physical activity because of the restrictions on cannabis research. Federal policy requires that scientists submit to an application process that can take six months to one year. On approval, researchers are only allowed to use government-provided cannabis with levels of THC that are often lower than those of cannabis available to the public.
If you use THC every day and in high quantities, it can lead to dependence or full-blown addiction. Even if you aren’t prone to addiction, you will build a tolerance to the cannabinoid, so using it more often means you’ll have to use more to reach the same effect. weed also has withdrawal, against the popular belief. the symptoms include irritability, mood changes, insomnia, cravings, restlessness, decreased appetite, and general discomfort.
there’s a lot that scientists still don’t know about exercising while high. At this point in time, almost all research into the relationship between marijuana and exercise performance is observational and small.
Most important to keep in mind, Your goal is to enhance your workout, not get high. You want to use the least amount of cannabis necessary to achieve the desired effects.