The Many Uses of Cannabis and CBD for Muscle Recovery
WASHINGTON , Aug. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Preparing for the next powerlifting competition is a gruesome workout regimen of maxing out in all 3 lifts with heavy weights and feeling pain all over the body after an intense afternoon at the gym. With any sport that you participate in, there will be pain after your workout. The question remains instead of taking prescription or over the counter pain medication like Advil or Tylenol, should you smoke dried flower, eat edibles, or use THC/CBD infused topicals after you get home from the gym? Many world renowned athletes have been using CBD or THC based products for muscle recovery as a part of their healthy and active lifestyle routine.
The perspective of cannabis and CBD use for athletes is changing as more research backs up marijuana use for muscle recovery and inflammation. Let’s answer the question: what is cannabis? Cannabis sativa is a female plant, which consists of a psychoactive chemical called THC. THC induces the euphoric sensation once the dry cannabis flower is smoked. THC binds into the bloodstream then attaches itself to the receptors in the brain called the endocannabinoids. When the THC binds into the receptors, it relieves many debilitating symptoms affecting athletes after a workout, such as pain and inflammation.
Deuvall Dorsey, also known as @Vegas420runner on Instagram, is an Ultra-marathoner, Tri-athlete, Captain of the 420 Cross Country team, Director of the Las Vegas Running Film Festival, and graduate student studying his masters degree in Public Relations/Image Management at UNLV . He describes the impact of using CBD throughout his running career for pain management:
“Some runners I come across are well educated and well informed people, but when I mention CBD to them it’s their first time ever hearing about it. When I tell runners that they can use cannabis in the form of a CBD topical lotion they think I’m joking or they become suspicious. Before the dispensaries ( Nevada ) opened in my state I never dreamed of smoking CBD flower. Now I’m able to purchase high percentage CBD flower and smoke it by itself or mix it with my other cannabis. Smoking CBD flower is one of my favorite way to manage pain after training and racing.”
As the Vegas 420 Runner, Deuvall Dorsey continues to both inspire and educate runners about the use of CBD for pain management and muscle recovery.
Although cannabis is forbidden from the World Anti-Doping Agency, athletes are more open to using cannabis and CBD products for pain relief, mental focus, and stamina for sports and post workouts as an all natural alternative medicine. There are many benefits of using high CBD products too without the psychoactive “high” effects of THC from using bath bombs to salve to rub over your joints. It is super effective to use topical have a relaxing outcome to the muscles after a gruesome workout without the high effects.
High quality Cannabis and CBD products are available for athletes to consume with high quality cannabis and CBD chocolates and drinking a refreshing CBD infused beverages. Without a doubt consuming cannabis and CBD products is another way for users to be able to receive the medical benefits aside from the conventional ways of either vaping or taking cannabis and CBD drops with tinctures. There are endless possibilities of cannabis and CBD infused food and drink products from cannabis and CBD coffee and Hemp seeds for smoothies. There are now CBD post workout too from HiFi Supplements with BCAAs for athletes.
The chemical properties of cannabis have the ability to get individuals off of taking harmful prescription painkillers that lead to harder drug use, because cannabis alleviates chronic pain in its healing properties. Many doctors and proponents of holistic and all-natural medicine trust in the therapeutic component of cannabis as an alternative medicine to alleviate medical conditions, such as nausea, PTSD, anxiety, depression, glaucoma, lack of appetite, cancer, and chronic pain. Alcohol and prescription drug use decreased in medically legalized states. More research needs to be done to understand how cannabis relieves patients suffering from chronic pain. Cannabis is not physically addictive; which doctors should be more open to prescribing medical cannabis as an alternative treatment.
The movement of medical cannabis legalization is spreading quickly as more people are advocating for cannabis as awareness of the movement gains worldwide attention. Cannabis should be removed from the banned list of substances with the Anti-Doping Agency. The list of how medical cannabis assists athletes suffering from unbearable medical conditions continues to grows everyday as scientists slowly receive the funding to conduct these experiments. Our perception of cannabis has been skewed thanks to the government’s implementation of anti drug policies. In the end, in this current age the shift of the conversation about cannabis is beginning to change as more people are accepting the medical benefits of cannabis. In the end, cannabis should be no longer demonized and used to benefit the sports community for pain management as a safer alternative.
Veriheal connects patients with the resources that they deserve to gain access to medical marijuana legally. We aim to change the image of alternative medicine by pushing the traditional limits imposed on cannabis by creating an ecosystem that can seamlessly connect patients, doctors, and dispensaries.
9 Ways Marijuana Effects Your Athletic Performance
Marijuana has never been more accessible—or popular. But how does it affect hard-training athletes? Here’s what we know right now.
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Now that marijuana is legal in several parts of the U.S., researchers are starting to debunk several myths about marijuana. At the same time, weed’s social stigma is beginning to loosen—so much so, in fact, that athletes and fitness gurus who laud weed’s wellness benefits are starting to challenge the stereotype of lazy, overweight stoners.
But is cannabis truly a miracle drug that enhances athletic performance or do its negative side effects outweigh its benefits?
We spoke to several experts in medicine, fitness, and the cannabis industry about how weed can potentially benefit or hurt your fitness.
How Marijuana Can Affect Your Goals to Build Bigge.
Is marijuana the wonder drug your workouts have been missing?
Benefit 1: Reduce Inflammation
Reducing muscle and joint inflammation is one of the most promising areas of cannabis research. Many studies have found that CBD, the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, helps ease inflammation. Now, researchers are looking into its potential to treat autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease, lupus, and psoriasis.
Adam Brous, a certified yoga instructor and founder of Ganja Guru Yoga in Denver, CO, uses marijuana in his practice and recommends it to his clients for this purpose. “I have worked with athletes who have found cannabis to be a helpful aid,” Brous says. “Typically, they’re dealing with pain and inflammation of the muscles and connective tissue or recovering from past injury or surgery.”
For athletes who want to reap the benefits of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties without smoking it or getting the high, Brous recommends topical products. “Topicals and tinctures are incredible for locally targeted recovery in highly concentrated doses.”
Jamie Feaster, a former Division I college pole vaulter and current vice president of marketing at marijuana delivery startup Eaze, also turned to CBD for its anti-inflammatory properties when he ruptured his Achilles tendon.
“As an active athlete, it was a devastating injury and I was open to exploring alternative medicine solutions to help me heal,” Feaster says. “The CBD lotion really helped me understand the wellness benefits cannabis can provide. CBD is my favorite form, given that it typically delivers the best results when it comes to anti-inflammatory and healing properties.”
Benefit 2: Ease Soreness and Pain
Going hand-in-hand with its anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis has also been found to alleviate pain. This is one area of cannabis research that has shown many positive results. Marijuana can alleviate pain caused by everything from chronic pain to acute pain from muscle spasms, studies have found—and that’s good news for anyone looking for alternatives to dangerous, habit-forming opiates.
San Francisco-based trainer Zach Scioli of DIAKADI Fitness is an advocate for marijuana therapies to help with muscle recovery and alleviate pain from injuries—but he wasn’t always.
“Societal norms shaped my thinking about marijuana, but it doesn’t take much digging into studies to find that cannabis’ compounds are anti-inflammatory, stress reducing, antioxidative, and pain mediating, to name just a few benefits,” Scioli explains. After suffering a slipped disc in his lower back, he was bedridden for weeks and on a cocktail of painkillers. “Being prescribed extremely strong prescription painkillers to treat pain, I realized their high addiction and toxicity potential. I opted to try CBD oil and high-grade THC extracts to manage pain and inflammation. Looking back, it was the best choice I could have made.”
Christopher Louie, founder of Colorado-based cannabis startup Made in Xiaolin, had a similar experience, although his injury was more catastrophic. He credits marijuana with saving his life. “My passion for cannabis began when it replaced the opiates I was being prescribed for a gunshot wound I sustained in 2003,” he says. Specifically, he was prescribed a powerful pill form of morphine known as Kadian, and when the withdrawal between refilling prescriptions became too much, his doctor put him on Neurontin, which made him suicidal. “Since treating with cannabis I’ve learned that not only does it help with the physical pain, it helps me mentally—it has greatly increased my quality of life.”
Benefit 3: Treat Muscle Spasms
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. “There have been studies in rodents showing some beneficial effect in muscle recovery and reduction of muscle spasm, presumably due to the anti-inflammatory properties the compound possesses,” explains Erich Anderer, M.D., chief of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn.
That said, health application of cannabis is a new area of study, and Anderer says scientists need more research on athletes who don’t suffer from any of these disorders. “I don’t know any rats that do CrossFit, so more research needs to be done before we can recommend it for this use with any confidence,” he says. “The problem is that right now there is no scientific evidence it works in humans.”
Benefit 4: Improve Sleep
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 (where people “act out” their dreams) and daytime fatigue. Everyone knows how important sleep is to overall fitness, so this can be extremely beneficial to your athletic performance.
“I recommend CBD to nearly all of my clients for sleep,” Scioli says. “It greatly decreases their stress levels, which in turn improves their sleep quality and duration.”
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.
Another benefit: Marijuana can be an alternative to traditional sleep medications, which can be habit-forming and come with a litany of side effects. “Eaze recently released our 2017 State of Cannabis data report, which found that 95% of respondents used cannabis to help reduce their sleeping and anxiety medication consumption,” says Feaster.
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Benefit 5: Improve Mental Acuity
Contrary to popular thinking, marijuana may not have detrimental effects on brain function. In fact, it could be the opposite. Regular, low doses of THC actually restored cognitive function in old mice, according to a June 2017 study published in Nature Medicine. Anecdotally, many of the fitness experts who spoke with us said weed helped them get in the “zone” with their workouts.
“Cannabis has helped my mental game and focus incredibly. Early in my practice, cannabis helped to reduce anxiety, and keep me calm and focused on one task,” he says. “Later, I noticed that cannabis acted as a catalyst to achieve a meditative ‘flow state’ that is crucial to success in athletics.”
Risk 1: Damage Lungs
“Marijuana can hurt athletic performance significantly if you smoke it,” says Anderer. “It has been linked to structural damage in the lung—possibly even cancer, although the evidence is not as strong as it is with cigarettes.”
All athletes know that healthy lungs are essential to your overall fitness, so they should be wary of smoking anything.
Scott Chipman, the head of Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, cites the lack of regulation in marijuana production as one of the key reasons he’s opposed to it. “Marijuana smoke is registered in California as a carcinogen and contains four to five times the toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke and 20 times more ammonia, a poison,” he says. “And, a recent UC Davis study of marijuana samples from four Southern California dispensaries found 93% of the samples tested positive for contaminants including pesticides.”
Of course, airborne contaminants aren’t necessarily exclusive to marijuana, and not all marijuana products are consumed via smoking, but the hazards are there nevertheless.
Sumetee Theesungnern / EyeEm / Getty
Risk 2: Impair Motor Skills
It’s no secret that, like any intoxicant, marijuana can impair your motor skills.
“Cannabis use can acutely impair decision making and motor coordination that can make certain activities more difficult, such as driving,” says Jeff Chen, M.D., M.B.A., the director of the Cannabis Research Initiative at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
While Feaster believes in the healing properties of marijuana, he notes that some physical activities shouldn’t be done under the influence. “Marijuana can be a great supplement for recovery after workouts, but I don’t recommend using high levels of THC when pole-vaulting!”
Scioli agrees: “THC should not be used just prior to resistance exercises. It decreases reaction speed and global stability—not what you want when lifting heavy objects.”
In the same vein, research has now found evidence that while marijuana may actually restore cognitive function in older users, it can be harmful to the developing adolescent brain. “Cannabis use during adolescence is correlated with decreased neurocognitive performance, changes in brain structure, and alterations in brain function,” Chen explains. “However, like with other cannabis findings, you can only demonstrate correlation and not causation in observational studies.”
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Risk 3: Increased Likelihood of Chronic Depression
“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,” Chen says. 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,” he says.
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, a weakened immune system, blood sugar fluctuations, and gastrointestinal problems.Marijuana has never been more accessible—or popular. But how does it affect hard-training athletes? Here’s what we know right now. ]]>