Should Marijuana Be Part of Your Fitness Regimen
by HelloMD Staff
September 10, 2020
Consuming cannabis products to enhance a workout program is a hot topic these days. Amateur to professional athletes alike are claiming cannabis to have numerous beneficial properties for enhancing a fitness routine. Here, we'll sort through the information to allow you to make an informed decision about combining cannabis and exercise.
Weigh the Pros and Cons Carefully
Any time you're considering a change in your workout regimen, it's important to carefully examine both sides of the equation. Even if a product is naturally derived, there may be drawbacks. With that in mind, study up on the different points relating to cannabis products, and consider both the potential positive and negative effects on your health. With a solid foundation, you can make an informed decision.
Even if you're comfortable with common cannabis-oriented terminology, you might be surprised by unfamiliar words and phrases. With that in mind, you can review our cannabis 101, to be familiar with the basics. Learn the difference between THC and CBD, the importance of cannabinoids and how you may react based on the conditions or symptoms you wish to treat.
CBD or THC
There are two general product types available for cannabis users: THC and CBD. Both THC and CBD are chemical compounds with similar structures, but as Healthline explains, there are key differences. CBD products, why technically psychoactive, will not get you high, but THC products will. THC products also bind to receptors in your brain. CBD products will not bond with the receptors in your brain, and it appears they might inhibit THC products from doing so.
Methods of Consumption
Once you decide whether you would like to consume CBD, THC or a combination of both, there are numerous methods of consumption to consider. Other than smoking flower, there are many different ways to consume cannabis. Many athletes prefer edibles as they are easy to ingest and come in a prepackaged dosage. Typically an edible may take 1-2 hours to take effect, whereas a sub-lingual or tincture, take as little as 15-30 minutes. Other ways to ingest cannabis would be a gel capsules, topicals, transdermal patches, vaping and marijuana buds. It's important to know that the consumption method also affects how much cannabis your body may absorb.
According to some studies, cannabis has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabis compounds appear to engage with the immune system, reducing your chances of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It also seems to offset inflammation in the brain and help ward off Alzheimer's disease. Workout-wise, the anti-inflammatory effects can mean a quicker recovery period.
Men's Health also notes there is a potential that using cannabis products within hours of exercising could enhance your workout in important ways, such as boosting focus and promoting a more enjoyable workout experience. Some products like CBD creams may even reduce exercise-induced pain . For some, it can make a difference in motivation for whether a workout plan is followed or not.
There are negative aspects to bear in mind if you're considering consuming vaping or smoking flower. The biggest drawback relates to lung health. The American Lung Association explains certain forms of cannabis can be particularly damaging to your lungs. Smoking marijuana can be especially harmful if it contains irritants, fungus, or mold, which many illicit products do.
Some people think vaping is safer, but it can damage your health in a similar fashion to e-cigarettes. Additionally, many people are surprised to learn that hot dabbing also appears to have drawbacks, as it can contain lung-damaging toxins and pollutants. There is concern dabbing could expose users to carcinogens.
If you elect to add cannabis to your workout plan, be sure to examine both sides of the equation carefully. There are benefits and drawbacks, and it's best to make your decision with solid information. Education is power, especially when it comes to health and fitness.