When you’re putting your body through five to ten workouts a week, there’s bound to be some wear and tear, and many athletes are looking for alternative treatments to traditional medicines to help them deal with the aches, pains, and inflammation that accompanies, lifting, jumping, running, or whatever else they do to stay in shape. Enter marijuana, which along with its recreational properties, contains chemical compounds that can be beneficial to an athletic regimen.
How CBD and THC Work on the Body and Brain
Pot gets you stoned, right? Well, yes, in most cases that’s entirely true. Smoking reefer will usually get you high, but that’s mostly because of the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) contained in the cannabis sativa plant. CBD (cannabidiol), on the other hand, is also found in marijuana, but doesn’t affect your psyche the way that THC does. For an athlete, getting high before training and competitive events may not be ideal. That’s why medical marijuana suppliers have been experimenting with strains of pot that have higher concentrations of CBD and there has been increased demand for CBD vape oil.
What Are the Athletic Benefits of CBD?
Among other things, CBD:
- reduces pain and soreness
- decreases inflammation
- alleviates anxiety (which can be beneficial during competition)
- improves sensory perception (visual acuity and hearing)
- works as a sleep aid
Many athletes who use cannabis either recreationally or around their training regimen claim that it actually enhances their performance.
How Does Marijuana Compare to Alcohol?
While there’s a strong case for either smoking CBD-rich strains of pot or using CBD weed-vape oil, a lot of serious athletes just use it as way to unwind when they’re not training. Let’s see how it compares to tossing back a few alcoholic drinks in the off time:
- Alcohol dehydrates – Ethyl alcohol is a diuretic and increases your urine production. Weed isn’t metabolized the same way.
- Hangovers – Getting drunk can ruin the next day’s training. The CBD in cannabis makes a good night’s sleep more likely.
- Calories and Carbs – Depending on what you’re drinking, you can be loading unhealthy sugars that will impede your training. Both pot and weed vape are calorie and carb free. Maybe not some of the edibles, though.
It’s only fair to note that smoking cannabis can have a detrimental effect on the lungs, but that can be partially mitigated by using a cannabis vaporizer.
Who Shouldn’t Use Cannabis While Training?
There are some drawbacks to cannabis use. Many people complain of increased appetite as a side effect to marijuana use. If you are struggling to keep your weight under control, cannabis can work against you. Also, in many sports, cannabis is a banned substance, as well as CBD oil and other compounds that come from marijuana. So, smoking can get you banned. Finally, you should always avoid brushes with the law and get a prescription from a licensed physician. Remember, not every doctor is on board with cannabis, CBD, or vape oil, so do your research.