How cannabis can affect your fitness
Cannabis is a plant that many people have mixed feelings about. Over the years this substance has recently seen an increase in popularity with millions of users worldwide. Many countries have resorted to legalising this substance and this has also made it increase in popularity. Weed, dope, cannabis or whatever you want to call it has passed everyone’s mind and a few of these people are athletes who wonder what effect it will have on their performance? Well, if this is you then keep reading as we are going to be weighing up some of the effect’s cannabis can have on your fitness and athletic performance.
Increase in popularity
Before cannabis was seen as a bad gateway drug that led you down the path of destruction and chaos. It was also a lot harder to get in some countries when compared to modern day times. Recently cannabis has seen a rapid has seen a rapid increase in popularity and there can be a few reasons why this can be. One of them being that people have realised that it does not turn you into the stereotypical weed smoker you see in movies and films. These are always depicted as being lazy, tired and always hungry whereas the truth is a little bit different. Although you may feel some of these things they may not be as noticeable as you first thought.
Its not just smoking cannabis that has become more popular. In many countries the compound THC that is found in cannabis is illegal and not allowed for sale. This is one of the cannabinoids that is responsible for getting you high and making you feel more tired. Another compound found in cannabis is CBD which is available in many different countries and is a rapidly expanding market around the world. CBD doesn’t get you high and therefore is legal in many countries which is another reason for the increase in popularity with cannabis as a whole.
Soreness and pain
If you train quite frequently then you have experienced the soreness and pain after a workout that can sometimes last for up to 48 hours later. This can be annoying and can make simple tasks like walking and running painful. Cannabis is something that can help with muscle soreness as it has anti inflammatory properties. Also, cannabis helps to relax your muscles. This means that you may find it easier to recover from a workout and therefore the pain will go away.
When it comes to pain relief then cannabis has been proven to relieve chronic pain and acute pain and is said to work the same as taking an aspirin or ibuprofen. As well as smoking cannabis for pain there are also many different CBD products available that could also help with pain. A few of these products are things like CBD rubs, balms and oils that contain hemp or CBD which can help with muscle pain. These can be a good alternative if you’re not looking to get high by smoking cannabis.
When it comes to your overall fitness there are three things that are very important. These are your diet, training and also how much rest and the quality of rest you get. Cannabis is known for making you feel drowsy and sleepy which makes it a great substance to help you get to sleep. As it reduces overall stress and depression this can make getting to sleep a lot easier as you won’t be stressing over things that happened during the day. It will also help you to get to sleep quicker which will increase the amount of rest you get and therefore the time your body has to recover.
Although cannabis can be very useful if you are trying to get to sleep it can cause issues sometimes. For example, if you’re a heavy user of cannabis and rely on it heavily to help you get to sleep then this can be an issue. In this case you may feel uneasy and not be able to fall asleep when you don’t consume cannabis which means you have built up a dependency on it. For this reason, you should only use it when you have trouble sleeping and not every night.
Training under the influence
When doing exercise its better to have a clear mind and not be under the influence of anything. So, by taking cannabis before a workout can have some negative effects if the products make you high. An example on how this can put you at a disadvantage is by reducing your hand eye co-ordination and motor function. When exercising this can make you feel more tired, and your effort levels may drop. This means you will be worse at concentrating on things like form and repetitions which means you are not getting the most out of your workout and are putting yourself at a higher risk of getting injured.
After smoking cannabis your heart rate and blood pressure tend to rise. This causes you to tire more quickly and means your heart has to work harder which isn’t good for heart health. Although all may seem gloomy when it comes to training under the influence of cannabis there can be a few positives to training stoned. On of these benefits is that you may find training more enjoyable. This is due to the THC in cannabis that causes a feel-good feeling and can elevate mood and reduce stress. This works similar to a runners high which is a release of dopamine in the brain when running.
The main thing that people tend to worry about when thinking if cannabis has an impact on fitness is does it affect your muscle growth? Well, the answers can vary as the evidence suggesting it has an effect is still very limited due to the substance still being illegal in many countries. However, there is some evidence that smoking cannabis can have some effect on muscle growth. The first effect is the impact cannabis can have on hormone balance. Smoking cannabis can make your testosterone levels slightly decrease. This can have an effect on the amount of muscle mass you are able to put on and for maximum muscle growth you want your T levels staying at a healthy level.
Smoking cannabis can also cause less oxygen to enter your blood stream, and this is needed when it comes to gaining muscle as the oxygen is needed by your cells. To stop this negative effect, you can look at other ways of consuming cannabis like edibles or oils. Cannabis many also have a positive effect when it comes to gaining muscle. This is due to you having an increases appetite when under the influence of cannabis. This means you will have more nutrients in your body which will help when trying to build muscle as nutrients like protein are essential.
Fat loss/ gain
Another thing that can play a big part in your physical performance and overall fitness is the amount of fat you carry. For many people losing weight is the main reason for training and we can all agree that we tend to look better and healthier when we carry less fat. Well cannabis can have an effect on this as well and one way it can make a difference is by increasing your appetite. The cannabinoid THC is the one responsible for giving you the “munchies”, and you will therefore likely consume a lot more food when under the influence. This can make you gain weight which can be a positive and negative depending on your personal goals. Also, you will likely desire more fatty and unhealthy foods which also will have a big effect on your health by raising things like cholesterol levels which can raise the risk of heart disease and other health conditions. To minimise these affects you could take cannabis products that contain
Although the munchies is something to watch out for, consuming cannabis for fat loss may have some positive effects on your fat loss goals. Although research is still very limited on the effects of cannabis on fat loss goals there is some evidence that suggests it may do your goals some good. Cannabis may reduce the amount of energy your body stores which means that you’re likely to store less fat when taking cannabis. Also, its well known that being under the influence of cannabis can reduce stress which can reduce the amount of food you consume due to stress eating. Also, better sleep will help with weight loss as you won’t be consuming high energy foods to make up for low energy levels due to a lack of sleep.
Overall, when it comes to fitness cannabis can have many different effects. If you are an athlete and need to be on top of your competition, then regular cannabis use isn’t recommended. This is mainly due to the research on this plant being very limited due to THC which is one of the main cannabinoids in the plant being illegal in many countries and its only recently being legalised in some states and countries. There are also many different products out there that contain other healthy substance found in cannabis and one of these is the other cannabinoid CBD. This is legal in many different countries and available in different products like oils, balms and oral sprays for ease of use. Check out the Gymlabz store for a good range of CBD products that can help you in your fitness journey.