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For years, professional athletes have faced routine and random drug screenings inn order to compete. In addition to looking for performance-enhancing drugs, like steroids or synthetic hormones, these tests also screened for other drugs. Cannabis is almost always included on the list of substances that athletes face testing for during and after big competitions.
Cannabis does not inherently lend itself to improved physical performance in the way that hormones, steroids, or even stimulants might. It’s always seemed like yet another form of social discrimination against cannabis users, but recent trends may have some rethinking their stance on cannabis testing for athletes. It seems that some people really do believe that cannabis gives them an edge for exercising and athletic performance.
For years, those seeking to gain muscle, burn fat, or improve overall performance have searched for the ideal chemical compounds to help them give their all during exercise. People chug protein shakes, inject themselves with drugs to stimulate faster muscle development, and swallow supplement pills in the hopes of pushing their workout to the next level. It turns out that they could have gotten great benefits from just lighting up a joint.
Most people who have experience with cannabis know that different strains can have different effects on the mind and body. For a long time, people used the broad classifications of indica and sativa plants to help them select between strains offering couchlock versus energy. These days, however, people are looking more to specific strains or even cannabinoid profiles to get the effects they desire.
More people than ever are turning to energizing strains of cannabis before working out to improve their performance and focus on the task at hand. People are lighting up before their workout in the hopes of pushing themselves to the next level. Still, businesses catering to cannabis-users struggle to find locations and insurance, even in state with legal cannabis. A pro-cannabis gym in Colorado, Break the Stigma Gym, is currently fighting an eviction. Yoga instructors who integrate cannabis into classes can also run into push back from landlords and studios.
Some of the potential benefits that workout enthusiasts associate with cannabis include improved focus, higher energy levels and motivation, and even the ability to ignore pain that comes from exercise. Some people even claim that burning one after a workout can improve recovery after intense efforts.
It’s important to remember that different strains have different effects, and what works for one person may not work for another. For some people, however, a little cannabis included in an exercise and workout regimen could help them stick with the program and reap the most benefits.
As with any sort of supplement, people interested in using cannabis to improve their exercise options should start slow and keep doses low while they determine what works best for them. Those who find that distractions and discomfort largely preclude regular exercise could find that cannabis is a solution for those issues. Others may not enjoy or appreciate the effects of cannabis during an exercise regimen. It will be fascinating to see how this trend could influence future cannabis research and legalization efforts.
For previous Ladybud articles about health topics, click here.