Potential of the cannabis plant has been widely acknowledged by scientists, medical experts and patients. One of the recent reasons why cannabis is in the trend is due to its link with exercise/ fitness. More and more people have shown active interest in consuming weed for working out. All of this has made scientists curious about cannabis and its true effects on people who exercise as not enough research is available in this area.
Following the trend and curiosity, the scientific community is now coming up with a study named ‘STUDY’ ( Study on Physical and Cannabis Effects) to deeply understand marijuana’s relationship with fitness.
Study on Physical Activity and Cannabis Effects (STUDY)
STUDY ( Study on Physical Activity and Cannabis Effects ) conducted by Colorado University happens to be the first ever research on cannabis and fitness from a scientific point of view.
“To date, there are no human studies on the effects of legal market cannabis on the experience of exercise,” said Laurel Gibson, a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and principal investigator of the study. “That’s where we come in.”
The study is currently under practice and will examine participants to learn how cannabis influences their fitness levels under different situational scenarios.
The study enlist 50 paid volunteers who are given the leverage to pick any THC or CBD-dominant strain and use it before 30 minutes of their workout sessions. Now, the interesting point here is that the researchers ask the participants questions every 10 minutes while working out and try to understand different aspects such as what do they feel, how hard or enjoyable does the workout feel, etc.
The researchers also commented on the stigmatized image of cannabis and how people are coming forward to destigmatize it by clubbing its compounds with different forms of practices.
“Cannabis is often associated with a decrease in motivation— that stereotype of couch-lock and laziness. But at the same time, we are seeing an increasing number of anecdotal reports of people using it in combination with everything from golfing and yoga to snowboarding and running.”
The colleagues of the university are expecting a contradictory result by comparing sober workout sessions and those with cannabis intake.
Cannabis for Fitness: Does it Help?
Cannabis, marijuana, weed, hash, or pot, whatever you call, is a herbal plant containing hundreds of natural compounds, the most prevalent ones being cannabinoids. Cannabis is widely used for its therapeutic potential. From chronic pain, to cancer, it can help manage an assortment of medical conditions. Patients can even access legal medical cannabis products for the treatment of some debilitating medical conditions. For instance, a resident of New York just needs a medical marijuana new york card to get medical cannabis.
Well, not only for medical reasons, but the plant’s use for the enhancement of exercise is also quite in talks. Many athletes and sportspersons actively use a certain percentage of THC to boost the good vibes of running, as they say. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive component of cannabis that produces the euphoric feeling among the users .
CBD or cannabidiol is another prevalent cannabinoid that enjoys a dedicated following for its healing properties.
If studies and reviews of cannabis users were to be considered, below are the key points how cannabis can help enhance fitness levels.
THC Can Help Boost Physical And Emotional Pleasure From Work Out
‘‘Runner’s high’’, is a term popular amongst the athletes which apparently describes the sensation of energy, pain relief, and euphoria an athlete experiences after or during a workout. Research suggests that the same feeling is induced with THC consumption. That’s the major reason for THC’s popularity within people who hit the gym a lot. Human bodies are designed to get emotional and physical pleasure from exercise and THC helps experiencing that. THC binds with the natural receptors CB1 and CB2 present in the nervous system and influences functions like pain, pleasure, mood.
“It is possible that exogenous cannabinoids like THC or CBD might activate the endocannabinoid system in a way that mimics the runner’s high,” said the researcher of STUDY.
Provide Relief From Pain and Inflammation
Pain relief is by far the most common medical advantage of cannabis cited by patients. One might feel almost powerless after an intense leg day at the gym which can result in severe pain and soreness. Taking CBD in the right quantity can help ease pain and muscle cramps. A significant chunk of the American population uses the cannabinoid (CBD) to get relief from chronic pain and inflammation.
Sharpens Your Focus
CBD contains anxiolytic properties which not only help ease out the symptoms of anxiety but naturally puts you in a more relaxed and comfortable space. And that automatically sharpens your focus, be it while doing a mental task or working out. Athletes report that consuming cannabis before working out gives them their ‘zone’ where they feel more focused and dedicated.
Offers You a Good Night’s Sleep
The relaxing effects of CBD and THC are well-known all across America. It’s vital to give your body complete rest after a heavy workout session and sometimes you just can’t sleep even after so much physical exertion. And that’s when THC might help. Though the cannabinoid is stigmatized for its psychoactive effects, its consumption in low quantities can help you have a good night’s sleep.
Concluding the above discussion, it can be said that cannabis does hold the potential of enhancing the effects of exercise, however more structured and detailed studies are required to study its long-term effects.
In the hope to get great results from the study, the researcher said, “We know so little and there is so much we need to learn.”