Cannabis and Calisthenics?
Many of our patients often mention the benefits of cannabis use as it relates to exercise or athletic performance. While there is still limited scientific research on how cannabis can specifically enhance athletic performance, some athletes and researchers suggest that it may offer several potential benefits.
Cannabis Benefits for Athletic Performance & Recovery
One of the main ways cannabis may help with athletic performance is through its ability to alleviate pain and inflammation. Athletes often experience pain and inflammation as a result of intense training, and cannabis has been shown to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. This may help athletes manage pain and recover more quickly after workouts or injuries.
Cannabis may also have an impact on anxiety and stress levels, which can affect athletic performance. Some patients cannabis to reduce anxiety or help them relax and focus during training.
Another potential benefit of cannabis for athletes is improved sleep. Getting enough restful sleep is crucial for recovery and performance, and cannabis has been shown to help some people with insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Potential Effects to Consider
It’s important to note that using cannabis for athletic performance is still a controversial and somewhat uncharted area. There are concerns about the potential negative effects of cannabis use, such as impaired coordination, slowed reaction time, and impaired judgment, which could be dangerous for athletes, especially those competing at an elite level. Since medical marijuana is not yet legal at the federal level, cannabis use is still prohibited by many sports organizations, and athletes who use cannabis may face disciplinary action or other consequences. Athletes considering medical marijuana should consult with medical professionals and as well as consider the potential risks and benefits before using cannabis for athletic performance.
Cannabis Types for Performance & Recovery
Indica Strains: Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedative effects, making them a popular choice for promoting sleep. These strains are typically high in the cannabinoid called THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Some popular indica strains for sleep include:
- Granddaddy Purple
- Bubba Kush
- Northern Lights
Edibles: Edibles are cannabis-infused products that are ingested orally, such as gummies, chocolates, and baked goods. They can be a good option for sleep because they are typically high in THC and can provide longer-lasting effects than acute forms such as vaping. However, it’s important to start with a low dose and wait a few hours before taking more, as edibles can take longer to take effect and the effects can be more intense.
Topicals: Topicals can be an effective treatment option for those suffering from muscles spasms or chronic joint or muscle pain. Applied directly to the treatment area, these products, often in the form of a lotion, absorb into the effected area and provide pain reduction and anti-inflammatory results. These products can be found in CBD:THC ratios that do not result in the typical ‘high’ associated with THC-dominant products, making them a good option for day-time use.
CBD products: CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis that has been shown to have calming and relaxing effects. CBD products, such as oils, tinctures, and capsules, can potentially help promote sleep without causing the psychoactive effects associated with THC.
It’s important to purchase medical marijuana cannabis products from a reputable source such as a state licensed dispensary and to start with a low dose to avoid potential negative effects.
If you’re considering medical marijuana for athletic performance and recovery, we recommend all patients talk to a certified healthcare professional before using cannabis for sleep, as they can provide guidance on dosing and potential risks and interactions with other medications.
Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash