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Many athletes confessed to smoking pot even while competing. Professional runners like Jen Shelton, Avery Collins, even Chris Barnicle (who calls himself the "world’s fastest stoner") are all known for promoting marijuana. There are many running groups on the web who promote marijuana, like CannaFit. Not only do athletes enjoy it, but many bodybuilders also consume marijuana too, to prevent soreness, to catch better sleep and so on. We all know that famous picture of Arnold enjoying ganja. So, why do athletes consume it and how it may help with recovery?
How does it work (on athletes)?
When ingesting marijuana (smoke, edibles or vape), two of its compounds are what it makes you feel that way. Cannabidiol (CBD), is a non-psychoactive compound and it hits your body and brain receptors for pain, emotions, memory, and appetite, it brings the calm and relaxed feeling you have after smoking a pot. The other one is what makes you stoned and you’ve probably heard about that one. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive chemical, and it is making you feel euphoric, drowsy, lacking focus, and having a relaxed inhibition.
Correlation between marijuana and exercise are quite similar. Your body produces anandamide which is naturally produced in your body after you finish exercising, and is a similar compound to cannabinoid. Ingesting marijuana imitates the same natural process, so that "runners' joy’" you get after exercise, can be stretched throughout your exercise, helping you minimize distraction, and making you enjoy it even more.
While the studies are still unfinished, and debate is going on, the focus in most articles about cannabis is usually pros and cons, we’re still far away from the absolute truth. So we’ll skip numbering pros and cons and focus on medical facts of cannabis improving recovery and relaxation of athletes.
Of course, the most usual and widely popular way for consuming MJ is smoking. As we mentioned before, it is unhealthy since you inhale smoke which we all know is bad. If you choose this option, be sure to check your lungs from time to time. So we advise avoiding smoking for its potential harm and turn to vaping. Only con of vaping is that it might be too much for the first-timers, since it causes stronger high than smoking, but its convincing pros is what it makes it a preferable option.
If smoking is not something you enjoy yet you'd like to get positive relaxing effects of marijuana, perhaps you can prepare edibles. Same as with vaping, it lasts longer, but it is healthier and brings the best high of THC. To get the best of brownies, you have to prepare it carefully. In fact, you can add some tasty protein powder in there, so your cookies truly become a post-workout miracle. If you're not sure which one to use, you can find a list of best-tasting protein powders here.
It is not unusual for sportsmen in the competitive world to search for different ways for enhancing performance and relaxing after it. We all know about the supplements, ice baths, and so on. Pot is indirectly related to exercising and sport itself, it rather helps in the process of relaxing before the competition. One study also shows how cannabis increases impulsive responses and decreases decision-making processes in your brain. It also improves concentration, reduces muscle spasms, and pain.
So it doesn’t really seem odd that so many athletes are turning to this greener solution. We should only stress out the potential harm for athletes in the manner of consumption methods, since smoking may harm your lungs, it is better to vape or make edibles (only con of these two is it lasts longer that way).
One more thing athletes should consider before consuming cannabis is that it increases the heart rate making you reach the limit quicker than when not. Also, it decreases alertness, an there is a chance to suffer from extreme anxiety and paranoia when high (not good for performance).
But, we think that the biggest issue is legality. Consider if your state or country approves consumption, there won’t be any change in performance if you cannot perform anything.