There has been a long-standing stereotype about cannabis users being lazy, unproductive space cadets– if you’re anything like me, then this label probably offends you. As a focused and productive member of society, this stereotype has sometimes made it difficult for me to open up about my cannabis use with trainers, family members and even doctors, for fear of being associated with the “Cheech and Chong” stoner archetype. While it is totally okay to zone out and embrace the psychedelic every now and then, this characterization of pot smokers is no longer an appropriate representation of the majority of people who use regularly.
What do marathoner Avery Collins, MMA fighter Nick Diaz and NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson all have in common?
Well, aside from being incredibly gifted, these athletes and many others are avid users and advocates of cannabis. Despite the penalties that still exist for professional athletes who test positive for its use, many sports superstars are opening up about their experiences using cannabis to improve their training and aid in their recovery. When it comes to de-stigmatization, our sports heroes play a huge role in bringing medical cannabis use into the mainstream. Here are some of the benefits of cannabis that have athletes saying “You’re outta here!” to big pharma expenses:
A little science goes a long way
Some reports show that consuming cannabis and engaging in activities like long-distance running go hand in hand. If you are familiar with distance running then you have probably experienced the natural euphoria that accompanies the workout. This “runner’s high” was previously believed to be caused by endorphins, but is now believed to be the result of the brain’s endocannabinoid system.
What? Tell me more!
When you workout, the level of the endocannabinoid anandamide in your bloodstream goes up. Basically, you’re left feeling all kinds of good vibes. In many ways, this ECS phenomenon acts just like THC, so consuming cannabis in addition to your elevated EA levels can help reduce runner’s anxiety and sensations of pain. Avery Collins himself has stated that 50% of the runners he has met are avid cannabis users. That is a whole lot of athletic people finding solace in nature’s healing powers. This natural alternative definitely gives big pharma a run for its money…get it?
Cannabis in Action
Sore muscles, fatigue, chronic pain, inflammation, mental stress– these obstacles can be unavoidable when pursuing the athletic lifestyle. Regularly consuming cannabis can subdue these annoyances so that you can improve your focus and give your body the relief it deserves. CBD is a great introduction to cannabis for newbies because it does not have the psychoactive effects that THC provides. If you are looking to ease your workout tensions without losing your grip on reality, then CBD might just be your favourite new gym buddy.
Ingesting is easy (and tasty?)
Consuming cannabis to improve athleticism is best done when the product is eaten, vaped or topically applied. This means pop in some THC infused gummies, take a deep inhale of your watermelon flavoured vapor or rub some of that lavender scented CBD lotion into your aching muscles. Smoking (bongs, pipes, joints, etc) is not your best bet if you are looking to improve stamina, regulate breathing and enhance your overall health. Birch + Fog offers a variety of products that cater to your every need so you can get back to training for that decathlon or recovering from that 2 day hike.
According to available studies, evidence is limited but very promising on athletes using cannabis to manage chronic pain. There is currently no evidence of cannabis being a “performance-enhancing drug”, so with any hope the World Anti-Doping Agency will catch up with the times and remove its ban on cannabis use for pros. Considering alcohol is legal, oftentimes sponsored by athletes and exponentially more dangerous, many athletes agree that it is time to kick the cannabis stigma in the butt!
Research in cannabis is still emerging. More information is released everyday, so we will do our best to bring the latest updates on scientific research and advancements right to your fingertips. As with everything, please use good judgement when consuming cannabis products and exercise moderation. If you are unsure of whether or not cannabis is right for you, we recommend consulting a licensed medical doctor with experience in cannabis. Always obtain products from a vendor licensed to sell medical grade cannabis.
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