Cannabis – Hottest New Trend in Sports Medicine – Cannabis Buzz

“I knew and felt the ways that cannabis was helping me and improvingmy well-being in so many ways – physically, emotionally,

psychologically, spiritually and creatively,”

Ricky Williams, former NFL running back and cannabis advocate, is among the most vocal of the pro-cannabis NFL’s retiree community. The 7-time Mr. Olympia and one of the most popular men on the planet smoked weed during his prime. We are all familiar with Schwarzenegger’s victory celebration after winning the 1975 Mr. Olympia title. Dorian Yates spoke extensively about his use of weed. Dorian Yates has gone on the record multiple times in interviews about how often he smokes weed and why he thinks it is a positive supplement in professional bodybuilding and other pro sports as well. National Football League (NFL) made headlines in 2017 when they expressed interest in exploring the potential use of Cannabis as a pain management treatment for players.

Sports is addictive. It certainly gives a high. All athletes try to test limits of their body and mind toreach excellence. Athletes are constantly looking at ways and means to extend their competitiveedge over their competitors. Active or retired athletes are turning to cannabis as an alternative to

medicine in their quest for glory and peace.

What properties of Cannabis are attracting athletes?

Cannabis is documented to be blessed by nature with chemical compounds called“phytocannabinoids”. These phytocannabinoids are very similar in their chemical composition andtheir biochemistry and bio-mechanism to compounds the human body produces, called


Cannabis and Human Endocannabinoid System

Human body has endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell- signalling system. Human Endocannabinoid system has receptors for cannabinoids. The cannabis cannabinoids interact with receptors in our bodies to help establish and maintain homeostasis, or balance. Cannabinoid receptors are spread throughout the entire body, with largest concentrations in the central and peripheral nervous systems, and in the immune system. The ECS improves the communication between all those systems. The endocannabinoid system is named so due to itssimilarity to biochemistry of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis and Athletic Performance

Runners High

It has been well known among the sports-fraternity, distance running, and other forms of endurance exercises produce an emotional state termed as “runner’s high.” This emotional state is considered equivalent to a feeling of euphoria, a reduction in anxiety (anxiolysis) and pain (analgesia), and an increased sense of relaxation (sedation). It has been observed that athletes in the state of “runners High” keep exercising, even if they have strained their muscle during the exercise. In so many words, it is an emotional state of bliss, calmness. This state of high or euphoria is attributed to
increasing the levels of a chemical – β-endorphin, which is an endogenous opioid, and ‘Anandamide’, an endocannabinoid.

Scientific research backs up emotional state. Research has shown high levels of anandamide in the bloodstream of people after exercise. Anandamide is a cannabinoid that the body naturally produces. Endorphins and Anandamide are termed feel-good chemicals as they prevent the body from feeling pain during exercise or dance.

“This emotional state as described as Runner’s high can minimize distraction, increase focus to help exercise and be not just a means to an end but an enjoyment,” said Gerdeman an assistant professor of biology at Eckerd College. The Runner’s joy achieved naturally can also be marijuana induced.

Present mindedness

So, cannabis-induced runners high can help you increase focus. However, I would insist to a betterchoice of a word which is “present-mindedness.” The word is crucial to understand as it means andmakes a lot of difference and distinction in how we under the use of cannabis.


Preclinical studies have observed cannabis to exhibit anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective andanalgesic effects of CBD in animal models.Reduction in muscle and joint inflammation is one of the major thrust areas of research. Many studieshave led to prove that CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, helps ease inflammation.Athletes who are reaping the benefits of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties without smoking it or

getting high are using Topicals and Tinctures for locally targeted recovery.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) a psychoactive chemical naturally present in cannabis possess20 times the anti-inflammatory power of aspirin and twice that of the steroid hydrocortisone. It is a

backed by research.

“As an active athlete, it was a devastating injury and I was open toexploring alternative medicine solutions to help me heal,” – Jamie FeasterJamie Feaster, a former Division I college pole vaulter and current vice president of marketing at

marijuana delivery start-up Eaze

NeuroprotectionA concussion is one of the key sports injuries afflicting athletes. Soccer and Football are two sportsthat have seen many ex-players after retirement complaining about dementia as a result of headinjuries leading to concussions. (’s neuroprotective properties have the potential to counteract harm inflicted due to sports-related concussion. THC—the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis responsible to get one high—isalso known to have neuroprotective effects.

CBD oil extracted from the Cannabis plant is also known to help to counteract

neuronal damage in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. The cannabinoid additionally inhibits oxidativestress and neuroinflammation, conferring further neuroprotective benefits. There’s also research

showing that CBD is effective in combating neuroinflammation making CBD interesting for athletes

who play sports like football or boxing where concussions are common.

Pain-killerIn addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis has also been reported to alleviate pain.Cannabis can provide relief from chronic pain to acute pain from muscle spasms.“My passion for cannabis began when it replaced the opiates, I wasbeing prescribed for a gunshot wound I sustained in 2003,”Christopher Louie, founder of Colorado-based cannabis startup Made in XiaolinChristopher recounts that he was prescribed Kadian a potent drug in the form of a pill derived frommorphine. When the withdrawal between refilling prescriptions became too much, the doctor putChristopher on Neurontin, which erupted suicidal urges.

Cannabis certainly has the potential to be an alternative to habit-forming opiates.

Improve SleepTHC induces sleep. It is well documented. Studies have also found that THC can help people withsleep apnea and even suppress dreams, which is perceived to be beneficial for those suffering fromPTSD.Sleep is vital to athletes. Listed below are a of many few athletic-performance related body functionsaffected by sleep• Reaction times• Motor function• Motivation• Focus• Stress regulation• Muscle recovery• Sprint performance• Muscle glycogen

• Glucose metabolism

Motor functions and reaction time are critical in fast-paced high-impact sports as an athlete canavoid possible injuries. Fatigue also affects the immune system. Lack of quality sleep makes playersusceptible for injuries. Nowadays athletes hire sleep coaches to stay match fit.“If you told an athlete you had a treatment that would reduce thechemicals associated with stress, that would naturally increase humangrowth hormone, that enhances recovery rate, that improvesperformance, they would all do it. Sleep does all of those things.”— Casey Smith, Head Athletic Trainer, Dallas MavericksThe 2020 Pharmacological Research study also underlined the sleep-altering potential of CBD.Research in animal models has discovered that CBD may be both a sleep-inducing agent and a wake-promoting agent. This ability to produce opposite effects—known as biphasic effects—depends onthe dose being used and seems to work most successfully when the natural sleep-wake rhythm hasbeen disturbed.It is an exciting prospect that Cannabis can be an alternative to traditional sleep medications.Traditional sleep medication can be habit-forming.Unlike the intoxicating cannabinoid, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC),CBD is no longer prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and

appears to be safe and well-tolerated in humans.

Protection against Gastrointestinal damageGut health is important because microflora residing the gut produces essential nutrients required forbody to perform exercises optimally. Gut microbes and electrolyte also affect water balance to keepthe body properly hydrated.CBD may protect against gastrointestinal damage. Athletes who regularly engage in strenuousactivity can reduce oxygen and nutrient delivery to their gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Preclinicalresearch has shown that CBD can reduce tissue damage and restore the permeability of theintestine.Preliminary preclinical evidence also suggests that CBD may protect against gastrointestinal damage

by reducing body wide inflammation and promote healing of traumatic skeletal injuries.

Is cannabis truly a miracle drug that enhances athletic performance or does ithave negative side effects outweigh its benefits?First and foremost, Cannabis is not performance enhancing drug, at all.CBD may exert a number of physiological, biochemical, and psychological effects with the potentialto benefit athletes. However, direct studies leading to concrete evidence proving CBD and sportsperformance being directly linked are currently lacking. Their regular use does carry risks. They are

listed as below

Risk#1: Lungs Are Affected
“Marijuana can hurt athletic performance significantly if you smoke it,” Smoking cannabis may alsoaffect your VO2 capacity. All athletes should know that healthy lungs are essential to overall fitness,so they should avoid smoking anything.

Risk 2: Impair Motor Skills
Like any intoxicant, marijuana can impair your motor skills. Cannabis use can acutely impair decision

making and motor coordination that can make certain activities more difficult, such as driving,“THC should not be used just prior to resistance exercises. It decreasesreaction speed and global stability—not what you want when liftingheavy objects.”

Risk#3: Psychiatric Disorder
It is well documented that heavy and long-term usage of cannabis is correlated with increased risk of

psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia,

Risk# 4: Heart Attack
Cannabis consumption has been linked with an increased risk of heart attack within one hour of

consuming it. Combined with one of the main triggers for heart attacks—sudden

exertion—exercising while under the influence of cannabis can be potentially dangerous.

Cannabis is not a performance enhancing drug.“Cannabis isn’t for stupid stoners who sit on their asses”Jim McAlpine is the founder of the 420 Games, a three-year-old, family-friendly sporting-event series“It breaks up the tedium, it stills the brain, it relieves pain, and it helpsthem get a good night’s sleep. Anecdotally, some athletes claim it allowsthem to train longer and harder and lift heavier weights”-Sue Sisley, a physician who is heavily involved in medical marijuana research.In a study commissioned by ESPN, one of the key findings revealed that52% of retired players used prescription pain medications during theircareers, with 71% of those players admitting they had misused the drugs

during their playing days.

An athlete looking for peak performance, greatest strength, greatest speed; using cannabis for theseobjectives can be counter-productive,”Cannabis does offer many benefits that are of interest to athletes. The time of cannabis as the newsports medicine may be on the horizon. But we need more research and clinical evidence. But itcertainly raised our hopes of being an alternative medicine.Having said that every athlete aspiring athlete must consult their doctors before consuming

cannabis. Be responsible.

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