Athletes in all sports have been noticeably taking the help of cannabis to improve their health performance. There was a time when marijuana was seen as a dark side.
The consumers of cannabis were termed as lazy underachievers. But cannabis has slowly gained mainstream acceptance in athletic fields for good reasons.
Olympic athletes and professional bodybuilders constantly experiment with new modalities to improve their training recovery time. For this, cannabis is gaining importance in their training regimens with positive results. Let’s take a look at how cannabis works in this arena.
Marijuana which is actually a medicinal herb helps to reduce the pain related to fibromyalgia, arthritis, and degenerative disk disease. Competitive athletes are most of the time in pain due to multiple training sessions in a day which can really take a toll on the body. Preparing for competitions, athletes undergo three sessions per day in the gym and will definitely feel the pain. They have to deal with two specific types of pain.
The first is delayed-onset muscle soreness which is felt two days after a strenuous training session. It makes an athlete limp around for few days and such a thing becomes a norm day after day, week after week. When this pain is about to heal, the next session will make it appear again. It keeps the athlete in a constant cycle of soreness.
The second is old-man wear and tear. Beating the body for so many years playing the sport will definitely affect the body parts of the athlete. The injuries in the knee, shoulder or any other part will keep showing up now and then. Therefore, many athletes take the help of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory or opiate-based pharmaceuticals to cope with the pain. Cannabis helps alleviate the pain many athletes deal with on a daily basis.
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Sleep Quality and Quantity
Optimal sleep and the current nutritional regimen are the two biggest factors for early recovery. Recycling of body cells and hormone activation to produce muscle growth – both happen during sleep cycle. Nutrient deficiencies and stress on an athlete’s central nervous system can cause insomnia. A caloric restriction phase prior to competing in combat sports can compromise their sleep. In such circumstances, medicinal cannabis tinctures accurate in dosage can be effective in improving the quality of sleep for athletes.
Proper nutrition is also one of the most important factors in recovery. The main concern in this factor is that some athletes are not able to take in enough meals per day to recover from the loss. It happens when they sometimes avoid proper meals in the latter half of the day. If enough amount of protein, fat, and carbs are not taken, the recovery will be negatively affected. If the athlete doesn’t take sufficient meals per day, it will affect the performance in their next training session. Here, cannabis plays an important role as ergogenic aid, allowing athletes to consume optimal nutrients for peak performance.
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Swelling and Inflammation
Muscles, joint, and tendon inflammation also become a common part of an athlete’s life. Even after proper safety measures, the player is prone to get injured. Tendonitis which is caused by overuse and allowing the body to stay in an inflamed state for too long is a common example. Apart from being painful, it restricts different movements, it also takes forever to heal. Consumption of cannabis combined with a nutrition plan on daily basis can help reduce this inflammation.
Tendons and Bones
High-cannabidiol (CBD) also acts positively on tendons and bones. A study also proved that CBD, when administered properly, helped to heal bone fractures at a faster rate. This is because CBD directly acts on inhibiting the G protein-coupled receptor 55. Overstimulation of this receptor increases the transfer rate of calcium from bones into the bloodstream. It softens the bones leading to osteoporosis. CBD prevents such conditions and encourages better bone density.
Contrary to the general assumption that cannabis destroys the brain cells, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid has dramatic neuroprotective properties. Scientists used to believe that the growth and development of neurons in the brain does not occur after the embryogenic development stage, but now they know that it still occurs even as we age. Cannabis greatly helps in treating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, sclerosis, and epilepsy.
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Recovery time is the one that decides when an athlete can go for the next training session. Faster the recovery, lesser the time between two sessions. Cannabis is again here to help the athlete recover fast.
Factors like genetics, recovery methods, sleep quality, nutritional deficiencies, and outside stress factors also affect the recovery time. If the athlete uses cannabis daily while dealing with such factors, it can prove very beneficial by reducing the recovery time by a third.
Besides this, cannabis is a proven, multifaceted approach to recovery and is also nontoxic. An athlete who adds cannabis as an ergogenic aid to his recovery program will definitely experience his performance to reach to the next level.