Editor's Note: We all live in a state where marijuana can be legally acquired.
What is your honest advice regarding marijuana use for lifters and athletes?
Chris Shugart – T Nation CCO
The first question that most people have about cannabis is, "How does it affect testosterone levels, body fat, and performance?" So let's start there.
In short, the research is everywhere like damn bong water:
What about testosterone levels?
Some people believe that weeds lower testosterone levels, which is obviously bad for lifters and athletes. But science is not conclusive so far.
Yes, there are studies that show that marijuana lowers testosterone levels at least temporarily among strong daily consumers. BUT you can also find good studies that show that it does not lower T levels.
And if you know that, you can even find a few studies that suggest that pot actually increases testosterone levels (at least temporarily).
Confusion, right? And, of course, pro-pot and anti-pot people will pick the cherries that support their beliefs. So it's a wash. We just do not know exactly how marijuana influences testosterone.
What about body fat?
Well, science tells us that weeds stimulate appetite, reduce inhibitions and make the food taste better. So it somehow leads to an increase in fat, right?
Well, not really. It has also been shown that marijuana increases metabolic rate and improves carbohydrate metabolism. Statistically, regular users have the lowest rates of obesity, although occasionally they are visited by the Munchie Monster. And honesty, the "Munchies" thing is a bit over the top. "Drunk food" is much worse and far more common.
How about Performance?
Many top athletes and bodybuilders use cannabis anecdotally, but that does not prove anything. We can go into the deep water and say that they might even be better off without the weeds … or we could say that the stress and anxiety-reducing effects help them recover and sleep, with negative effects like a disturbed psychomotor can trigger skills. As long as you do not compete with stones, this is probably not a problem anyway.
Many lifters also say that their best workouts are a summation program. But others lose motivation when they give up and can not imagine training in this stupid state. That could also be an Indica Vs. Be sativa thing. Tribes are important, children.
So if you like marijuana, your T-levels are good, your body composition is good and you build muscle, then you assume. Be aware only of the possible negatives.
After all, marijuana can cause stress. And stress and inflammation are pretty much the root of most things that can kill us. So, if some of the negatives associated with cannabis turn out to be true, you have to weigh them against the benefits, such as reducing stress. Then decide for yourself.
As for me, maybe every 6 weeks I have a low dose (usually a 5 calorie mint) when I feel particularly stressful. ̵
TC Luoma – T Nation Editor
I think the use of marijuana is okay as long as fitness people follow the 80-20 principle where they work in 80% of cases unimpaired and maybe 20% of the time. Wait a minute … I think I'm confused. That's right, you should eat healthy foods 80% of the time and funny foods 20% of the time.
This advice really does not work for weeds.
This type of occasional mental impairment would probably do one of the biggest problems associated with smoking / using fitness. Otherwise, there are not too many worries. Although it can lower testosterone and increase estrogen, the effects are marginal and temporary, and more likely for people who spend most of their days looking through a smoky haze.
There is also much to say about the potential benefits of weed-containing CBD oils. Throughout the body there are cannibinoid receptors whose activation (by smoking or taking CBD oils) can affect appetite, pain, memory and, of course, mood, along with the improvement of certain conditions or conditions such as epilepsy, high blood pressure and inflammation of them could be invaluable for athletes and regular joes alike. Hell, even breast milk contains cannibinoids, so you know there's something more going on with these things than we know. However, with regard to CBD, one should pay attention to the following: It seems that it works better if it contains some THC. In other words, "legal" CBD oils that do not contain THC may not be useful in controlling pain or inflammation.
In general, I would warn first-time adopters or those who have smoked for years, and now they want to rebuild their habits due to changes in their home state. Today's pharmaceutical weed is extremely powerful.
When I was a teenager, I stashed marijuana cigarettes in the handlebars of my bike. They were weak then. They had to smoke 14 of them and fell off their bikes to feel something. I gave it up soon, but it went on for 30 years until a Dutch barber gave me some of his prescription weed home.
I took two trains. Two. I became very worried. My heart rate accelerated to a terrifying level. I thought my dogs were staring at me, and I got madder at them. I told them that they are not good dogs, not good dogs at all!
I lay down on the couch and turned to SpongeBob Squarepants to calm down, but that turned out to be a mistake. SpongeBob scared me. I covered my eyes and sobbed, "Too yellow … too yellow!"
After a few hours it was over, but the lesson was an important lesson: Current varieties of weeds should not be played with a bit. Start slowly.
For many people, pulling a good Indica variety or hybrid – or half a drop of tincture or a little bit of biscuit or gum – is often enough to fight anxiety or make sleep easier. Use more for pain relief (indica strains are more likely to be painful), but increase the dose as needed by baby steps. – TC Luoma
Dani Shugart – T Nation Editor
I have a strategy for cannabis use that keeps me from overeating, and I agree with that in a second, but there are some things we do need to get started first.
Some lifters say that cannabis is a bad idea because you get junk food. How do you know that? Because that's the wisdom they have from old stereotypes, TV shows, tired jokes and their uninformed friends. So it must be true, as people have been saying this for decades.
But the cannabis junk food myth is almost as bad as the Roid Rage myth. If you still think that the pot makes everyone fat and is unable to make a good diet, then you are as bad as those who believe that steroids are all outrageous. That's just not true. If Pot had really done that, would not Colorado have a slightly higher obesity rate in the spread of marijuana consumers? It does not; it is actually the slimmest state in the US.
Can marijuana cause you to eat a wealth of unhealthy things? Well, it depends on a few more complicated factors, such as the type and amount of marijuana you use, your body chemistry and how you eat every day. If you are a person who generally eats bad food and your kitchen is filled with bad food, then you will absolutely eat as you already do, possibly in larger quantities than normal.
But you know what happens when A healthy eater has 2-5 milligrams of cannabis in an edible food a few hours before bedtime? She falls asleep watching Netflix after dinner. Oooooooh so risky. What a dangerous behavior.
The thing is, if you feel uninhibited about eating, it's less important for you to hit your macros or get the right nutrients. That's why you need to prepare a filling, healthy meal before using cannabis, and generally protect the kitchen from junk food.
But think about it. This fear of bad food can also be applied to alcohol consumption. And how you deal with alcohol is probably how you deal with cannabis. If you get too involved in one thing, you're probably going to be the guy with too much to offer in the other. And in any case, your diet will be the last thing you have in mind. Remember, however, that millions of people drink alcohol and use cannabis responsibly. You just can not be one of them.
Are there any studies showing that cannabis can affect your appetite? Sure, but there are also studies showing that cannabis users are thinner, have smaller waists, have lower blood pressure, bring less insulin to fasting, and often have an improved gut microbiome with pot use.
The better question is, are you smart enough Change your behavior and set up your environment so that you have a dietary advantage … even if you use cannabis? It could be you if you wanted.
What is the best way to use cannabis? That's up to you. But those are the rules I give myself:
1 – Choose the right guy.
Smoking is not my cup of tea, and I like the accuracy of edibles. The law requires manufacturers to ensure that each serving size contains a consistent amount of marijuana. So if I'm not in any great pain, I'll break up the standard sizes into even smaller sizes. This is called microdosing.
And I use dark chocolate food or tasteless packets of cannabis, which you can pour directly into a glass of water or a recipe. There are even cannabis teas already pre-measured and microdosed with so little cannabis that you will never feel high … just less surly.
2 – Remember the cannabinoid ratios.
That's important, and not enough people think about it. I make sure that CBD has at least a 1: 1 ratio to THC in the products I use.
CBD is known for its medicinal effects. THC for its funny effects. There is much research showing that CBD has neuroprotective benefits, meaning that the potential disadvantages of THC may be prevented by including an equal or greater amount of CBD.
2 – Do you know the trunks?
There are two popular varieties that you can find in pot shops: Indica and Sativa. It is said that Indica is more relaxed, while Sativa creates more energy. (This is not always the case.) I choose products that are mostly indica. This helps to sleep and prevents me from awakening with anxious thoughts.
3 – Let it cook for a few hours before bedtime.
If you eat or drink cannabis, unlike smoking, it can play a role for up to two hours before you feel the effects. So I have it before dinner, and once I feel it, I've already eaten, and I'm probably too tired to hang out. When I get hungry after dinner, I usually only get a few of my protein-rich treats.
But trust me, the evening after a leg day or a back workout has increased my appetite more than cannabis. And this includes the times when my doses were not "micro" at all.
4 – Go to bed.
Despite what people think, you do not immediately go into a crazy, insane, hectic madness with marijuana. In fact, it is quite possible to use them and still make better decisions than people who do not. Adequate doses of cannabis will not deter you from normal duties, such as: For example, when cleaning the kitchen, washing your make-up, brushing your teeth, flossing, kissing the dogs, reading some pages of your Kindle or praying.  That may sound a bit lame, but strategic and measured cannabis use should make you better in life, not worse. And this list should show you that it is possible to use it rarely and not to be addicted. I hope it helps you to question the marijuana myths, which are still somehow still prevalent. – Dani Shugart
Honest Council on Steroids
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