If you think of someone who smokes a lot of grass, you probably do not think about an athlete. Instead, you might end up with a limp jaw, an unkempt face, bloodshot eyes, Fritos chewing, wearing a pizza-stained shirt, challenging an erection, listening to Bob Marley, Jeff "the guy" Lebowski emulating a lazybones and on his couch has stuck.
It turns out that the stereotype may be as old-fashioned as a 1960s "Keep on Truckin" black light poster, as recent research by the University of Colorado (Boulder) has found that 8 out of 10 cannabis users actually use cannabis Have combined movement. (1)
And instead of interfering with their efforts, the study found that the combination of marijuana and exercise accelerated recovery after exercise and made physical activity less unpleasant.
A useful training tool?
U of C psychologists surveyed 605 cannabis users to see how they felt about cannabis and exercise. An astounding 81
Nearly 80% of those polluting weed agreed that cannabis helped recovery, and more than 70% said it boosted their enjoyment of training. Most said they had more aerobics or anaerobics per week for more minutes.
Respondents' responses to the impact of cannabis on performance and motivation were less enthusiastic, but interestingly, the percentage of users who felt that it actually affected performance or motivation was rather small.
What to do with this information?
This information may confuse you and make you feel like you've accidentally eaten 100 mg. of THC by confusing a cannabis-infused Kiva bar with a Twix bar. After all, you have repeatedly heard / heard that weeds reduce response time, disrupt concentration, interfere with hand-eye coordination, and reduce resilience and time to exhaustion.
But if all the foregoing is entirely correct, ask yourself why the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has cannabis on its Prohibited List. Why punish athletes who are stupid enough to take something that affects their performance?
There is clearly a lot of confusion about the topic, which leads to constant debates and passionate arguments about whether the use of cannabis should be banned for any organized sport.
Example: Mike Tyson and Floyd Landis are among the 150 athletes who have recently supported a petition to remove marijuana from the WADA Prohibited List, and there are similar sounds from many NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB athletes wish to participate in the Ganja without being afraid to be suspended.
But while this study confused what we know about marijuana and performance, or know it to be, it is almost unequivocally acknowledged that weed is not the absolute ally of the athlete, at least when it does come into competition Sports in which precision and reaction time play a role.
However, it probably does not hurt the athlete's abilities when used outside the competition window and in moderation, and it can actually help immaterial with other sports. Ultra-marathoner Jenn Shelton, quoted in The Wall Street Journal in 2015, said, "The person who will win is someone who can relieve their pain, can not puke and stay calm, Pot does all these three things." (2)
As with other athletes such as lifters, it can help with recovery and stimulate appetite. It could also help alleviate the pain, as suggested by the Ultra Marathon Runner. I'm not sure how useful it would be in a powerlifting competition or heavy training sessions. After all, a sense of balance is not usually synonymous with big lifts. Big elevators require a little crazy dog.
Anything that makes you go to the gym and spend more time at the gym has to be considered. As with most things, it's probably about weighing the potential benefits against the potential downsides.
Oops! You forgot something. They were probably high
One last point regarding the U of C study: Nowhere in their work was there mentioning the use of different cannabis strains, so I assume that this was not part of their survey.
It was nice to know which interviewees preferred indica strains, which sativa strains and which hybrid strains. Sativas are more energizing, while Indicas tend to stick users on the couch. Of course hybrids have a medium effect depending on the THC concentration.
Knowing what exercise-related effects we had, at least, would have helped to confirm or refute some of our standard beliefs about pot and motion.
A Marijuana Salvage Guide
Honest Advice on Marijuana
- Sophie L. York Williams, Charleen Gust; Raeghan Mueller; et al. "The New Runner's High" examines the relationship between cannabis use and exercise habits in states with legalized cannabis, "said Front. Public Health, April 30, 2019.
- Frederick Dreier, Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2015.