With couch-locking type side-effects, it’s not often that you associate cannabis with athletics. But, thanks to cannabis research and a growing variety of strains, athletes today are increasingly using cannabis to improve their performance. Not only can cannabis promote shorter recovery time after injuries, it delivers premium relaxation for the body after being active for sport or exercise.
But, let’s be clear – you don’t have to be a pro athlete to enjoy the benefits of cannabis for physical activity. As more and more consumers are turning to the natural plant compounds to combat fatigue, anxiety, pain, injury, and low energy.
Depending on the nature of your sport, activity, or daily routine, you can choose a number of strains that will help extend your physical ability and lower the stress impact on your overall health. Whether you are a pro athlete or someone who keeps up on a routine daily fitness regimen, weed can become your best workout buddy. Let’s find out how, with our guide to cannabis for athletes.
Sports, Weed & Legalities
Even though cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2018, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, CCES still warns local athletes to be careful with its use. Considering weed is still banned by the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP).
In May 2019, a group of top-class athletes petitioned the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sought out to remove cannabis from the banned substances list. In light of cannabis now being legal for use in the Nation, along with many surrounding countries.
With the help of the non-for-profit organization Athletes for Care, the group officially requested that WADA, remove all cannabis-connected substances, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBD from their banned list. The professional athletes who were apart of this group, includes the following athletes and more –
- Ross Rebaliati (snowboarder),
- Mike Tyson (boxer),
- Ricky Williams (NFL),
- Diaz Brothers (MMA),
- Floyd Landis (racing cyclist, winner of Tour de France in 2006),
- Nate Jackson (NFL),
- Amy Van Dyken (Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer).
Even better for progress is a decision that was made this March 2020, by the National Football League. The NFL officially eased cannabis restrictions, meaning players will no longer be suspended after testing positive to cannabinoids, including THC. The NFL joins Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) who had already previously loosened restrictions, and testing.
How Does Cannabis Affect Your Athletic Performance?
There are a few specific reasons why athletes are turning to cannabis for pre-workout and post-workout stimulation or relief. Here’s the top benefits that weed can deliver to those who are frequently fit.
- Reduces Inflammation
According to many scientific studies, CBD-based products can reduce inflammation after physical injury, which happens frequently for those who are physically active. Topicals, lotions, and tinctures infused with CBD can help eliminate pain, and improve recovery time.
- No More Pain
Actual studies have proven that athletes who consume cannabis are less likely to suffer soreness and muscle spasms after intense workouts, which is common for professionals, and those who work out for fitness or leisure. This has been further shown with cannabis being effective at treating spasms in Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Meaning, it works the same way for athletes or anyone who suffers muscle spasms of any kind.
- Sleep Like a Baby
After a long day of training, athletes need a quality night sleep without interruptions. Of course, it’s secret that THC is highly effective at promoting relaxing vibes, for falling asleep soundly. This is another reason why many athletes turn to cannabis, after a performance, game, or physical workout.
- Improved Focus
Focusing on the game, the exercise, or any type of physical activity is essential for high performance. This is why cannabis’ ability to restore cognitive functions, especially THC, is beneficial for athletes.
The Top Strains for Athletes
Not all weed strains are the best for working out, especially those who provide sedating and couch-locking type of effects. When choosing your perfect strain, you need to have in mind the CBD/THC balance, the specific combination’s effects, and the dose you consume. Here is a list of the most notable cannabis strains for improving athletic performance.
- Jack Herer – A classic sativa strain, Jack Herer is as energizing as it’s pungent and refreshing fruity flavor. It provides an uplifting euphoria to lift your spirits and motivation, with a hint of energy with full-body relief. An ideal combination when lighting up before working out.
- Super Lemon Haze – Super Lemon Haze is arguably one of the most popular sativa strains, that is highly energetic and uplifting. The genetics are high in THC which provides a comforting body buzz, with exhilarating effects to keep you going and focused.
- Sour Diesel – Sour Diesel AKA Sour D is a THC potent sativa strain with a kick of energetic effects. The strain is equally stimulating for the mind, keeping you going mentally and physically, too.
- Dutch Hawaiian – Dutch Hawaiian is a perfect mix of two famous parents, Dutch Treat and Hawaiian Sativa. The strain itself is a potent Sativa with energetic and uplifting effects, often causing euphoric feelings when consumed in high amounts. It contains over 17% THC and less than 1% CBD for soothing relief after working out.
- Nebula – Nebula is an award-winning cannabis strain that delivers uplifting effects, that keep you going for training. In the beginning of its buzz, Nebula lifts you up with a burst of energy and slowly eases into full-body relief for relaxation post-workout.
Cannabis for the Active
More and more professional athletes include cannabis into their daily regimen, whether it is for energy, for focus, for recovery, or pain relief. Cannabis is an ideal and more natural way to improve both, physical and mental health. Especially when more of the population are turning away from prescriptions, and other types of medications that can cause damage overtime.
Now that professional athletes are being more vocal about their use, others are joining the marijuana in motion, movement. After all, consuming cannabis is an effective way to get yourself moving, and staying optimally fit. If you find yourself lacking motivation for exercising, turn to Greenz’s extensive collection of strains, that can help provide the energy you’re looking for. Not to mention, keeping your mind focused on the task at hand.