After testing positive for cannabis (not covid, a necessary distinction these days), there was a media mini-storm when Olympic sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s trial win was disqualified, and she was suspended for a month. The United States and World Anti-Doping Agencies (USADA & WADA) argue that cannabis can be performance-enhancing for some athletes and, therefore, illegal to use in competition. The variety of ways cannabis can help in physical training is still not very well researched, but here is what we do know.
Here are a few ways functional dosing of cannabis can help you with your workout.
Sharpen Focus on the Lift
Mental strength is very advantageous during physical training. A sharp focus on the active muscles has been shown to increase both muscle volume and strength. Cannabis showcases its super effectiveness in refocusing attention. Refocusing is a significant part of what functional dosing intends to achieve. We define functional dosing as "getting the correct dose (of the suitable material) to induce the optimal state of mind appropriate for the task at hand (the function).
When cannabis interacts with the brain, it blocks out some of the pain signals (NIH). This action of mild pain relief does wonders for completing exercises and pulling through the difficulty. In particularly intensive sessions, this dampening effect becomes extra helpful. Because it does not entirely block the pain signals, a subtle muted pain is still felt, and a healthy level of difficulty is maintained. Oh yes! the reward at the end.
A significant concern for athletes, caused by physically demanding regimes and a lack of downtime, is that inflammation could lead to severe injuries or even permanent damage. Reducing muscle and joint inflammation is one of the most promising areas of cannabis research. Many studies discovered that CBD, the less noticeably psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, helps ease inflammation.
Getting to the “Zone”
That elusive state where your workout is the sole existence in the universe creates my ultimate pain-gain-motivation mix, and it is where I get my highest performance and my "can't wait to do that again" attitude. According to testimonials of fitness specialists, a functional dose (usually low in THC) can get you in the zone more often than not. This meditative state is particularly sought after in the realm of athletics. Reminder: read up on the subject once you join the Olympics team; knowledge keeps you from being disqualified.