Does Marijuana Help Muscle Growth and Recovery?
Cannabis and Working Out
The debate on whether or not cannabis and working out go hand in hand has been raging on for years. You can always find active folks who wholeheartedly support it and those who would never dream of toking while lifting. While it is easy to find anecdotal evidence to support either side, what does the science say?
Research surrounding cannabis is still in its infancy, considering most experiments have not yet been replicated and many of the studies contradict each other. There are studies out there that have focused on cannabis and muscle growth.
MuscleProdigy.com explored a few of these studies in an article titled “Does Marijuana Affect Muscle Growth”. One study focused on rats and three focused on Humans. The studies were performed between 1949 and 2002. These studies concentrated on Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone levels. Although minute changes in hormone levels were found in the experiments, none of them were deemed statistically significant and none of the changes were lasting. So, it doesn’t seem as though cannabis has any direct effect on muscle growth, at least not one that we have discovered yet. But can marijuana indirectly affect other parts of your work out?
Cannabis and the Munchies
One well-known effect of cannabis is the munchies, although how hard the munchies hit can depend on what strain you are currently enjoying. For those who are trying to get into shape and build muscles, the munchies can mean strong cravings for things that don’t necessarily constitute a healthy diet, like sugar and carbs. But many folks have harnessed the power of the munchies for good and use the cravings to help them eat more and eat healthily. According to InsideFitnessMag.com, many body-builders consume up to 5,000 or more calories per day and a well-timed blunt can really help to increase one’s appetite.
If you choose to go this route, it is important to make sure that you do not have a pantry full of junk food, so that when the cravings do hit, you are not tempted to reach for sweets. Many fit folks choose to use cannabis after they work out so that they can eat more, but smoking after you work out can have other advantages.
THC, CBD, and Anti-inflammation
It is well known that cannabis relaxes the mind and muscles. Between the anti-inflammatory effects of THC and CBD and psychoactive effects of THC, cannabis can be a great tool for winding down after an intense workout. Cannabis’ ability to relax muscles can be helpful after a workout because relaxation aids in increasing blood flow and in turn, muscle recovery.
Many of those who partake in cannabis find that it helps them get a better nights sleep. According to sportslabnyc.com, non-REM sleep is when most muscle recovery and growth occurs. Taking that into consideration, it would make sense that cannabis can indirectly aid in muscle recovery by enhancing relaxation and helping you get a better nights sleep. Now we know a few reasons why people might want to use cannabis after they work out, but what about before?
Smoking before or after a workout
Some people like to smoke cannabis before their workout. This tends to come down to personal preference. For some folks, smoking before they work out allows them to get into the zone and enjoy their workout more. For others, it can take away motivation and make the workout feel more difficult. The strain that you smoke before your workout can also change how you feel during the workout.
A sativa leaning strain, like Pepe Le Fuel or Platinum Valley, can give you more energy for your workout and help with motivation. Keep in mind that everybody is different, so your optimum workout strain may not be the best choice for someone else. The way you go about consuming your cannabis can also affect your workout.
Smoking any substance is not necessarily good for you because all smoke contains toxins and chemicals. Cannabis smoke is no different. That is why many active people who use cannabis chose to eat or vape their weed instead of smoking it. Using a vaporizer is considered to be better than smoking, but you are still inhaling foreign substances into your lungs.
Are Edibles Better for Working out?
Many chose to go with edibles because it eliminates the dangers of smoking or inhaling cannabis. The variety of edibles available in today’s market is incredible. From chocolate bars to dissolvable powders, the options are endless. If you choose to use your cannabis while working out, know that you are not the only person out there who chooses to do so.
It cannot be denied that cannabis and sports have been associated for quite some time. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Phelps, and LeBron James are just a few famous names in sports who have admitted to using cannabis at some point during their careers. Over the years and across all types of sports, cannabis has been used in a variety of ways. Although many choose to do it, that does not mean that using cannabis and working out is for everyone. As we like to say around here, to each their own.