The pressure to train, eat, recover and repeat is intense in the bodybuilding world. Even top bodybuilders can become weighed down by the pressure, especially when energy levels are low and their performance isn’t what they expect of themselves.
Wanting to use every opportunity to be at your best is a natural instinct, and this is precisely what many bodybuilders are doing by taking cannabis during their training process. But is it legal to take cannabis during bodybuilding competitions? More importantly, is it safe, or can this natural compound inhibit your performance? This article will answer your most pressing questions.
Defining cannabis and its different strains
Cannabis Sativa is a plant species where different compounds are derived. Cannabinol (CBD) is one such compound known for being safe because it does not contain a high percentage of THC, so there is no risk of getting high nor a risk of overdose. Marijuana is another compound derived from this plant species.
While the molecular structure of marijuana and CBD is quite similar, the main difference is that marijuana contains a high percentage of THC, and it is the reason people experience those psychoactive effects.
Although research is limited, researchers have learned that these natural compounds work on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The latter is that part of the body that manages critical functions such as appetite, sleep, body temperature, pain, and more through the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which run through the body. What the cannabis compounds can do is signal or bind to these receptors to manipulate change.
As a result, people have been using CBD and marijuana to treat different health conditions from anxiety and depression to cancer symptoms and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The market has made it easier for people to find cannabis-based products. While marijuana is still illegal in many countries, CBD products with less than 0.3 percent of THC can easily be bought in the US, and they come in different forms.
You can find CBD oils and gummies, there are balms, e-liquids, and tinctures. You can find great flavored strains as well, such as the slurricane strain.
Cannabis for bodybuilding
Whether you are opting for the subtle CBD or the high-inducing marijuana, you will find that both compounds come with different advantages that can help your bodybuilding process. The following are some of the most significant ways they can help.
Marijuana and appetite
If you are looking to build your body mass, then you need a huge appetite. Marijuana can help with this. When your body ingests a high level of THC, the latter goes in search of the CB1 receptor, and it binds to it, leading to an increase in appetite. CB1 is also the receptor responsible for the ghrelin hormone, which encourages you to eat.
CBD and relaxation
If relaxation is your primary goal, especially during a competition, then CBD can be helpful. This natural compound is known for its potential to ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. It does so by signaling to the ECS’s receptors into releasing more of the happy chemicals in the body, such as serotonin and dopamine.
Marijuana can also help you relax; however, it can hinder your performance by decreasing your reaction time, lowering your focus, and impairing your hand-eye coordination. On the other hand, in low doses, CBD acts as a stimulant, giving you the energy you need, whether working out or during a competition.
CBD and inflammation
Inflammation is an essential process during muscle recovery, and it comes with the territory when you are a bodybuilder. It becomes a hindrance to your performance when it turns into chronic inflammation. In that case, you need something that will combat the inflammatory response, and CBD can do this. Researchers have learned how this natural compound has potent anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, you can better manage your pain and recover faster.
CBD for strong bones
Keeping your skeletal framework in optimal shape is essential to excel. CBD can help in this area as well. Researchers have observed how this natural compound plays a role in slowing down the degeneration of bones and accelerating bones’ healing. When researchers injected CBD to treat rats’ bones, they found that the fractured bone becomes more robust and less likely to experience another fracture.
Marijuana and testosterone
Testosterone is a critical tool that helps your body grow and repair, and for bodybuilding, it is even more vital. The good news is that marijuana has the potential to increase testosterone. In one study, researchers noted how men who smoked THC had a higher testosterone level than those who did not.
The legality of CBD and marijuana during competitions
When it comes to CBD, there is no grey area as CBD-based products containing less than 0.3 percent of THC are legal in all states. With marijuana, it is a different story. THC is still considered illegal, so smoking weed before a competition is technically a no-no. However, those in the inner circle know that top bodybuilders smoke openly before a competition and even recreationally because marijuana has no calories, unlike alcohol.
Taking cannabis for your bodybuilding journey
If you are interested in taking cannabis to optimize your bodybuilding performance, it is best to seek a professional’s advice. These compounds can block the work of specific medication and cause you more harm than good.