Cannabis Therapy for Athletes

In this blog post our Marketing Coordinator and fitness enthusiast, Leslie talks with our Nurse Educator about how cannabis can benefit an athlete’s body and mind during workouts.

Exploring Cannabis for Athletes

LESLIE: I’ve been an athlete for as long as I can remember. From gymnastics and skateboarding as a child to running and mountain biking as an adult, I think I’ve tried it all. With all of this movement, I’ve found that sports and recreational activities can take a huge toll on the body. That’s why I prioritize caring for my body before, during and after exercise to help ensure that I can do the things I love forever.

As a medical cannabis patient, I am fortunate to have access to medicine that helps me manage my wellness. So, when I decided to start training for my first marathon, I knew cannabis would be part of my journey. I asked our Nurse Educator, Liz for some tips on using THC and CBD to aide in my training before during, and after workouts.

How will I know I’m ready to start using cannabis prior to my trainings?

LIZ: Like most cannabis therapy, it’s different for everyone to decide when to start and dependent on what you’re trying to achieve. Once you understand how your body responds to new movements and activities, you can start to incorporate small amounts of THC and CBD prior to training. When starting a new or intense regimen, it is not recommended that patients load up on THC prior to these activities. Doing so can throw off your coordination and block the pain signals necessary for recognizing when you’ve over extended your abilities. This can potentially lead to injury.

Can I use cannabis as a pre-workout option?

LIZ: Yes! Many professional athletes report finding success while using cannabis before training. THC and CBD can be beneficial for patients who are more experienced in cannabis therapy especially when they are participating in familiar workout activities. Consider a flower high in the terpene Myrcene (for pain), Pinene (for energy), and Limonene (for motivation). These terpenes combined with pain fighting THC will help you feel prepped and ready to take on your workout! Most athletes prefer to vape or use tincture to administer their medicine. Their effects happen much more quickly so you’ll know how you’re reacting to the cannabis before you begin your workout.

Using CBD for pre-workout

LIZ: The CBD compound can be used as prophylaxis for muscle inflammation. This means when taking CBD and THC before your exercise, you are taking preventive measures for muscle inflammation and soreness.

In the weeks prior to the first day of your training – dose CBD twice a day. We recommend taking it at the same time every day, so you have consistent levels in your system.

What are the effects of cannabis during exercise?

LIZ: THC can hone your mental focus; professional athletes call it “getting into the zone”. Additionally, athletes say the THC content increases endurance and stamina due to the pain relief and release of endorphins. This allows you go the extra bit you need towards achieving your goal.

CBD works behind the scenes to help you through your entire workout aiding in muscle recovery. While you can’t feel immediate effects, it’s still doing its job and working in your system! When you’re really moving your muscles, sometimes they can cease up, and cramp. So, it’s good to get CBD in your system prior to any excursion.

How about using cannabis after workouts?

Verdes CBD / THC Cannabis Tinctures

LIZ: After workouts your muscles might feel tight, sore and exhausted. These sensations are known as Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS is in part caused by microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. You can feel these effects 2 hours after your workout and they can last up to 48 hours after you exercise. A component of this is inflammation. If you’ve been taking your CBD, you’re already on your way to a speedy recovery!

Soreness is also caused by the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. For some people, THC can lower blood pressure, which has the potential to reduce lactic acid clearance from the muscle. If your blood pressure is reduced, and therefore blood flow to the muscles is reduced, lactic acid can tend to linger – prolonging muscle soreness.

Be sure to continue your CBD regimen after your workouts to ensure that you are getting the most out of your cannabis therapy. CBD works best when dosed on a regular and consistent schedule. CBD is also an antispasmodic which will help alleviate the tense knots experience with muscle spams.

Non-Cannabis Fitness Tips

After my interview with Liz, I started to think about general tips that are helpful when I prepare to train for a marathon or just to stay in shape. Below are a few that I like to remember.

Before your workout:

  • Develop a plan
  • Familiarize yourself with equipment or route
  • Be aware of your current limitations or injuries
  • Hydrate
  • Eat a small snack

During your workout:

  • Sips of water

    Remember: Always stretch after a workout!

  • Be mindful of your bodies signals
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Breathe
  • Remember your goal
  • Rest periods are advised – Stop if you need to!

After your workout:

  • Stretch or use a foam roller
  • Massage your sore spots to remove lactic acid
  • Hydrate – replace your electrolytes
  • Eat a well balance meal
  • Treat soreness with alternating heat and ice to the area
  • Celebrate – You did it!

With this information, I hope you feel even more empowered by cannabis to achieve your wellness goals!

-Leslie, Verdes Marketing Coordinator