Stepping up runner excessive with marijuana

The concept of smoking marijuana before you run may sound wrong to some, but many who practice this popular form of exercise claim that the herb allows them to be more “present” and makes miles of roadwork more enjoyable. Others say cannabis products are essential to the recovery process. Some even argue that without them it would be next to impossible to recover from difficult workouts and make progress to become a faster and stronger racer.

“You have two different reasons for using cannabinoids,” said Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller, Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, told the New York Times. “One is to improve your exercise ability. The other is relaxation oriented. “

Although marijuana is now completely legal for recreational use in a number of states, the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant are still not appreciated by the majority of the nation. Currently, the federal government considers weeds to be one of the most dangerous drugs in the world, despite plenty of anecdotal and scientific data to prove otherwise. It’s this catch with Uncle Sam that, for some reason, makes it difficult for athletes to use the herb. No professional sports league allows their players to smoke marijuana. If so, they run the risk of being fined and suspended.

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But it’s not that strict across the board. The World Anti-Doping Agency, which is responsible for distributing drug tests to Olympians, does not automatically disqualify an athlete for submitting a positive marijuana test. In 2013, the agency increased the THC metabolite threshold from 15 nanograms to 150. This is ten times higher than the National Basketball Association’s allowance. In essence, the agency has developed a policy that makes it difficult to exclude athletes from competition.

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There isn’t a lot of research on marijuana and exercise. However, it is known that cannabinoids do not give athletes a competitive advantage. This is just one of the reasons the World Doping Agency has little problem with runners and jumpers smoking weed. There are even some questions about the claims of marijuana as a aid to muscle recovery.

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However, cannabinoids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. More athletes have emerged over the years, including former NBA player Al Harrington, who claims cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, is a cure salvation. Medical experts like Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Health, say the claim is real. CBD “lowers the amount of many, many pro-inflammatory cytokines – things our bodies make naturally in response to any inflammatory response,” he told the Times.

While it is up to the individual whether cannabis is consumed as part of a pre-workout or post workout regimen, Dr. Bonn-Miller that cannabis and running should go together.

“There is a lot of overlap in the pathways activated between what is called a runner’s high and the THC-derived high,” he said. “Both involve activating the endocannabinoid system, so it’s not surprising that THC can be used to increase the runner’s highs gained through endurance training.

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