Is Marijuana a Efficiency-Enhancing Drug?


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In 2021, the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) banned American sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, from the Tokyo Olympics after she examined optimistic for marijuana.

This naturally led to a media brouhaha with some of us rebuking the IOC for banning an athlete for a leisure drug, and others blasting Richardson for being so careless as to place a banned substance in her physique proper earlier than the Olympics. 

This additionally quickened a longstanding debate in sports activities: is marijuana efficiency enhancing?

Many gym-goers are curious to know the reply to a associated query: will marijuana intrude with my positive factors? 

On this article, we’re going to dive into the scientific analysis to offer you evidence-based solutions to each questions. You’ll be taught what marijuana is, whether or not it enhances athletic efficiency or impedes muscle progress, and extra.

What Is Marijuana?

“Marijuana” refers back to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the Hashish sativa or Hashish indica plant—a plant that comprises the mind-altering chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The Chinese language have used marijuana as an analgesic (pain-relieving) and psychoactive drug since round 2700 BC. At this time, marijuana is essentially the most extensively used illicit drug globally. An estimated 188 million adults worldwide used marijuana in 2017, which is just below 4% of the worldwide grownup inhabitants.





Is Marijuana A Efficiency-Enhancing Drug?

There are a number of ways in which marijuana might have an effect on efficiency. Let’s take into account every individually.

Marijuana and Cardio Efficiency

In a evaluate carried out by scientists at St. Vincent’s Hospital Medical College, researchers analyzed the outcomes of 15 research and located that marijuana had no optimistic results on cardio efficiency. Particularly, the researchers discovered that smoking marijuana hastens fatigue, will increase perceived exertion, decreases work capability (the quantity of train you’re capable of full), and makes you’re feeling dizzy, which may forestall you from finishing your exercise. 

One other evaluate carried out by scientists on the College of Toronto examined 4 research that checked out marijuana’s impact on cardio efficiency and located that two research confirmed marijuana had no impact, and two research confirmed marijuana negatively impacted efficiency.

Lastly, a current umbrella evaluate (a evaluate of a number of opinions) concluded that:

“Hashish consumption has an ergolytic impact on train efficiency and subsequently doesn’t act as a sport efficiency enhancing agent as raised by in style beliefs. Thus, hashish consumption previous to train ought to be averted with a purpose to maximize efficiency in sports activities.”

Moreover, analysis exhibits that long-term marijuana smoking can severely impair respiratory well being. Whereas this isn’t direct proof that marijuana use stymies cardio efficiency, it makes it tough to see how marijuana may have a positive impact.

In different phrases, it’s not a stretch of the creativeness to suppose that smoking grass hurts your lung well being, and thus your endurance. 

Marijuana and Energy

Solely two research have investigated the impact of marijuana use on power. One discovered that power was unaffected by marijuana use, whereas the different reported that “weak spot was clearly demonstrated” after utilizing marijuana, although it didn’t give extra element.

Each research solely measured grip power and neither used athletes as contributors, although, so it’s not clear if these outcomes apply to weightlifters. 

Whereas it’s purely speculative, some researchers consider that marijuana might improve power by bronchodilation (enjoyable the muscle mass within the lungs and widening the airways). 

Analysis exhibits that beta-2 agonists (medication that trigger bronchodilation) akin to salbutamol, salmeterol, formoterol, and terbutaline can enhance power, dash, and energy efficiency in nonasthmatic folks. 

Since short-term marijuana use is related to bronchodilation, it may theoretically have an identical impact to different beta-2 agonists (although this has by no means been confirmed in analysis).

Lastly, for power to be successfully employed in a sporting context, you have to be centered and exact. That’s, you might be extraordinarily sturdy however fail to precise that power successfully you probably have hassle concentrating and utilizing good approach. 

Analysis exhibits that utilizing marijuana can hinder hand-eye coordination, focus, and decision-making, which can improve the probabilities that you just don’t use your power once you want it. 

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Marijuana and Muscle Development

No research have regarded on the results of marijuana on muscle progress, so it’s inconceivable to attract any agency conclusions about how grass impacts your positive factors.

Even hypothesis is tough as a result of there’s a lot conflicting analysis. 

On the one hand, research on how marijuana impacts anabolic (muscle-building) hormones exhibits that THC drastically lowers testosterone in rats and rhesus monkeys. Then again, human trials are a combined bag, with some exhibiting THC lowers testosterone and progress hormone and others discovering that it has no impact.

If we take these findings along with what we find out about how marijuana may impression power and your capacity to coach successfully, there’s sufficient cause to consider that marijuana may hinder your capacity to construct muscle (even not directly), which implies that you must most likely keep away from it if constructing muscle is your high precedence.

Marijuana and Ache

Athletes have used hashish to alleviate ache for millennia (it was one of many substances within the “Fuscum Olympionico inscriptum,” or the Olympic Victors Darkish Ointment used on the basic Olympics).

A big meta-analysis carried out by scientists on the College of Bristol that included 79 research and a complete of 6,462 contributors discovered proof that marijuana can deal with ache and spasticity (muscle spasms). 

Thus, marijuana might not directly enhance athletic efficiency by serving to athletes take care of the aches and pains that accompany common competitors. 

What’s extra, analysis exhibits that smoking marijuana will increase ache tolerance, which can additionally give athletes a aggressive edge by permitting them to coach and compete by ache which may sideline different athletes.

Marijuana and Restoration

Sleep is important for many athletes as a result of it provides the physique an opportunity to get better from the trials of coaching and the mind a break from the stress of standard competitors.

Research present that marijuana can improve sleep length, which can enhance efficiency by aiding restoration.

Marijuana and Nervousness

Marijuana lowers nervousness, which helps some athletes to succeed in a “move state” and be extra artistic. It might additionally scrub “worry recollections,” so athletes are much less afraid of what may go incorrect and extra more likely to carry out with out the worry of failure.

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Based mostly on the burden of the scientific proof, it’s affordable to conclude that marijuana doesn’t enhance athletic efficiency and should even forestall you from acting at your greatest (particularly in endurance sports activities).

The one method that marijuana might not directly enhance efficiency is thru its capacity to advertise restoration, which it primarily does by making it simpler to sleep. It might additionally enhance your capacity to deal with ache, which may help efficiency in some eventualities. Nevertheless, when you’re injury-free, it’s unlikely to have any optimistic impression in your athletic skills.

Some folks consider that marijuana will increase creativity and makes it simpler to enter a “move state,” although that is purely anecdotal and is probably not the identical for everybody (some research present that smoking marijuana makes it tougher to pay attention and hinders decision-making).

FAQ #1: Is Marijuana Secure?

Many individuals consider marijuana as a light drug with medicinal advantages with fewer hostile well being results than comparable authorized substances akin to alcohol.

And whereas analysis exhibits that marijuana is efficient at treating some medical circumstances, together with ache, nervousness, and despair, and safer than alcohol in some methods, it’s most likely an overstatement to consult with marijuana as “protected.”

For instance, analysis exhibits that common long-term marijuana use is related to . . .

FAQ #2: Does marijuana improve athletic efficiency?


Most analysis exhibits that utilizing marijuana both has no impact in your athletic efficiency or prevents you from acting at your greatest.

That mentioned, utilizing marijuana might enhance your restoration and allow you to take care of ache higher, which suggests it might not directly improve athletic efficiency in some conditions.

FAQ #3: D​​oes weed have an effect on muscle progress?

There’s no analysis how “weed” (marijuana) impacts muscle progress straight. 

Nevertheless, marijuana might make you weaker (no less than for a short while) and may make you much less proficient at duties that require coordination, each of which might hinder your capacity to coach successfully and will lower the quantity of muscle you construct over time.

FAQ #4: Can smoking weed make you lose muscle?


It might hinder how shortly you construct muscle, although, by making . . .

Thus, it’s smart to keep away from marijuana if you wish to achieve muscle and power as shortly as potential.

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