Posted by Derek Champoux
5 years ago / July 12, 2019
Cannabis & Sports: Are Vape Pens Good For Athletes?
We’re in a whole new era of athleticism. Professional athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before. And there is more focus on physical training for everyday people than ever before.
Working out has even become a mainstream sport, with the emergence of Crossfit and a renewed interest in strongman and powerlifting. With all this interest, everyone is looking for the next edge.
In this article, we explore: can cannabis vape pens offer opportunities for athletics?
Cannabis Vape Pens & Health
Since it’s infancy, vaporizer hardware has gone hand-in-hand with health. One of the first ways that vaporizers began to make waves was in using vape pens to quit cigarettes. People have been turning to vape pens as a healthier alternative to cigarettes as a means of quitting altogether, or at least of reducing risks.
In more recent years, cannabis vape pens have entered the health conversation with all sorts of health issues, from pain management to anxiety. Cannabis is proving effective for a variety of mental as physical health conditions.
Vape pens are growing in popularity as a delivery system for medical marijuana. This is because it has fewer negative effects than smoking, and offers better dosage control.
In addition to medical marijuana, the medical uses of cannabis vape pens continue to grow. Vaporizers are at the forefront of e-medicine, replacing needles, and even a potential aid for the common cold. The medical uses for cannabis vape pens offer solutions that could even extend to care in developing countries.
But, with all these medical upsides, is there a way that cannabis could help athletes?
Pros & Cons of Cannabis Use Before or During Sports
Like anything else in the athletic world, the pros and cons of cannabis use are hotly debated. While some swear by its effectiveness, others vehemently campaign against it.
As it stands, the experts remain at odds. To help you make up your own mind, we put together a few of the main pros and cons:
- Calming effects
- Uplifting/Euphoric feeling
- Feeling of alertness
- Stigma (There is a stigma against its use. Consider the Michael Phelps scandal, or Canadian snowboarder, Ross Rebagliati, losing his gold medal due to cannabis use)
- A banned substance in many federations
- Reduced cognitive abilities
- Most sports won’t let you compete while under the influence
Using cannabis always comes with a risk of reducing cognitive abilities and slowing reaction time. This can result in a higher risk during physical activities and may decrease performance. Ultimately, the use of marijuana seems to have more positive benefits after activity.
Vaping Cannabis After Sports or Post-Workout
This is the safest way to combine cannabis and sport. After a game or a workout, cannabis can help alleviate muscle soreness, inflammation, and help you get over any remaining jitters or anxiety from the activity.
Of course, if you compete in a regulated sport, check to make sure cannabis is not a banned substance. A drug test won’t show whether you used marijuana before or after the competition, it just shows that it has been in your system.
Some sports, such as powerlifting, may do drug tests on their competitors. The list of banned substances varies between federations, so be sure to check the regulations that apply to you.
The Future of Cannabis in Sport
Currently, there remains a taboo on cannabis in sport. It accounts for 43% of positive drug tests in football (soccer). Although marijuana has proven benefits for mental and physical recovery in soccer, it remains a banned substance.
The advent of growing legalization and a decrease in stigma (Ross Rebagliati got his medal back), combined with growing knowledge of medical benefits, could lead to a greater marriage of sports and cannabis. For now, we wait to witness the future of cannabis in sport.