Weed and fitness

weed and fitness

The use of weed, commonly referred to as cannabis or marijuana, has been a controversial topic in the fitness community. Some people consider weed to be beneficial for exercising. While, others view it as a hindrance to their fitness goals. In this article we will discuss the effect of weed on training performance and fitness goals.

Effects of weed on physical performance

There have not been many studies which have looked into the effect of weed on physical performance. In some of the studies which have been done, users have claimed that they experience increased motivation, sleep, pain threshold, and recovery from exercise when using cannabis [1]. Due to these statements, weed has become a topic of interest for many people. A few studies have confirmed that it may result in little performance benefits since consumption can result in pain reduction, mental benefits, and bronchodilation [2][3].

However, other studies found that cannabis consumption before a training can negatively impact performance through a variety of mechanisms. Consumption prior to exercise can lower performance due to reduced concentration, decreased reaction time, lower exercise capacity, and lower stamina [4]. Based on these findings, it is not recommended to use cannabis before exercising.

Fortunately, a few studies found that using marijuana on other times during the day, has no significant negative effect on several physical performance indicators [2][5][6][7][8]. As previously mentioned, some studies have found that consumption of cannabis can result in slight beneficial effects due to mental benefits, pain reduction, and bronchodilation [2][3]. However, overal it appears that marijuana use does not have a significant positive or negative effect on performance [2][5][6][7][8].

Effects of weed on testosterone

There is limited research on the effect of marijuana on testosterone levels in humans. Furthermore, the results from these studies are not conclusive and show significant differences. Some studies suggest that marijuana use may have a negative impact on testosterone levels [9]. However, other studies have found no significant differences [10][11][12][13]. Furthermore, there also studies which found increased testosterone concentrations among marijuana users [14]. Currently, there is not enough evidence to clearly conclude what the effect of marijuana use on testosterone is. But, it appears that there is most likely no significant effect of marijuana use on testosterone levels in humans.

Method of cannabis consumption

It is important to note that marijuana can be consumed in different ways. Smoking marijuana regularly can result in breathing problems and lung infections [15]. As mentioned, marijuana does not appear to have a significant positive or negative effect on performance overal. However, smoking it regularly can negatively influence physical performance due to the negative effect on our lungs [15].

References

  1. Zeiger, J. S., Silvers, W. S., Fleegler, E. M., & Zeiger, R. S. (2019). Cannabis use in active athletes: behaviors related to subjective effects. PLoS One14(6), e0218998.
  2. Kramer, A., Sinclair, J., Sharpe, L., & Sarris, J. (2020). Chronic cannabis consumption and physical exercise performance in healthy adults: a systematic review. Journal of Cannabis Research2(1), 1-8.
  3. Huestis, M. A., Mazzoni, I., & Rabin, O. (2011). Cannabis in sport: anti-doping perspective. Sports medicine41, 949-966.
  4. Saugy, M., Avois, L., Saudan, C., Robinson, N., Giroud, C., Mangin, P., & Dvorak, J. (2006). Cannabis and sport. British journal of sports medicine40(suppl 1), i13-i15.
  5. Kennedy, M. C. (2017). Cannabis: exercise performance and sport. A systematic review. Journal of science and medicine in sport20(9), 825-829.
  6. Lisano, J. K., Smith, J. D., Mathias, A. B., Christensen, M., Smoak, P., Phillips, K. T., … & Stewart, L. K. (2019). Performance and health-related characteristics of physically active males using marijuana. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research33(6), 1658-1668.
  7. Maksud, M. G., & Baron, A. (1980). Physiological responses to exercise in chronic cigarette and marijuana users. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology43(2), 127-134.
  8. Ong, L. Q., Bellettiere, J., Alvarado, C., Chavez, P., & Berardi, V. (2020). No Difference in Physical Activity Associated with Cannabis Use Status in a Nationally Representative Sample of US Adults.
  9. Kolodny, R. C., Masters, W. H., Kolodner, R. M., & Toro, G. (1974). Depression of plasma testosterone levels after chronic intensive marihuana use. New England Journal of Medicine290(16), 872-874.
  10. Mendelson, J. H., Kuehnle, J., Ellingboe, J., & Babor, T. F. (1974). Plasma testosterone levels before, during and after chronic marihuana smoking. New England Journal of Medicine291(20), 1051-1055.
  11. Cone, E. J., Johnson, R. E., Moore, J. D., & Roache, J. D. (1986). Acute effects of smoking marijuana on hormones, subjective effects and performance in male human subjects. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior24(6), 1749-1754.
  12. Friedrich, G., Nepita, W., & Andrë, T. (1990). Serum testosterone concentrations in cannabis and opiate users. Beitrage zur Gerichtlichen Medizin48, 57-66.
  13. Thistle, J. E., Graubard, B. I., Braunlin, M., Vesper, H., Trabert, B., Cook, M. B., & McGlynn, K. A. (2017). Marijuana use and serum testosterone concentrations among US males. Andrology5(4), 732-738.
  14. Gundersen, T. D., Jørgensen, N., Andersson, A. M., Bang, A. K., Nordkap, L., Skakkebæk, N. E., … & Jensen, T. K. (2015). Association between use of marijuana and male reproductive hormones and semen quality: a study among 1,215 healthy young men. American journal of epidemiology182(6), 473-481.
  15. Kaplan, A. G. (2021). Cannabis and Lung Health: Does the Bad Outweigh the Good?. Pulmonary therapy7(2), 395-408.

Author

Mario Klasens Author XBR