Given the level of discussion in the Doping Thread as well as the recent Stop Drinking Thread regarding cannabis I thought it would be worthwhile to move some of the discussion to a separate thread. Given that cannabis products are beginning to legalize/decriminalize in many states, and Canada has begun to treat it like alcohol and tobacco figured it would be worthwhile to see if we can have a fact based discussion on the topic, it’s impacts (positive/negative) on training and cycling.
I’ve been looking for some more peer reviewed literature to see the impacts. Alcohol has been researched pretty heavily, and @chad has even had some in-depth discussion on its impacts on training and recovery. Wondering if folks have similar types of information they can share here.
This thread is not a debate regarding the legality of the product in or out of competition, nor are we debating the legality of it from state to state/country to country, simply whether there is some benefit to be gained from its use, either by the layman, or the athletes, and the potential negative implications when compared to other vices such as alcohol. Please keep comments on topic and avoid personal attacks to avoid posts being removed
At least here in the states, it’s difficult to find scholarship (research studies) because of the Federal schedule of the drug. (See below). So, it’s almost impossible for academics to get grants due to its schedule.
Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:
Personally I would not smoke anything because the irritation to the lungs can’t possibly do you any good. Edibles are an entirely different matter of course. That said, I can’t see how cannabis can help your cycling, so I’m not too sure what the purpose of this posting is.
The primary use cases that could be beneficial to cycling are usually related to anxiety, sleep, and pain management, especially when viewed as an alternative to narcotic/opioid/or heavily habit forming medications. For many of us who have taken medications in the SSRI family for anxiety and depression, hydrocodone for pain after injury or surgery, or Adderal for ADHD, some of the side effects of those types of medications can be significant and may encourage people towards looking at other options.
Given some of the recent studies on seemingly innocuous medications like ibuprofen that have shown detrimental effects on the human endocrine system, I can see there being situations where someone might turn to cannabis to manage a condition over other options.
While I personally don’t use it, it is legal in California where I am (and in Oregon, Washington, and Nevada for other west coast folks) and is not banned while out of competition, so it’s not unreasonable that some would want to discuss it.
Still illegal in the UK. I can’t quite fathom that a drug that makes you all laid back and easy going will be one to provide benefits for a competitive sport like cycling.
Then again, maybe the long term effects of suppressing pain could be beneficial, but weighed against the detrimental effects of smoking, for one example, I just don’t see the benefit
There are numerous ways of ingesting cannabis without smoking including oils, edibles, and skin patches.
For example, people who struggle with insomnia who might otherwise take Ambien might choose to use a strongly weighted ratio of CBD:THC edible as a way of helping get to sleep. Although Ambien is not as addictive as some benzo medications, it is still highly habit forming and has other side effects that might cause folks to look for other options.
This conversation needs two different internal topics, Cannabis which THC is a major derivative and CBD derived from Hemp which has a very low level of THC.
Recent science has found that the endocannabinoid system does not just respond to the endocannabinoids produced in the body, but also respond to external cannabinoids like the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol, or CBD. Introducing CBD to the body can help reduce the symptoms of a wide range of illnesses including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic inflammation, depression, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, and opioid withdrawal.
CBD acts upon CB1 and CBD2 receptors located throughout the body to produce a variety of potentially positive outcomes. CBD does not bind directly to either of these receptors but instead impacts them indirectly. These indirect actions include activating TRPV1 Receptors that work to control important functions like pain perception, body temperature, and inflammation. CBD can also increase the amount of anandamide in the body.
By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD promotes homeostasis, reduces pain sensation and decreases inflammation.
Not a loaded question here, but might I ask why one wants to smoke cannabis? Serious question. I understand why someone with a medical condition would, but for a healthy, athletic individual, what’s the point? I guess the garbage in / garbage out philosophy is driving my question and yes the same can be said for junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, processed food etc, all of which should be avoided.
I workout in the evenings, and seem to be particularly sensitive to VO2 Max work negatively effecting my sleep. If my schedule doesn’t allow for a night of lost sleep, or if the next few days require rest, I’ll partake around midnight if I still haven’t been able to find sleep. It’s not something I need regularly, but I’m able to recover better with it when it’s called for. I live in a legal state.
In Seattle I know a number of people who have started swearing by CBD for one reason or another. I haven’t heard this type of reaction since I moved up here and everyone I met told me to start taking vitamin D supplements.