Known as the drug of the lazy, cannabis was seen as fuel for burnouts, couch potatoes, and stoners. But it turns out, that for a generation burning out on the stress of work and technology use, cannabis may be a gateway to a happy and active life. Legalization has paved the way for more open conversation and legal research of cannabis. Take that, Nixon!
Several studies have shown the pleasant interaction of cannabis with exercise and keeping our internal systems in balance. Did I mention that our bodies have an endocannabinoid system that can be activated by cannabis? Thanks to science, This is why many athletes have actually adopted cannabis to support their movement! From anti-inflammation to anti-anxiety, athletes can use cannabis, in the form of CBD and CBG, to perform better and feel good.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
You may have heard of the magical endocannabinoid system that exists in our bodies. It plays an important role in multiple aspects of the neural functions, including the control of movement and motor coordination, learning and memory, emotion and motivation, addictive-like behavior and pain modulation, among others. Endo, which means within, & cannabinoids that are the contributors to mechanisms that keep us stable and our inflammatory reactions in the central nervous system. The release of cannabinoids comes in the form of 2 receptos, CB2 and CB1, but we’ll get into that later.
Research psychologist (and all round rad human) Kelly McGonigal, explains that natural selection has endowed us with a way to chase our goals and keep going even when it’s hard. So basically, when our ancestors had to forage for food, run for their lives, and endure physical labor daily, their bodies released happy hormones to keep them going, because they had to. Lucky for us, it has allowed us to feel these happy hormones when we get to move for fun!
When we light up a joint or drink up an enhanced hydration supplement, the same chemicals that we feel when we exercise are mimicked by our best pal, the hemp plant. Today we’ll explore the compounds, CBD and CBG.
What is CBD and CBG?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of hundreds of compounds found in cannabis, and is present in both psychoactive marijuana plants and non-psychoactive hemp plants. Found in the stems and stalks of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) is another compound found in the Sativa L. plant and works in conjunction with the body's endocannabinoid system, responsible for the natural occurring "exercise high." Making it the ideal companion for making your fitness routine more enjoyable. Let’s take a look at how CBD and CBG can fight inflammation, reduce anxiety, and even get you that runner’s high.
One thing that can stop us from moving, is the feeling of inflammation. For my dad, at the age of 52, running would make his knees feel swollen and totally not fun. Luckily for him, Dr. Michael Verbora, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Aleafia Health and Professor of Cannabis, says that “CBD is known to be an anti-inflammatory and it is likely one of the safest medicines to provide such an effect.” Anecdotal evidence from athletes who are CBD-users tells us that anti-inflammation of joints helps them move better and feel better!
Studies have shown that the CB2 receptors could possibly suppress the release of cytokines. The process of inflammation is complicated, but we need to understand that cytokines are molecules that help cells chat with each other & they are said to regulate inflammation in the central nervous system. So the one thing that may get us back out there, is cannabis.
Focus Inducer? OR Anxiety Reliever??
Contrary to the popular belief, cannabis has helped many athletes to tune out the noise and tune into their workout. While studies have just begun, people that use cannabis with their training say that it helps them to stay calm and present, by reducing anxiety. In a time where anxiety affects 18.1% of the U.S. population (& that doesn’t account for the millions of unreported anxiety disorders), understanding the effect of endocannabinoids is more important than ever. If I can enjoy exercise a little bit more, by reducing anxiety… sign me up!
Endocannabinoids can help us reduce anxiety and induce focus, neuroscientists have even referred to endocannabinoids, like CBD and CBG, as the “don’t worry, be happy” chemical. So if you chill out to Bobby McFerrin’s “Don't Worry Be Happy”, cannabis may be a gateway to reducing your anxiety.
Runner's High Achiever
Whether you are Jesse Owens, four time olympic gold medalist, or a fun runner (like me), we are all designed to enjoy cardio. Most of us, however, have been conditioned to sit all day. Causing our bodies to be tense and unable to enjoy movement to its fullest. Remember that endocannabinoid system that’s in your body? Researchers have found that the “runner’s high” is achieved due to firing up of the cannabinoid receptors in our brains.
So, if you’re like most of the population and sitting is your job... a CBD supplement may help you achieve that runner’s high. CBD works with your brain to facilitate the process of igniting cannabinoid receptors that make us feel high. If you are chasing a high, OFFFIELD might become your favorite training bud.
A Potential Gateway To Active Life
Just like OFFFIELD co-founder, Tony Fur, says; “(cannabis) allowed me to focus on myself like I’ve never felt before… It is a cheat code for mindfulness.” The effect cannabis has on your athletic capabilities is dope. So dope, that being a “dope” may have changed meaning in the time you’ve read this article…
Today, you read that cannabis doesn’t just help us chill out, but by relieving anxiety, we can focus more on our workouts. When we alleviate some of the burdensome effects of exercise with cannabis, like inflammation, we can biochemically conquer the “runner’s high” we strive for. Ultimately, I hope you send a postcard to your pals about how the right dosage of cannabis may be the catalyst that helps athletes achieve a meditative state, fundamental to reaching their full potential.