Thanks to various state legalizations in the US, marijuana is slowly gaining acceptance in different parts of the country. As a matter of fact, as at the time of writing this, there are ten states plus Washington, D.C. that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 33 states have legalized the use of medicinal marijuana.
There have been numerous controversies surrounding the use of steroids over the past couple of years, especially when used within competitive arenas. Aside from the risk of incurring blood clots, strokes, and other fatal health problems, while using steroids, the question remains as to why using a drug which causes so many potential health complications, compared to a more natural and organic enhancer, such as marijuana, is still legal.
With the legalization of marijuana, and with the Farm Bill having been signed into law, there is no doubt that the wonders that this plant holds will finally overthrow the use of steroids.
Background of Performance-Enhancing Substances
For years, numerous athletes and even artists have been under fire for using performance-enhancing drugs known as steroids. From the get-go, these steroids were found to improve the body composition of individuals, particularly of men. Created as a means to address the lack of testosterone in men, steroids were later developed not only to enhance the body image of the individual but were also further developed to improve the overall performance of users.
Perhaps the lure of appearing more masculine and being on top of their game greatly attracted numerous users from around the world. After World War II, athletes were desperate to get their hands on this drug, especially because it enhanced their performance. At its height during the 1970s, this particular drug was finally banned from Olympic competitions.
Steroids and Championships
There is no denying that athletes are always under pressure to perform well in all of their events. Whether they are aiming to give their mother-country a taste of victory or trying to beat their previous performances, the burden of achieving greatness within their sport always falls squarely on the shoulders of these athletes.
The renowned Lance Armstrong was involved in an infamous doping scandal which saw him stripped of his seven acclaimed Tour de France titles. Such an unfortunate incident resulted from an investigation surrounding his use of banned substances during his career.
According to a report by The Independent, studies have shown that the EPO hormone used by Armstrong himself made no difference to the outcome of his performance. However, it is good to note that this particular drug moved well-trained cyclists to the point of exhaustion when performed in a closed, laboratory study.
Organic and Natural vs. Chemically-Engineered
Steroids, and other chemically-engineered enhancers, can often pose health risks for many people who are willing to overlook them. Aside from heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes, using these drugs can also lead to kidney failure and even psychiatric problems. Typically injected, these drugs can also put users at risk of infections such as HIV and hepatitis.
Today, the use of these steroids has been banned, not only in the Olympics and various sports leagues, but the United States government has also banned access to these steroids without a prescription.
Enter marijuana. This natural and organic herb has been making waves on the Internet for the past couple of years, thanks, in part, to its legalizations in various states. Unlike steroids and other chemically-engineered drugs, the use of cannabis has had profound effects on athletes in different disciplines. Aside from relaxing the muscles, cannabis can also decrease tension, allowing users to perform well even under pressure.
Pro-weed athletes such as NFL linebacker, Eben Britton, allows the natural compounds of this plant to get him in the zone. Even better, this pot helped him manage his pain, thus making him perform better in his games.
CBD, in particular, without its non-psychoactive compound, has been preferred by its many users primarily because of its ability to aid recovery.
What Makes CBD a Good Performance-Enhancing Substance
Following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to remove CBD from its prohibited substances list, it can be seen that CBD has now been a great contributor to the performance of athletes. For one, UFC star Nate Diaz swears by its ability to promote healing and help stop inflammation from advancing.
Bear in mind that individuals naturally produce endocannabinoids within their own body. These endocannabinoids and its receptors can be found in different parts of the body, including the brain, organs, and even immune cells.
The results founded by Ujendra Kumar and Shenglong Zou all point to the fact that, in taking cannabidiol (CBD), beneficial results such as reducing inflammation, decreasing the risk of cancer, and addressing epilepsy were achieved. Other instances show that the regular intake of this herb, whether through oil or physical form, can regulate pain within the body.
While the use of cannabis has almost always been shown in a bad light, there have been studies that have proved that smoking cannabis greatly reduced anxiety, thus allowing users to perform better, even when put under extreme pressure. Use of this herb also allowed stress to dissipate and for athletes to forget previous embarrassments, traumatic events, and other unwanted memories that pose hindrances to their overall performance.
Being a natural and organic substance, the use of marijuana in competitions is found to be more favored by athletes. Since its use is not prohibited in sporting competitions, athletes who are found using this compound will no longer be fined or face sanctions for violating anti-doping rules. However, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) warns users to use only the purest form of CBD oil or extract, especially when there are other cannabinoids such as THC which are still deemed prohibited in competitions.
The use of marijuana as a performance-enhancing compound has provided significant developments in the sporting industry. With more athletes and users drawing attention to CBD products and the benefits of using it, performing well in different arenas and fields may soon become a reality. So, whether you are a sports enthusiast, exercise junkie, or simply an athlete looking to better their game, try your hand at marijuana and see the difference in your step in no time.