As an avid athlete, supplements probably play a key role in your fitness program. Few alternative medicines are quite as contentious as medical marijuana. Whether you’re trying to work out its true curative value as a cancer drug or find out its true role in a healthy lifestyle, you’ll find plenty of opposing points of view. That’s largely for one simple reason: Marijuana isn’t a single chemical but a collection of active components. Every chemical in the drug has its own unique effects on the body. Some chemical ingredients stimulate and cause hallucinations, while others act as depressants. Let’s take a closer look.
Defining Stimulants and Depressants
Natural stimulants are popular among sportspeople for obvious reasons. They stimulate cognitive and psychomotor functions, which can lead to a better day on the field. In contrast, depressants slow you down on both a physical and psychological level. They depress neurotransmitter signals and can even cause clinical depression.
Is Medical Marijuana a Depressant or a Stimulant?
There are over 400 chemical components in cannabis, 60 of which are cannabinoid compounds. Some of them are stimulants, and others are depressants. Some can even trigger hallucinations, so they’re not drugs you’d want to take with you onto the field. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in medical marijuana. It binds with the brain to trigger both euphoria and sedation to act as a stimulant and a depressant. It can raise heart rates and slow down reaction times. Most medical marijuana products contain around 12% THC. In high doses, that can impair thinking in the same way as a depressant.
Epidiolex is one of marijuana’s grand success stories. The cannabidiol is manufactured with THC and other cannabinoids and has been found effective in managing some forms of epilepsy. The FDA-approved drug can be used on inflammation, pain, depression, and anxiety.
Are CBD Oils Stimulants?
Most CBD oils that are sold as supplements don’t contain THC. They interact with naturally occurring cannabinoids in the brain, regulating pain, appetite, and mood. Their TRPV1-involvement has stimulant effects, but they also inhibit serotonin receptors. The latter has calming effects and is often able to improve symptoms of depression.
Is Medical Marijuana a Hallucinogen?
Marijuana was often classified as a hallucinogen in the past for its ability to cause subtle changes in perception. It can make the world look more intense and, in high doses, can even cause hallucinations and delusions. Euphoria and relaxation often follow, so CBD products have been used as a spiritual tool in several religions.
Marijuana’s long-term effects are very different from those experienced in the short term. Mothers who used the substance while pregnant seem to have a higher risk of depression and hyperactivity. The longer you abstain, the better your cognitive functions will become. While some depression patients use medical marijuana to manage depression, it’s also been found to worsen the mood disorder in the long term.
CBD for Sporting Success
Studies show that cannabis users tend to suffer from less obesity than the general population. Four out of five study participants used the drug after workouts and spent more time training. Scientists suspect that might be due to CBD’s pain-inhibiting effects. CBD users may also experience exercise-induced euphoria faster than others. That positive feedback loop can be a powerful motivator, so even if you’re not enjoying significant stimulant effects, you’re probably enjoying other benefits. Scientists are still developing their understanding of medical marijuana. Its illegality made clinical trials difficult to pull off. Now that it’s been legalized in several countries, science can finally find out more about this mystery drug.