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Marijuana is legal – what now?

Aug 14, 2018
Ashley Ann Lawrie

Some of you may have been shocked to see the title of this blog (thank you for clicking through anyway). Before we begin we want to make it perfectly clear that this blog is not here to persuade you one way or another to – or not to – consume marijuana.

The topic of marijuana, and its consumption, has been in the headlines a lot lately, with the impending legalization fast approaching, and with that, comes many questions. At Free Form Fitness we are always striving to stay on top of trends and providing you with the most up to date information. It is for that reason that we have decided to explore the topic of healthy marijuana consumption, if that is even possible, and how marijuana could positively or negatively affect your health.

Canadian Concerns About Marijuana – CBC

Common Ways to Consume Marijuana/Pot/Weed/Cannabis

Marijuana has been around for centuries. Initially used for medicinal purposes, it came into popular use by North American colonists for things like clothing and rope. It wasn’t until the 20th century that marijuana started to get a bad reputation as political leaders of the time decided to criminalize the plant.

Now there is a shift in people’s understanding of cannabis. It is used more frequently and openly in the medical community to help manage pain, nausea and other symptoms of chronic ailments. In the United States a movement had begun to legalize marijuana for consumption with 9 states already having it fully legalized.

Now that Canada is set to legalize marijuana we can start thinking about the ways it can be produced and consumed.

Some of the most common ways to consume marijuana are by smoking it through either a joint, a vape, or a bong. Marijuana butter is also used to create edibles like brownies, cookies, space cakes, and even pizza dough! A few less common and new options are through cannabis chewing gum, topical creams and lotions, and drinks!

Similarly to snacks, despite how many options we have available to us, some are better than others.  This is also true of edible cannabis.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Cannabis Consumption

It should go without saying that the first way to consume anything in a healthy way is in moderation. Should you decide to partake in marijuana consumption, remember that this is a psychoactive drug and that moderation is always better than overindulging.

How you consume the drug can have a healthy, or unhealthy, impact. Smoking of any substance is hard on the lungs. Even though joints and vapes do not have the harsh chemicals found in cigarettes and therefore are not as bad as smoking a cigarette, you are still inhaling a burning substance. Vapes are marginally better as you are inhaling the vapors from the burning plant, but your best bet is to let the lungs breathe in air and only air.

This is why, many believe, substances like chewing gum, drinks, topical treatments, and edibles are your best options should you wish to consume marijuana. In fact, after marijuana was legalized in the US the “bud” (the unprocessed smoked plant) version was initially the most popular, but over time it was the edible versions of the drug that became the most popular product.

Lastly, there are two “strains,” or breeds, of marijuana that are commonly consumed. Sativa is the breed that gives some people a little boost. A popular figure in the marijuana movement, Joe Rogan, even promotes a little weed before workouts to boost your focus and energy.

Indica is the other strain. This strain is more commonly linked to the “chill-out” high and can help reduce stress and relax the individual who chooses to consume it. It has also been shown to soothe joint and muscle soreness, which is why it is common to consume post-workout.

There is technically a third strain, hybrids, but these are simply combinations of Sativa and Indica and their respective concentrations are decided based on the need of the user.

Cannabis and the Fitness Industry

Some of you may have reserved marijuana consumption to parties and evenings of over-analyzing kids cartoons but cannabis has actually been in the fitness industry for quite some time. In the 1998 Olympics a Canadian snowboarder was stripped of his medal because they found THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) in his blood. In California there is a gym that opened called Power Plant Fitness that allows marijuana consumption by the gym’s members. Many athletes are now admitting to using the plant to boost their workouts and aid with recovery.

Now that it’s popularity is really starting to grow there are a number of cannabis supplement companies coming to market like Peace Naturals and Canna Supplements. As with all supplement companies, it is important to do your research and ensure that they are producing top quality products. There are always companies that take advantage of a trend and produce low-quality versions of things like pre-workout and post-workout capsules and powders.

Be Careful Before Your Consume Cannabis

In researching this topic there was a lot that was discovered about marijuana. The fact that it can also be a stimulant came as a surprise after only seeing images of lazy, stoned, weed smokers in movies and tv shows. The fact that athletes are actually using marijuana to enhance their training and help with their recovery is also a very cool development of marijuana consumption.

In the research there are also warnings about marijuana that are important to share as well. A research study out of Tel-Aviv university found that mice with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia showed signs of schizophrenia when exposed to THC. Does this mean the same is true of humans? There have been cases where individuals with a family history of schizophrenia experienced symptoms after prolonged consumption of marijuana.

Marijuana has also been shown to lower an individual’s motivation while high, and actually disrupts the REM cycle of your sleep due to its psychoactive nature. So, although it may help you fall asleep, the quality of your sleep may be affected.

How marijuana affects one person’s brain compared to the next can vary greatly as well. Some individuals feel relaxed by the drug, but others may report feelings of paranoia and even experience panic attacks from getting high. Weight gain is also a potential risk as marijuana has been shown to increase appetite.

To Marijuana or not to Marijuana?

Your decision to partake in marijuana consumption is entirely up to you. We have presented just a few of the facts about this natural supplement but we highly encourage you to do more research of your own before deciding whether or not you add marijuana to your fitness regime.

To get you started here are a few resources on marijuana that are worth exploring:

Cannabis In Canada

Cannabis in Ontario

CAMH Article on Cannabis

Leafly Video on Differences between Sativa, Indica and Hybrid

TED Talk on The Truth About Legalizing Weed

 

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