As more states are legalizing the use of cannabis, athletes and health advocates have started to question whether or not the plant can be used as a supplement for physical fitness.
This leads to a very important question: Could cannabis users over 40 gain physical benefits from regularly ingesting products that contain THC and CBD? Let's explore this topic a bit more in-depth.
Increased Appetite vs. Physical Fitness
Increased appetite is certainly a side effect of cannabis consumption. At the end of the day, the amount of food you choose to eat after consuming cannabis comes down to your personal level of self-discipline.
Habitual cannabis users can sometimes develop a tolerance that allows them to fend off the feeling of wanting to eat. Also, different strains of the plant can allow you to ingest cannabis without having severe hunger pains after its use.
It is important to point this out because while some research suggests that cannabis can be used to increase your physical fitness, the general rule of "Input equals output" in terms of caloric intake still reigns true. If you consume more calories than you burn, you'll start packing on the pounds regardless of the supplements you choose to use.
The Science of Cannabis and Physical Fitness
Contrary to popular belief, there is scientific evidence that suggests cannabis can actually help increase your metabolism. In 2013, a study was conducted that claimed cannabis users actually had a lower rate of obesity than those who did not consume cannabis. The study was titled "Cannabis and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for weight loss" and it was published in the NIH's website.
The study mentions that long term cannabis users could be less likely to develop hunger pains due to the way cannabinoids interact with CB1 receptors in the brain. The study goes on to say that regardless of age or gender, long term cannabis users were found to be less obese than those who do not consume cannabis at all.
We're Only In the First Stages of Cannabis Research
It's important to note that we're at the very beginning of cannabis research. Since marijuana is still listed as a schedule 1 drug, much of the research around the herb has been prohibited except in very rare circumstances. That being said, the research we do have seems to be in favor of those wanting to improve their physical fitness using cannabis.
Another study you might want to consider appeared in the American Journal of Medicine. This study mentions that those who consume cannabis have a fasting insulin level that is on average 16% lower than those who do not consume cannabis at all. Scientists have concluded that insulin levels play a key part in the metabolic rate of humans.
Consuming cannabis alone won't give you a beach body like famed stoner Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. However, if you watch what you eat, exercise regularly and enjoy cannabis responsibly or for medical reasons, there's a reason to believe that you could certainly improve your physical fitness.