T Nation

Cannabis and Cardio, Health.

I am interested in experimenting with marijuana as a stress relief tool to help supplement my training and college. I am 22 years old and have never used any illicit drugs before, including alcohol or cigarettes.

The reason I am choosing cannabis is because I do not know of it being negatively associated with performance, health, or body composition, but I am looking to clarify that.

I am concerned with a few things and will not be experimenting with marijuana until I can clarify some questions I have:

How will it effect my cardio, and will it lower my performance in ways such as nicotine does? Obviously, it will kill my performance when Im high, but will there be effects when I am sober, such as the case with nicotine?

I cannot afford to do anything that will negatively contribute to my performance as an MMA fighter.

General health? I know there are conflicting studies, but if I were to use a vaporizer, would that negate all the cancer and general health concerns?

I am at a point in my life where I need something to help deal with everything. The be honest, life is very unenjoyable for me right now with a 17 credit semester on top of training 15 hours a week for a fight 3 months down the road. O yeah, Im also teaching jiu-jitsu part time.

I’m not going to drink my problems away, and I can’t afford to eat them away either if I want to make weight in December! I’m not looking to get high every night, maybe 1-2 times a week at most. This seems like the most logical choice to me as it does not effect body composition, but I am unsure of its effects on health and performance (my biggest conerns).

I’ve done some searches and will continue to do so. I have not seen this specific topic addressed, and if it has been I apologize.

Thanks,
Glenn

I should also say that I don’t plan on getting high before training, ever. This would only be for those days that Im feeling particularly down/depressed, which is generally on the weekend when Im not training.

[quote]SonnabenD wrote:
I am interested in experimenting with marijuana as a stress relief tool to help supplement my training and college. I am 22 years old and have never used any illicit drugs before, including alcohol or cigarettes.

The reason I am choosing cannabis is because I do not know of it being negatively associated with performance, health, or body composition, but I am looking to clarify that.

I am concerned with a few things and will not be experimenting with marijuana until I can clarify some questions I have:

How will it effect my cardio, and will it lower my performance in ways such as nicotine does? Obviously, it will kill my performance when Im high, but will there be effects when I am sober, such as the case with nicotine?

I cannot afford to do anything that will negatively contribute to my performance as an MMA fighter.

General health? I know there are conflicting studies, but if I were to use a vaporizer, would that negate all the cancer and general health concerns?

I am at a point in my life where I need something to help deal with everything. The be honest, life is very unenjoyable for me right now with a 17 credit semester on top of training 15 hours a week for a fight 3 months down the road. O yeah, Im also teaching jiu-jitsu part time.

I’m not going to drink my problems away, and I can’t afford to eat them away either if I want to make weight in December! I’m not looking to get high every night, maybe 1-2 times a week at most. This seems like the most logical choice to me as it does not effect body composition, but I am unsure of its effects on health and performance (my biggest conerns).

I’ve done some searches and will continue to do so. I have not seen this specific topic addressed, and if it has been I apologize.

Thanks,
Glenn[/quote]

1-2 times a week won’t do much unless you don’t give it enough time between toking and training. Not just because you’re high, but because of your throat/lungs.

I wouldn’t recommend using drugs to control stress. This is how people become dependent. The most logical choice is to deal with your stress and negate it, not hide from it through recreational drug use.

Yeah don’t create a crutch.

There’s no need to be down/depressed that young?

I don’t get it…

We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, laughers, screamers…

Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into locked a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

Mr Raoul Duke

It’s pretty common for students to be depressed and stressed out, but pot probably won’t help out much. Most people feel OK for a half hour and then either get lethargic, paranoid or hungry.

And then there’s the guilt about sitting around like a vegetable instead of doing something useful, and getting hyper active with an incredible lack of focus, or maybe that’s just me.

It killed my cardiovascular and endurance abilities too. And it makes it hard to go to sleep.

I smoke about once a year and the only thing it’s good for is sex.

This may sound incredibly cheesy, but take the time you planned on getting buzzed and do some volunteer work. Helping people out will make you feel less stressed, guaranteed.

if your just starting to smoke i recommend doing it before u go to bed or when u dont plan on doing productive activity for a while, as for a stress relief its effective as in it will take your mind off what is bothering you at the time,

ut dont think if your a first time cannabis user u’ll be able to cram for an exam high, give it a while if thats what your thinking

[quote]okuma wrote:
We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, laughers, screamers…

Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into locked a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

Mr Raoul Duke[/quote]

We can’t stop here…THIS IS BAT COUNTRY!!!

[quote]dianab wrote:

It killed my cardiovascular and endurance abilities too. And it makes it hard to go to sleep.
[/quote]

whaaa?? Haha I have mild insomnia and weed knocks me out like nothing else. I’ve never heard of anyone having a hard time going to sleep on it. Drugs that affect cannabinoid receptors are sweet like that though.

For me sex is terrible on weed. My performance sux and my orgasm doesn’t feel good at all. It just feels like I’m peeing in spurts

Anyway here are my suggestions.

  1. Try meditating. Get a book or look around on the net and find a dummie’s guide. Then try meditating for like 15 minutes a day. There have been some pretty impressive results for reducing stress.

  2. Consider magic mushrooms. Of course dont make these a crutch as others have said and doing drugs for the purpose of stress relief is usually a sure fire way of making that happen…

however there has been recent research showing how intermittent shroom use has been used to curb depression. Also there were almost no dependency issues. Finding these can sometimes be a pain however.

  1. In highschool I was always incredibly stressed and weed never took that away. While I was high of course I felt fine, but as soon as the high wore off I was back to worrying about shit and even would have guilt about having smoked.

Ironically I got the highest grades in highschool during the time I was smoking weed I think because of the guilt induced hyper studying state it put me into. I do not recommend weed.

The only thing i can see it being used beneficially would be before bed to get a deeper sleep (GHB has been used for this purpose I believe)

  1. If all else fails consider talking to a doctor about a low dose of anti-anxiety/anti-depressant… SSRI’s may be a good choice

[quote]The Bambino wrote:
okuma wrote:
We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, laughers, screamers…

Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into locked a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

Mr Raoul Duke

We can’t stop here…THIS IS BAT COUNTRY!!!

[/quote]

Tru Dat man … fear and loathing

smoke or dont smoke-- you will eventually need to learn to deal with lifes curve balls without anything but your own will. I myself smoked weed nonstop for about 6 years and i can safely say i dont regret it at all-- i learned from the experience and have grown to be better than what i could have been.

However, i would never promote doing any type of substance to cope with problems. Ultimately, i would suggest not turning to weed in your case-- if you need to ask then it really isnt something for you.

As far as stress relieving practices i do now… meditation, music with a walk/bike ride, play some guitar, play a little xbox/computer, read some of my book. There is plenty of stuff one can do to calm the mind, the secret is slowing life down and really focusing on what is within.

Best of luck

If you’re worried about your lungs, bake it into some protein brownies.

I don’t think it will have a noticeable effect on your cardio. Some folks say that marijuana smoke increases the size of the oxygen receptors in your lungs - the opposite effect of nicotine, but I’ve never read any scientific studies that would indicate one way or the other so that could just be wishful talk.

I can say that I’ve never noticed any cardio effect - at least if using a vaporizer or smoking moderate amounts (1 or 2 jays a week). The harmful effects come from the carcinogens produced when burning the plant matter, so a vaporizer is going to reduce carcinogens by about 95%.

I’ve read a study on how Jamicain women who are pregenant only use marijuana in a tea form and they didn’t show an increased incidence of birth defects - the human fetus is very fragile, so if ingesting pure thc doesn’t noticeably effect a fetus, then I’m inclined to believe it doesn’t cause any overt damage in adults. At least physically …

… mentally, thc will mess with your head! Sometimes in a good way, ideas that you might dismiss as trivial and stupid will take on great meaning and wonder when high. Other times in a bad way - if you are dealing with just general stress of being overly caught up on daily life and need to unwind, weed is pretty damn good - music, movies and video games can become much more pleasurable.

If you have stress stemming from serious life issues, weed will either only increase the percieved magnitude of these specific stresses (and you’ll have a bad time while high) or you’ll use weed to mask these problems and form an unhealthy dependency, where “once a week” can quickly become “all the time”. If you can’t unwind properly without weed, then weed may likely only intesify the thoughts that are preventing proper relaxation. If you can already “let go” though, then weed will just take you “there” very quickly!

As for performance, I do mountain climbing, 8-10 hours of sustained cardio at a time. I haven’t noticed a difference with or without performance wise. I never use weed on a technical route - the adrenaline rush of edging above a 300 meter fall is already more than enough!

But on a straightforward hike, THC enhances/complements your bodies natural endorphin production - put some good music on the iPod, toke up, and your drive to go-go-go falls into a hypnotic rhythm, you can really tap a very deep, sustained cardio workout in this state - and a mid-week workout that might feel like a drudgeful chore at times, can pass in a dazed, happy pleasureful state. Bloody brilliant!

Screw drugs, they’ll reduce your memory and cognitive abilities. Severity will depend on length of use and your own personal susceptibility to it, but it’s going to effect you to some degree. That being said, i doubt it will provide any lasting happiness.

Even if you are anti-books, you will certainly gain valuable information on how to make yourself a happier person by looking into some of the very basics of Buddhism and any of the teachings of the dalai lama

I found them useful

Very simple solution: don’t smoke, vaporize. This will reduce the harmful effects to near nil, while keeping all the benefits. Enjoy!

Im very disappointed by the close-mindedness of many of the posters here.

The original post wasn’t some plea for help, nor was it a question of how do I cure my depression. Some things are easier said than done. Im not about to get into the specifics, but Id rather direct this thread back to its original topic of health and performance.

I appreciate all the input but Im looking for some scientific data, not opinions or what your fifth grade health teacher told you about drugs (you know, the same guy that said fat is bad for you).

Thanks guys.

[quote]bdobbs wrote:
I don’t think it will have a noticeable effect on your cardio. Some folks say that marijuana smoke increases the size of the oxygen receptors in your lungs - the opposite effect of nicotine, but I’ve never read any scientific studies that would indicate one way or the other so that could just be wishful talk.

I can say that I’ve never noticed any cardio effect - at least if using a vaporizer or smoking moderate amounts (1 or 2 jays a week). The harmful effects come from the carcinogens produced when burning the plant matter, so a vaporizer is going to reduce carcinogens by about 95%.

I’ve read a study on how Jamicain women who are pregenant only use marijuana in a tea form and they didn’t show an increased incidence of birth defects - the human fetus is very fragile, so if ingesting pure thc doesn’t noticeably effect a fetus, then I’m inclined to believe it doesn’t cause any overt damage in adults. At least physically …

… mentally, thc will mess with your head! Sometimes in a good way, ideas that you might dismiss as trivial and stupid will take on great meaning and wonder when high. Other times in a bad way - if you are dealing with just general stress of being overly caught up on daily life and need to unwind, weed is pretty damn good - music, movies and video games can become much more pleasurable.

If you have stress stemming from serious life issues, weed will either only increase the percieved magnitude of these specific stresses (and you’ll have a bad time while high) or you’ll use weed to mask these problems and form an unhealthy dependency, where “once a week” can quickly become “all the time”. If you can’t unwind properly without weed, then weed may likely only intesify the thoughts that are preventing proper relaxation. If you can already “let go” though, then weed will just take you “there” very quickly!

As for performance, I do mountain climbing, 8-10 hours of sustained cardio at a time. I haven’t noticed a difference with or without performance wise. I never use weed on a technical route - the adrenaline rush of edging above a 300 meter fall is already more than enough!

But on a straightforward hike, THC enhances/complements your bodies natural endorphin production - put some good music on the iPod, toke up, and your drive to go-go-go falls into a hypnotic rhythm, you can really tap a very deep, sustained cardio workout in this state - and a mid-week workout that might feel like a drudgeful chore at times, can pass in a dazed, happy pleasureful state. Bloody brilliant!

[/quote]

Great information, thanks!

[quote]HotCarl28 wrote:
dianab wrote:

It killed my cardiovascular and endurance abilities too. And it makes it hard to go to sleep.

whaaa?? Haha I have mild insomnia and weed knocks me out like nothing else. I’ve never heard of anyone having a hard time going to sleep on it. Drugs that affect cannabinoid receptors are sweet like that though.

I smoke about once a year and the only thing it’s good for is sex.

For me sex is terrible on weed. My performance sux and my orgasm doesn’t feel good at all. It just feels like I’m peeing in spurts

[/quote]

It’s funny how that stuff affects people differently. I have a friend who gets a sore back when he smokes and otherwise he never has had any back pain.
I can sleep anywhere, anytime and have never had insomnia, but when I smoke, it’s like I’m super charged. Can’t sleep, can’t focus.
I like you suggestion about meditation, never tried it in an organized or prescribed fashion, but I bet that stuff really works!

Good choice of drug. 1 - 2 times a week and you’ll be fine. Sex is great, just do it at the end of the day to relax after all your shit is done.

Good luck at the fight!