It's not at all unheard of for professional athletes to be benched after testing positive for THC, but many people argue that cannabis is not a performance enhancing drug. According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, however, CBD is the only exception to the ban on cannabinoids, and THC use is prohibited in professional sports.
Of course, that doesn't matter so much if you aren't a professional athlete, but it does make you wonder why THC gets so much hate. Is THC performance enhancing? And better yet, can you use Delta-8-THC to enhance your workout regimen?
Here's what you should know:Table of Contents
To date, evidence does not support the notion that cannabis is a performance enhancing drug. Nevertheless, the Olympics banned the use of marijuana for athletes in 1998, and the World Anti-Doping Agency published a list of banned substances that included THC in 2004.
Overall, the research regarding THC's ability to enhance athletic performance is widely inconclusive, but mostly points in the opposite direction. Many people argue that cannabis slows you down and can negatively affect cognition and reaction times. One study verifies that cannabis "doesn't act as a sport efficiency enhancing agent as raised by common belief." Another study echoes this result, but also suggests that evidence of THC use is "promising for chronic pain management."
Of course, Delta-8 and Delta-9 are different, and most of this research revolves around the use of whole cannabis flower, which contains Delta-9-THC. So, what does that mean for Delta-8's potential to enhance your workout routine? Let's see:
Although Delta-8 and Delta-9 are two different cannabinoids, they still have a lot of similarities. So, if THC is not a performance enhancing drug, how can Delta-8 be of any use during a workout?
First, it's important to know that Delta-8 has milder psychoactive effects than Delta-9, which means it might not impact your response time and cognition as heavily. Delta-8 is also usually described as having more balanced effects, which means you can avoid the potent cerebral high that may make it harder to focus.
Aside from potentially having fewer drawbacks, Delta-8-THC may also have a few benefits that make it a useful addition to your workout routine, including the following:
The number one way the Delta-8 can enhance your workout is by doing what Delta-8 does best. It can enhance your headspace, which can make the overall experience more pleasant. We know that Delta-8 binds to CB1 receptors like Delta-9 and activates CB2 receptors like CBD.
That means that while it does cause psychoactive effects, it may also provide balanced, stable effects that are gently uplifting and can brighten your mood. This can be especially helpful on days where your motivation to hit the gym is already low, but it can generally lift your mood and improve your outlook on any day.
It may sound a bit counterintuitive, but many people report that Delta-8 actually improves their ability to focus during a workout. It could be related to the way it can enhance your mood, or there could be more to the story. Research is still working out the impact that Delta-8-THC may have on your cognition, but we do know that the psychoactive effects are milder than that of traditional THC products, so it's far less likely to make you feel spacey or overwhelmed.
You've probably heard that THC, including Delta-8-THC, makes you hungry. In other words, it boosts your metabolism so that you break down energy faster. This can be stimulating during a workout and may even increase calorie burn, but more evidence is needed to understand the full impact of Delta-8 on metabolism.
One of the most significant benefits Delta-8-THC can have on your exercise routine actually happens after your workout. Delta-8-THC is incredibly relaxing and many people report that it helps them sleep and manage soreness, which means it can aid in post-workout recovery.
We definitely can't forget to point out that although Delta-8-THC is potentially useful for improving your workout routine, it's not appropriate for everyone, and it's often not a safe choice for professional athletes. That's because although Delta-8-THC is federally legal, it just shows up as THC on a drug test. Plus, some sports organizations have rules that ban all THC, despite Delta-8's legal status.
If you aren't THC restricted or sensitive to THC products, then you may be fine to try Delta-8 for your workouts. If you work within a sports organization, check with your organization first before trying Delta-8.
It's also important to mention that Delta-8-THC may be illegal in some states, too.
If you're feeling confident in your decision to try Delta-8 to enhance your workout regimen, follow these steps:
The way that you take Delta-8 impacts it's onset time and duration. As a rule of thumb, edibles take over an hour to kick in, tinctures take around 30 minutes, and inhalables (like Delta-8-THC flower or vaporizers) have effects that are almost instant.
Even if you have experience with Delta-8 products, you may want to start with lower doses when using Delta-8 to workout. The goal here is not to get high, rather to enhance your workout experience without disrupting it. Some people prefer microdosing Delta-8-THC in order to get the therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects. You can learn more about Delta-8-THC dosing by reading "How Much Delta-8 Should I Take?"
This is especially important if you've never taken THC products before, but it's probably best to try Delta-8 for the first time on an off day. Take some time to know what to expect before hitting the gym, and do some experimenting with dosage if needed.
You may also want to experiment with taking your Delta-8 dose at different times. You could try taking a pre-workout dose to see if it boosts your motivation, focus, or endurance during your session. Or (on a different day) try taking it at the end of your workout to promote rest and relaxation that aids in recovery.
Regardless of how you plan to use Delta 8 in your workout routine, make sure that you follow a few basic rules.
First, never plan to drive while under the influence of Delta-8-THC. Make sure that your trip to and from the gym is handled by a sober driver, or plan to workout at home. You should also avoid using equipment or machinery that may become dangerous while impaired, especially if you don't know how Delta-8-THC will affect you.
Finally, don't mix Delta-8 with performance enhancing pre-workout supplements. It may be fine to use a post workout beverage or to have a protein shake, but you may want to avoid combining Delta-8-THC with anything stimulating, like creatine.
The short answer is yes, Delta-8-THC May benefit your workout regimen, but THC is not exactly a performance enhancing drug. Instead, Delta-8 may benefit your workout routine and other ways, like by boosting your mood, focus, or endurance, or by promoting relaxation and rest that helps you recover before your next session.
There are plenty of different Delta-8-THC products to choose from, and there's really no one best consumption method. Just be sure to consider how long your Delta-8 will take to kick in, how much Delta-8-THC you actually need, and how to stay safe while under the influence of THC.
There are many different types of Delta-8-THC products on the market, and there's no one best consumption method for supplementing your exercise regimen. We'll break down the three most popular types of Delta-8 products and the unique benefits they may bring to your dosing routine:
Tinctures are a liquid form of Delta-8-THC that can be precisely measured, which makes it easy to modify your dose in small amounts as needed. Tinctures also kick in really quickly, usually in around 30 minutes, which makes them great for post-workout recovery.
Sublingual Edibles are another great option for a fast-acting Delta-8-THC dose. Unlike traditional edibles, sublingual edibles are designed to melt in your mouth, which means they can be absorbed in a similar manner to tinctures. The primary difference between sublingual edibles and tinctures is that edibles come in pre-portioned doses, and many are individually wrapped, which makes them ultra portable and convenient for pre or post workout dosing.
Delta-8-THC flower is a more traditional dosing method. Much like regular cannabis flower, it's simply smoked and the effects are almost instantaneous. Delta-8 flower also has the benefit of offering a broad spectrum of cannabinoids that may provide the increased benefits of the Entourage Effect. The downsides to this dosing method are that you won't be able to precisely measure your Delta-8-THC dose, and Delta-8 flower is not exactly the most discreet option.
Looking for Delta-8-THC for your workouts? Check out our Elev8 Collection, which includes a broad variety of Farm Bill compliant Delta-8 edibles, tinctures, and more.
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