Many people have anchored to the idea that there’s no such thing as a successful and active cannabis consumer. The names “stoner” and “pothead” get thrown in their direction like the first “stone”, without out any real evidence that people on an individual basis can’t be competent or task-oriented while enjoying the effects of cannabis on the body. As more vital research is done, however, folks are beginning to realize that almost everything they learned about cannabis growing up was incomplete or inaccurate. The mirage has begun to fade, and this beautiful flower has begun to look less like a “dangerous drug” and more like an opportunity to grasp health and happiness through natural medicine.

With half the states in the nation now legally backing medicinal use of this incredible botanical, maybe there’s more to cannabis than the prohibitionists may have realized. What’s more, countless people are incorporating this magical healing herb into their unique and individual lifestyles, some more active than others. Considering the vast multitude of sativa- and indica-dominant hybrid strains in existence being engineered and crossbred to create desired effects on the mind and body, who’s to say what can and can’t work for you and your own unique biochemical makeup?

Racing to the truth

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One of the biggest challenges for athletes both amateur and professional is getting treatment for injuries that really works and doesn’t burden them with a load of dangerous side effects. Another is being able to supplement their training in a way that brings their best during a workout without compromising their ability to compete or entering into the world of performance enhancing drugs. Cannabis has been on this “no-no” list for decades, but it’s been hotly debated whether it actually does enhance performance. The whole idea flatly contradicts the stereotype of the couch-locked, red-eyed stoner covered in chip crumbs. Still, there are many athletes and fitness enthusiasts who attest to the benefits that cannabis provides to their training regimens.

What does science say?

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Breaking down the way bud affects the body brings us to cannabinoids, molecules thought to be unique to the cannabis plant. Over 110 known cannabinoids interact with receptors in the human endocannabinoid system. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) connects to CB1 receptors, which are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system. This is the most common compound in cannabis, and it provides numerous medicinal benefits as well as its famous psychoactive effects.

Cannabinol (CBN), a natural product of the degradation of THC with heat or time, connects to the CB2 receptors in the immune system. CBN is an excellent insomnia remedy.

A less common cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) affects metabolism and in large amounts may dampen hunger. This is being looked at more as a way to avoid the “munchies” and ultimately help cannabis consumers lose weight in conjunction with diet and exercise, with implications for diabetes patients.

Finally, one of the most beneficial compounds in cannabis is called cannabidiol (CBD). It is known to have amazing affects on the immune system without directly affecting endocannabinoid receptors. It’s also proven to suppress cancer cells, quell epileptic seizures, increase appetite, help stabilize blood sugar, decrease anxiety, and keep pain at bay. Keeping that science in mind, one might be readily able to understand that partaking in cannabis may have some profound effects on those who train athletically.

People who run, lifts weights, swim, or do any other kind of strenuous activity could apply cannabis in a topical oil or lotion to help alleviate those aches and pains that come from going hard at training. The cannabidiol found in those products is ideal for that, and also for reducing the inflammation that may result from an injury at the gym. Putting that kind of power into an athlete’s hands allows them to self-medicate in the simplest of ways without resorting to opioids or alcohol. Those substances count addiction and lethality among their harmful side effects, and destroy more families annually than non-lethal cannabis ever has in its lengthy history of human consumption.

Focus on what works for you

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There is no direct proof that cannabis affects any growth hormones or sex hormones in the human body in negative or positive ways. Cannabis does, however, influence blood flow in the brain. Blood supply to the temporal lobe (which handles mostly focus) is shifted to the frontal lobes and lateral cerebellum, regions associated with decision making, sensory perception, sexual behavior, and emotion. That means if you have to focus on detailed tasks with other people and rapidly changing variables, like within a team sport, high doses of THC might take you off your game a bit. It may be acceptable in moderation, but that blood redirection within the brain may lead to a more creative and dynamic mental state more helpful to someone engaged in surfing, running, skiing, even boxing.   

Nearly anything in moderation can serve its purpose, especially when you’re educated on what you’re putting into your body. CBD is very helpful with managing pain, whereas THC can help with that plus creativity and decision making under pressure. The key is to treat cannabis like medicine or a supplement to your routine and diet, to find that fine line between a few tokes and “one toke over the line”. Small doses can have an upbeat, energizing effect, while larger doses tend to produce too much relaxation and lethargy. Cannabis in sparse amounts also has pronounced bronchodilatory effects, which help to open up the air passages—a definite plus when training hard.

What fits your lifestyle?

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The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to how cannabis can enhance your own unique lifestyle. The mindset that it’s used “recreationally” only to induce euphoria will soon be seen as a mere shadow of the truth. Cannabis is capable of enhancing health and happiness, and there is a strain out there for you that could make all of the difference in your life and circumstances.

There are many universal properties that cannabis carries, yet many differences that allow individuals to delve into the possibilities of what works for them. As we look to the horizon of legalization all across North America, many people will have access to cannabis in a new and relaxed way that doesn’t involve the gamble of mystery bags from “the guy” down the street. When that freedom reaches home, reach for your MagicalButter botanical extractor if smoking isn’t your bag. It’s the world’s first countertop appliance to infuse the magical ingredients of cannabis into food or lotion, all at the push of a button. It’s safe, easy, reliable, and takes the mess out of the equation—leaving only the fun!

RELATED: For a treasure trove of cannabis recipes, how-to videos, and how to get your own botanical extractor, check out MagicalButter.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Garyn Angel is an inventor, award-winning financial consultant, and CEO of MagicalButter.com. His company makes the botanical extractor he invented for infusing cannabis into foods and lotions. Angel is committed to cannabis law reform and was named to the CNBC NEXT List of visionary global business leaders for his work on legal marijuana. He is also founder of the Cheers to Goodness Foundation, a charity that helps “medical refugees”—mainly veterans and children—who need cannabis therapy when traditional treatment options have failed.