3 Mistakes for Athletes to Avoid When Confusing Cannabis During Performance [by Brock Cannon]
It was hour 3. I was about 15 miles into my long mountainous trail run when I began to feel it.
Not being fully conscious of where I was on the trail, feeling loopy, and just wanting to fall asleep. How did this happen?
The rest of the run was rather interesting as I finished 21 miles of “highly” elevated trails in the mountains of Santa Barbara. Time felt really slow, and after 4 hours, I wandered into my house exhausted.
I’d to pass along some key mistakes that can be made when consuming cannabis for athletic performance.
1.Not Taking It Early Enough To Feel the Effect
The majority of the athletes that I know who use cannabis for athletic needs consume it in the form of edibles. Edibles can be tricky as they take a prolonged time to enter the system. While the packaging of most edibles now gives estimated time frames of when the effect kicks in, it always varies. Some are as quick as 30 minutes, and some take as long as 2 hours. I’ve had many training runs where I only plan on being out for 90 minutes, and if I take it only 10 or 20 minutes before I run out the door, I often don’t feel the effect at all during my workout. If you are so lucky as to be able to plan and schedule your workouts with precision, be sure to consume your cannabis 1 to 2 hours before, allowing it to kick in. Again, keep in mind, it’s going to be different for every body type, as well as every edible product on the market. Read instructions on labels, and get to know how your body reacts accordingly.
2. Taking Too Much
Ah, taking too much. This was the very reason for my loopy disaster of a run experience mentioned previously. Many edibles come in one highly potent piece, such as Cheeba Chews, or Chief edibles. When you have a 100mg or 200mg edible and you plan to use it, you need to slice it up with precision, cutting it up into sectioned 5 or 10mg pieces. This was my mistake, I hadn’t sliced up my sativa edible properly, and being on the go, just took a “small sized” bite that ended up being much more than my normal 5mg microdose. I’d guess now looking back that I probably took 15mg or so. That may not be a lot for some body types, but for me, a lean 150lbs ultra runner, that kind of potency hits my body very quickly.
Rule of thumb: microdose, start smaller than you even think.
There’s nothing worse than being so stoned during a workout that you don’t know where you are and you are daydreaming all over the place. I’d suggest if you are new to microdosing, starting with around 2-2.5mg and then seeing how you feel. Timed correctly, you may have a really nice calm boost on just a small amount for hours! Don’t overdo it!
3. Not Listening to Your Body
For me, when done properly, cannabis during my workouts fuels the experience, and as a trail runner who is always banging up my knees, it takes that sharp pain away. Additionally, as an endurance athlete who has been very prone to muscle spasms and cramps, cannabis has strangely eliminated those almost altogether.
With all these positive benefits, it’s also very importantly to listen to your body. Sure, cannabis will make your body feel good, but when it’s time to slow down and recover, listen to your body. When it’s time to stretch and roll out those tight muscles, do it. When it’s time to get a massage, don’t just substitute popping and edible for the masterful work a great massage therapist can do.
We all want to push past the pain and cannabis can help athletes to do that, yet I’d just remind all athletes to pay attention to the natural warning signs our miraculous bodies seek to tell us. Simple enough, right?
Ending on a High
The moral of the story is to start small, get to know how your body reacts, and listen very intently to your body. Cannabis can be a brilliant way to create a more peak experience during workouts, both mentally and physically. It may not be right for you, and that’s ok.
Lastly, to state the obvious, if your state doesn’t currently allow legal consumption of cannabis, then I’d recommend starting with a CBD product, which is legal in all 50 states because it comes from the hemp plant and contains no THC-the psychoactive compound in the traditional cannabis plant. Cannabis may be the most breakthrough supplement to my performance and enjoyment as an athlete in a long time, and it might be for you too. Yet, my hope is that you can learn vicariously from my blunders with it’s adoption.
Be sure to Follow Brock on Instagram @thebrockcannon for more cannabis athlete influence!