Marijuana and Bodybuilding – Does Marijuana Effect Muscle Growth?

does marijuana affect bodybuilding

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Marijuana and bodybuilding have a contentious relationship. In this article, we will discuss how marijuana effects muscle growth, the impacts of CBD for bodybuilding, and more!

As the laws regarding marijuana use are becoming more open and stable throughout the world, more and more people are beginning to use cannabis in some capacity.

Personally, as a professional athlete and a person living with Tourette Syndrome, I use a variety of CBD products all-year.

Many other professional athletes and popular figures have began to speak out about their use of cannabis as well.

However, whether there are positive effects of marijuana on bodybuilding and the overall effects of marijuana on muscle growth are still up for debate.

Marijuana & Bodybuilding – What You Need to Know

does smoking weed affect bodybuilding

When it comes to bodybuilding, serious bodybuilders spend a lot of time, money and energy pursuing muscle growth and achieving an aesthetic bodybuilding body.

If you are a bodybuilder who is interested in using marijuana or other forms of cannabis to impact your results, there are a variety of factors you need to understand. Here are a few of the key relationships between marijuana and bodybuilding:

The Endocannabinoid System and Your Body

The endocannabinoid system is one of the most far-reaching systems in the human body. Compounds in marijuana, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) being the two main ones, bind two main receptors in our bodies and brains.

These receptors are CB1 and CB2, named after the marijuana constituents. When these two receptors are bound by exogenous cannabinoids (when consuming marijuana), several metabolic processes are impacted.

The endocannabinoid system controls immune function, temperature regulation, sleep, stress reactivity, appetite, and pain sensation (among other processes). Also, fat and muscle tissues utilize these receptors to control their own processes.

You can perceive your marijuana smoking habit as a way of busting into your metabolism’s mainframe, something like a metabolism hacker.

Marijuana and Physical Performance

There are several studies showing that marijuana impairs psychomotor abilities. However, in these studies, researchers used very high amounts of marijuana. For example, researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business found out in 1991 that the complex human/machine performance (participants were active pilots) can be impaired after smoking a moderate dose of marijuana, and that the user may be aware of its influence.

The studies on marijuana’s effects on the human body are still unreliable and insufficient for making a definite conclusion about the matter.

Avery Collins, a Canadian ultramarathoner, describes running under the influence of cannabis as a “spiritual happening.” He says that instead of slowing him down, eating cannabis edibles before and after the race enhances his performance and experience.

According to Stephen Jackson, a known cannabis supporter and former NBA star, “Before the games, nobody can play high, especially in the NBA. It’s a high level of competition, and guys are great, so nobody can play high, but after the games, guys need to come down and relax, because it’s a physical sport.”

So, as we can see, there are differing reports on the use of cannabis before training, and this likely depends on the intensity of the workout you are about to do.

Marijuana and Muscle Growth

Although runners may find that a certain amount of THC enhances their performance, what about muscle building? This leads us to marijuana’s hormonal effects, as testosterone and HG hormone are the main hormones that affect your muscle growth.

In 1976, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that administration of THC at a dose of 210mg per day for 14 consecutive days resulted in suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and a threefold decrease in HG hormone response.

However, two things make us question these study results: first, a 210mg dose per day is a huge dose, and second, the study is more than 40 years old.

People with a low-to-medium THC tolerance experience the effects of cannabis with a 5-25mg dose, while a dose of 80+ mg of THC is required by those with a very high tolerance.

As for testosterone, there are studies that show that testosterone levels in marijuana-consuming men were 44% lower than in those who don’t use marijuana. However, this was challenged by a larger study of marijuana users that found no effect on testosterone levels.

Many other studies found cannabis users to have normal testosterone levels, in addition to normal levels of prolactin, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone.

Along with this, smoking is not the only way you can intake cannabis.

There are many effective topical CBD products and cannabis products which are more beneficial for your muscles!

Personal Behavior and Marijuana

We concluded that low-to-moderate marijuana amounts doesn’t impair one’s cognitive and chemical functions, but personal behavior can negatively influence your bodybuilding goals. Whether it will boost or hinder your gym performance depends on you.

For example, as a bodybuilder, you’re likely careful when it comes to nutrition, as you need to consume the right amount of the right calories.

If you smoke marijuana and lack discipline when it comes to munchies (usually, people eat a lot of junk food and processed sugars), it won’t do you any good.

Also, smoking cannabis or consuming cannabis concentrates after workout can make your resting days more effective, calm you down, lower stress, help you sleep better and improve your appetite.

Additional Information: Effects of Marijuana Legalization

CBD and Bodybuilding

I’ve touched on this a little bit already, but using CBD for bodybuilding is a much different scenario than smoking marijuana which contain THC. CBD is not psychoactive, and I personally use CBD products all year.

CBD can have many more positive effects for bodybuilding and bodybuilders because it does not cause the issues that smoking THC-containing marijuana does, and it has many beneficial effects for your body.

CBD reduces inflammation, reduces chronic pain in your joints, and is overall beneficial for your health.

A few of my favorite CBD companies include:

Related Reading: CBD Facts

Concluding Thoughts – Bodybuilding and Marijuana Use

does smoking marijuana affect bodybuilding

The conclusion is that when used responsibly, marijuana should not mess with your body’s ability to build muscle or bodybuilding goals.

In fact, if you are using cannabis products like CBD Oil, cannabis can even enhance your bodybuilding regiment!

It affects us differently, because we are all different. Enjoy the herb, but keep yourself disciplined, don’t let it affect your training and dieting plans, and you’ll keep building muscle.

Read Next: How to Start Bodybuilding


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