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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

The Weed to Win: An Athlete’s Guide to CBD 

Jordan Webber

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Athlete's Guide to CBD

Cannabidiol has become so popular and widespread. From being virtually unknown, it is now used not only by patients with severe conditions and for recreation but also by healthy people like sports enthusiasts and athletes. But while many of them are starting to take CBD oil during training, performance, and recovery, other sports buffs are still questioning the cannabinoid’s efficacy especially to people who are in top physical health.

Are CBD products, which get accolades for their medicinal properties, beneficial (and legal) for amateur and professional athletes? Read on to find out.

Medical marijuana has been legalized in 33 U.S. states for its capacity to treat a wide range of health issues from anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many others. But its multiple benefits do not stop in the treatment of diseases. Cannabidiol can also boost the performance of professionals, including athletes.

To improve their chances of winning, athletes use a variety of supplements. Part of their regimen is taking stimulants, protein powders and other performance-enhancing substances to gain an advantage over their rivals. For these people, even a tiny edge over their competitors or previous records can lead to a win.

How CBD Help Athletes Bring Out Their A-Game

To win, athletes need to work out their muscles through regular, intense training and body conditioning. Here are some benefits CBD can provide for those who want to win the coveted medal.

  • It lowers the release of stress hormones

Pro athletes and other people who often engage in sports put a lot of strain on both their body and mind. The stress coming from intense training can result in physical trauma to the point of injuring themselves. These people find joy and satisfaction in testing the limits of their body. As such they are prone to severe pain from muscle strains, cramps, and other injuries.

During strenuous training, the body including the organs responsible for producing hormones must work harder, which can trigger an overproduction of cortisol, the stress hormone. Having an abundance of cortisol in the blood can lead to tissue damage and can impact your health and performance.

CBD has a unique ability to reduce the production of cortisol during extreme training. A study by the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil found that this cannabinoid can limit the production of stress hormone.

  • CBD has potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Inflammation of muscles, especially during intense physical activities can result in pain. Apart from experiencing muscle aches, swelling in your body can have a severe impact on your performance. Cannabidiol has properties that can effectively relieve swelling.

CBD for Athletes

A study by the National Institutes of Health’s Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience found that CBD can suppress the body’s inflammatory response. With its anti-inflammatory property, some CBD oil advocates even say this cannabinoid may replace many prescription medicines that curb inflammation, including pain relievers.

Athletes are accustomed to pain, especially after an extreme workout. If not given relief, the excruciating pain can limit their physical activity to the point that they can no longer move their muscles. Having potent painkillers in their medical kits can make them regain their performance level. The best part of taking CBD is it is safe with a minimal side effect.

  • Help resolve your gut problems

Athletes are prone to inflammation in the small and large intestines, which can cause extreme discomfort. In fact, this condition is among the leading reasons endurance athletes quit from racing.

While CBD will not solve these problems in the gut brought about by dehydration and overheating mainly to those engaged in endurance sports, it can help treat inflammation during or after physical training that can lead to gut problems. In these cases, CBD can be useful for lowering these symptoms.

  • Enhance Sleep Quality

Getting quality sleep every night is highly beneficial for athletes to get the most from their training. Sleep allows their body to repair itself after enduring long hours of exhausting workouts. This activity also keeps their brain sharp, especially during competitions where even a small error can lead to a devastating loss.

Many athletes who take CBD report the cannabinoid helps them to fall asleep with ease and improve their sleep quality. After an action-packed day, many athletes find a hard time getting sufficient restful slumber in the evening. This condition has a lot to do with the overproduction of stress hormones. Stress is one of the deterrents for having deep shuteye. CBD can relieve stress by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating the activities inside the body, including sleep. Hence, a regular dose of CBD can help physically active people get restful slumber every night.

  • Helps in Muscle Recovery

The soreness athletes experience after a competition or hard gym session is a product of damage and inflammation of muscles. This inflammatory response is a process that the body does to heal itself. However, for athletes, the symptoms of this natural bodily process can impact their training. To counter the inflammatory response, many of them resort to taking measures that will hasten recovery. They often use methods like putting on ice and compression that divert blood away from the swollen area.

With CBD, they can get relief faster as the substance can interact with the ECS. Once CBD communicates with the endocannabinoid receptors, it can signal the brain to reduce the inflammation.

  • Reduces Fear and Anxieties

Just like other people, athletes can suffer from periods of fear and anxiety, particularly during competition. Many of them fear of losing and getting injured.  Some of them even have social anxiety that can impair their performance when they are playing in sports arenas with large crowds. Failure to cope with these anxieties can lead to lackluster performance.

Many studies show CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety in people suffering from extreme social anxiety. Different research papers found that CBD oil can lower the intensity of fear memories, which are a challenging symptom of PTSD. Another study, this time on CBD oil effects on people with performance-based anxiety, finds that the administration of the cannabinoid decreased the anxiety of people before and during delivering a public speech. These findings can help athletes overcome their deepest fears that can hinder them from giving a remarkable performance during a competition.

  • Helps in Weight Loss

Athletes also have a problem maintaining weight just like most people do. In some sports like boxing wherein maintaining a specific weight is crucial, they do different methods to keep the desired weight that can sometimes adversely affect their performance. Many of them increase or decrease their food intake. While this method allows them to reach their intended weight, it can negatively affect their performance during the match.

Taking a regular dose of cannabidiol can help them keep the right weight without the endangering their health. In 2016, Korean researchers found that cannabidiol has three ways of effecting fat browning. Aside from finding out that the substance activates the proteins and genes responsible for increasing the breakdown of fat, they also discovered that it could multiply mitochondria’s number and activity, which intensify the body’s capability to burn calories.

Legality of CBD for Athletes

After reading the many benefits of CBD for athletes, the next question is whether they can use the substance legally. The answer is a resounding yes. Since the early part of 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed cannabidiol from its list of prohibited substances whether inside or outside of competition. Following WADA’s lead, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) also did the same.

However, athletes should take note that the WADA only removes CBD from the list. THC and other cannabinoids are still prohibited. However, with their new guideline, WADA has set a urinary threshold of 150 nanograms per milliliter. Hence, these professionals should only buy pure CBD oil from reputable stores and dispensaries to make sure that it is free from even trace amounts of other cannabinoids.

How to Use CBD?

Cannabidiol products come in many forms. CBD can be taken orally through capsules, tinctures or oil. Athletes can also inhale it through a vape pen. They can also drink CBD-infused beverage such as sports drinks, tonics, and recovery drinks. For muscle ache and pain, they can also apply topical creams and lotions that contain CBD on the affected part.

CBD is also available in two varieties – full spectrum or isolate. Full spectrum cannabidiol products are composed of CBD and other compounds coming from the original plant, which may include traces of THC. Products infused with CBD isolate only contain CBD. CBD isolate and CBD produced from hemp are better choices, as they contain only minute amounts of THC that can put the career of athletes at risk.

Athletes need to take supplements and other legal substances that will improve their chances of winning. Many research and anecdotal evidence say CBD oil can give them a winning edge. However, they need to check the type and quality of the brand they are using because it may contain traces of THC that can endanger their careers.

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Demetrix Gains $50m in Series A Funding, Aims to Brew Cannabis

Stacey Wellington

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Demetrix Funds to Brew Cannabis

Demetrix Inc. recently announced its successful foray into the Series A funding round. Following this, the company garnered $50 million, which the business states will be used for researching and producing synthetic cannabinoids in the market.

The Series A funding round was led by Tuatara Capital, a New York-based investment group, together with Horizon Ventures, a Hong Kong-based firm. Based on the press release by the cannabis firm, Horizon Ventures also participated in the Series Seed round, contributing $11 million to the business.

Shaping the Future

Demetrix’s press release revealed that the global market for cannabinoids are slated to reach $100 billion comes 2029. Alongside the boom of this industry, Demetrix intends to “help the world benefit from nature’s rarest ingredients.”

Besides brewing, the startup is also looking to isolate the cannabinoids. The firm also looks to expand the business and commercialize its products in the future. With more than 100 cannabinoids being explored by the California-based startup, it believes that it can cater to different consumer product companies, including the pharmaceutical and supplement sector.

To achieve their goals, the California-based company reportedly intends to use baker’s yeast to yield a larger volume of cannabinoids. Through the company’s “industry-leading fermentation technology that accelerates the production of cannabinoid,” it hopes to shape the future of the field.

Continued Show of Support

Both Tuatara Capital and Horizon Ventures released statements revealing their promising futures by working with the cannabis firm. In the press release, Tuatara Capital partner, Marc Riiska shares that they believe Demetrix has what it takes to “consistently produce high purity, single cannabinoids in a process that easily scales to meet demands.”

Meanwhile, Patrick Zhang of Horizon Ventures state that “Demetrix is uniquely positioned to bring these compounds to market in a cost-efficient way.”

Industry Background

Demetrix chief executive officer Jeff Ubersax is planning to use technologies surrounding yeast genetics and biochemistry and applying this to cannabis. Although the business employs the same method of brewing beer, the fermentation process using the marijuana plant will produce synthetic cannabinoids instead.

While the company’s approach to making a larger volume of cannabinoids sounds promising, Tech Crunch notes the startup “has a long way to go before it becomes competitive with extracts from the marijuana plant.”

As of writing, the company has successfully raised a total of $61 million.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Research Found Recreational Marijuana Users End Up Consuming the Plant as Medicine

Jordan Webber

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Recreational Marijuana

Many cannabis users who buy in Colorado adult-use cannabis dispensaries use the product as a medicine, a study revealed.

The study found that people who purchase items that are supposedly for fun have used them to treat specific health issues, like chronic pain and sleep disorders. The researchers led by Marcus Bachhuber of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said customers of adult-use cannabis usually end up consuming it for symptom relief.

The combined research team from the New York-based college and the University of Miami polled 1,000 customers in two Colorado dispensaries between August 2016 and October 2016. Around 65% of the respondents said they used marijuana for pain relief, while 74% reported using the plant to promote sleep.

The study was recently published in the “Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.”

Potent Prescription Medicine Alternative

The respondents ended up using cannabis for medical reasons because of its potency. Many of the respondents who use marijuana for health reasons said that using the plant helped them to reduce the use of other medicines. More than two-thirds (82%) reported cutting or stopping their prescription medications.

Nearly 90% of those who purchased cannabis for pain relief said they had reduced or stopped taking opioid pain relievers. Meanwhile, 87% of users who use marijuana as a sleeping aid reported they minimized or halted their use of over-the-counter taking aids. Moreover, 83% of those taking medicine sleeping pills said cannabis helped cut down or stopped their use of these medications.

While the study has somehow shown the potency of cannabis for medical use, it has some limitations. Of the 1,000 study respondents, 90% were below the age of 50. Less than half (42%) of them were women while a little more than half (66%) were white.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) deputy director Paul Armentano backed the findings of the study. In a press release, he said that the study proved the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana. He also acknowledged its possibility as an alternative medication to prescription medications, particularly opioids.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people in the U.S. die following an opioid overdose. The agency admitted that the abuse and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers, fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids is a national crisis. Prescription opioid misuse costs the U.S. $78.5 billion a year and affects not only public health, but also impacts social and economic welfare.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Approved Medical Marijuana for Alzheimer’s

Jordan Webber

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Minnesotta OK'd Medical Cannabis for Alzheimers

Starting July 1, all registered patients with Alzheimer’s disease can begin registering for Minnesota’s medical cannabis program. This will enable them to purchase medical marijuana from the state’s two manufacturers starting August 1, the High Times reported.

The recent approval marked Alzheimer’s disease addition to the 14 conditions that qualify patients for medical marijuana in Minnesota. This includes cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette Syndrome, ALS, seizures (e.g. epilepsy), severe and persistent muscle spasms (e.g. multiple sclerosis), inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease), terminal illness, intractable pain, PTSD, Autism, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Alzheimer’s disease is the only qualifying condition approved by Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm among the seven new conditions proposed by a citizen’s review panel. Conditions that didn’t make the cut includes hepatitis C, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, panic disorder, psoriasis, and traumatic brain injury.

“Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” said Health Commissioner Malcolm. “However, there is some evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve the mood, sleep, and behavior of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”

Currently, there are more than 94, 000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s living in Minnesota, and 254, 000 people providing care for loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

For the next 30 days, the Minnesota Department of Health is expected to be working in registering Alzheimer’s patients to the state’s medical marijuana program. Among the requirements included for a patient to obtain medical cannabis is for a licensed health care practitioner to certify that the patient indeed has the disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. It’s a neurodegenerative disorder that happens when plaques containing beta-amyloid develop in the brain. This leads to cognitive impairments, such as problems with one’s memory, thinking, and behaviour. As of today, there is still no available cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, various studies show that cannabis helps improve symptoms or slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s patients.

The recent move by Minnesota marked its entrance into the twelve U.S. states that have included Alzheimer’s disease in the list of their qualifying conditions for medical cannabis.

“I believe that advanced dementia patients with tremendous anxiety, restlessness, and pain will benefit,” wrote Dr. William Orr, a Minneapolis-based geriatric psychiatrist who supported the petition.

“Such patients are episodically distraught and become quickly angered and paranoid of staff trying to help them due to their confusion and inability to understand their circumstances,” he added.

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