Friday, November 25, 2022

Study: Does Regular Cannabis Use Affect Performance In Female Athletes?

“It is important for both coaches and athletes to consider whether athlete performance is highly dependent on short-term power output,” researchers said.

By Joana Scopel

A new study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found that women who are regular cannabis users do not produce as much anaerobic power as those who don’t partake, even when active and fit.

Researchers from the University of Northern Colorado set out to determined if chronic cannabis use in physically active, female athletes creates changes in their health performance. They compared 12 healthy female cannabis users with 12 nonusers. Both groups were 19 to 34 years old and regularly engaged in resistance and aerobic training.

exercise
Photo by Caley Vanular via Unsplash

RELATED: US Congress Pushes Marijuana Protections For Athletes In New Spending Bills

Related to the pulmonary function, strength and power assessment, and c-reactive protein concentrations between cannabis users and non-users, researchers did not observe significant differences.

“There were no differences between groups with respect to body size, body composition, pulmonary function, cardiorespiratory function, or muscular strength,” said the authors of the cross-sectional study.

The findings showed that marijuana users “produced significantly less power” during the first two states of the Wingate test assessment, which determine peak anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity.

Cannabis users showed 18% less power during the first five seconds of pedaling and 20% less power during the second five-second period, compared to non-cannabis users.

“It is important for both coaches and athletes to consider whether athlete performance is highly dependent on short-term power output,” the researchers said.

However, despite the lower potency, regular marijuana users also “experienced significantly less anaerobic fatigue,” concluded the study.

Athletete Cannabis Users

There is proven evidence that athletes are using cannabis products. A study reported that “of 46,202 surveyed athletes, 1 in 4 reported the use of cannabis.”

Other research explored that “most (77%) of the subjects reported that cannabis positively affected their performance through improved focus, energy, relaxation, and recovery after a workout.” In addition, many professional athletes have been outspoken regarding their use of marijuana.

RELATED: It’s Time To Acknowledge The Reality Of THC In Pro Sports

exercise
Photo by Bruno Nascimento via Unsplash

 Megan Rapinoe, an Olympic gold medalist, two-time Women’s World Cup soccer champion, and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year told Benzinga that she ventured into cannabis in a search of a “healthier, more natural option for pain management, sleep aid, relaxation while flying, and general recovery.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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