Many professional athletes and bodybuilders have attested to the effects of marijuana while training. Whether it’s improving recovery or increasing focus, there are many ways marijuana can affect exercise. But how does it affect your muscles specifically?
Here are six ways marijuana affects your muscles:
Testosterone is an important hormone that helps build muscles. That’s why you see all those beefy bodybuilders injecting themselves with it. And while research isn’t quite clear on the subject, some experts believe that marijuana use messes up some hormone production and can cause lower levels of testosterone than normal. However, there are other studies that say marijuana use has no effect on testosterone, so there’s no clear consensus.
2. Muscle Control
Marijuana use may also reduce a person’s muscle control. Cannabis use causes a reduction in activity in the motor neuron, which is the thing that tells our muscles to contract. While that may sound bad, it’s actually good because reducing motor neuron activity is one of the reasons marijuana can help treat neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
After pounding the weight room, you’ll probably be feeling some aches and pains. Many of those aches and pains are caused by inflammation. Marijuana has proven anti-inflammatory properties which will help reduce those pains and get you into the gym faster than if you just let the body heal naturally.
4. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
DOMS is when you feel pain or stiffness in your muscles after a strenuous exercise. Essentially, your muscle is adapting to prevent muscle damage from those exercises. Marijuana use has been proven to reduce the effects of DOMS, so you’ll feel that pain and stiffness for a shorter amount of time and be able to go back to regular physical activity quicker.
5. Weight Gain
We all know marijuana can lead to the munchies, which you may think means using marijuana would make you eat unhealthy. But actually, some studies show that food actually tastes better after using marijuana, which means those gross vegetables people are always telling you to eat will actually taste not so bad. So marijuana can actually lead to a healthier diet.
6. Muscle Protein Synthesis
Studies have shown that alcohol consumption can reduce muscle protein synthesis, a process that helps muscle growth. But that is not the case with marijuana. Cannabis use does not affect muscle protein synthesis, which means it won’t hurt muscle growth in that way.