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Is cannabis good for exercise?

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Despite decades of being associated with inactivity, cannabis could actually be just what we need to get our bodies moving.

Everyone knows the old stereotype of a ‘pothead’. A lazy couch potato with a bong who gets nothing done, especially not personal care like exercise. But those old stigmas could be nothing further from the truth. Consuming marijuana (and other forms of cannabis) may be exactly what more people need to get up off the couch and get their bodies moving.

A global need for physical activity

Today, billions of people around the world do not get enough exercise. Rates of obesity around the world have risen over the past few decades. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports worldwide obesity has “nearly tripled” since 1975. 

The number of people aged 18 and older who are overweight is more than 1.9 billion. That’s about one out of every four adults who could benefit from more exercise.

Exercise is one of the main factors in maintaining a healthy weight. According to experts at Harvard University in Boston Massachusetts, USA, people need about 30 minutes of moderate exercise on a daily basis.  The time is reduced depending on the intensity of the exercise. People who do more intense exercise need less time before their exercise needs are met.

But, getting off the couch is not always the easiest proposition. Pain, inflammation and past injury can be devastating for those who experience them. No one wants to exercise when it doesn’t feel good.

Then there’s the issue of motivation. Some people have it and others don’t. Getting regular exercise is about building a habit. Habits are created through repetition, and repetition through consistency. If you have something to look forward to building a habit of regular exercise is easier. This is where cannabis comes in.

Healthy ‘stoner’?

We’ve come a long way in a short period of time. Studies from 2004, show the old way of approaching cannabis and health. There’s a strong anti-marijuana tone and the concern of passive inhalation, a fallacy. It’s due to the stigma plaguing marijuana use.

For years people assumed the worst about marijuana. Part of that stigma is the notion that cannabis consumers sit around and do nothing all day but eat, watch TV, and play video games.

The old stereotypes have held people back for decades, especially in the area of health. As more places replaced prohibitive law with more marijuana-friendly ones the research grows and we know more about the benefits of cannabis than ever before.

Today this research on the benefits of cannabis is tearing down erroneous beliefs. Experts and the general public are coming to know cannabis and the effects it has on our health.

Cannabis-use and exercise

Exercise is one of the areas of health researchers believe cannabis use can improve. A recent study reveals cannabis use is linked to an increase in exercise. The data was collected from more than 1,200 survey participants. The results show adults who use cannabis are more likely to exercise than those with no history of marijuana use.

The common conception of the inactive adult pot smoker is entirely wrong. There is a positive relationship between marijuana use and exercise.

There are some exercises cannabis may not be good with such as resistance training. Use before or after or both may be better depending on both the type of activity. It’s always best to do the research.

Approval from sports leagues

This relationship extends to sports as well. Recent headlines suggest major sports leagues are loosening their restrictions. Past restrictions against the use of nature’s most benefit-giving plant.

These two examples illustrate the point.

1) the National Hockey League (NHL) in North America tests for marijuana use but does not penalise players for a positive.

2) Major League Baseball (MBL) in North America removed marijuana from the list of banned substances.

Both leagues treat high levels of marijuana like alcohol, even though alcohol is toxic at high levels and marijuana is not.

Other leagues have yet to permit marijuana. Some are in the process of allowing it. But not all.

Retired athletes who still take their health seriously choose marijuana. Injuries from the field caused inflammation and pain. So they rely on some form of cannabis for relief.

Getting daily exercise with cannabis use

Daily exercise is one of the cornerstones of personal health. Reject it and the whole muscular-skeletal system will disintegrate. The good news is, there’s no reason why you can’t get daily exercise while using cannabis.

In fact, athletes prefer marijuana for its benefits. A 2019 study of 605 adult cannabis users in states with full legalisation showed cannabis use is preferred. The majority (81.7 percent) of the participants endorsed the cannabis feeling during exercise. Cannabis use before and after exercising was enjoyable. Not a bad motivator!

Why athletes prefer marijuana

Marijuana has fewer side effects than pain medication. Athletes can use it with no hangover or dehydration, plus they don’t need to worry they will go into withdrawal while filling their prescription.

But there are a few side effects worth thinking about. Smoking cannabis is not good for the lungs and people with a history of heart disease should consult a physician. There are also very good reasons why a non-adult should not use cannabis.

Overall the benefits of cannabis are vast. We have only begun to uncover what this plant can do for the human body and are even discovering marijuana use is connected with lower Body Mass Index (BMI).

As our knowledge of cannabis increases, we discover the relationship between cannabis and our well-being strengthens.

JuicyFields promote good health with cannabis 

JuicyFields promotes cannabis health by partnering with medical marijuana cultivators around the world.

Our online community of crowd-growers buys plants and our partners raise them. Our website provides a wealth of information about all things related to cannabis. To learn more about the benefits of marijuana, cooking with marijuana, marijuana news, and crowdgrowing marijuana please visit juicyfields.io 

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Six big cannabis sector stories you might have missed this week

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It’s been another week of big news in the cannabis world.

At Cannabis Health, our in depth coverage of the ongoing growth of cannabis as a medical and wellness product continues

Meanwhile, over at Cannabis Wealth, we’ve been following all the big industry and policy news in a week which has seen some important developments..

Been busy and want to get caught up in a hurry?

Here are the six things you need to read to stay in the loop this week.

1. Reprieve for medical cannabis patients

The Department of Health has reached an agreement with Dutch officials to extend the supply of medical cannabis oils to existing patients in the UK until 2022.

Medical cannabis patients, living with severe, life-threatening epilepsy were left without access to medication when the UK left the EU at the end of last year.

Medical cannabis

Families, whose children are prescribed Bedrocan oils in the UK but must obtain their prescription through the Transvaal pharmacy in the Netherlands, were given two weeks notice that their medication could no longer be dispensed following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31, December 2020.

Read the full story.

2. UK largest’s medical cannabis trial reports back

The first findings from the UK’s largest medical cannabis patient study show quality of life improved by more than 50 percent.

Preliminary results from Drug Science’s Project Twenty21 study, have found medical cannabis significantly improves quality of life for people with life-limiting conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis (MS) Tourette’s syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Published on Tuesday 11 May, the report is the first real-world data to be collected on medical cannabis in the UK.

Read more here.

3. Harrowing first-hand account of medical cannabis user
Diagnosed with a personality disorder and experiencing debilitating anxiety which left him housebound, Craig – whose name has been changed – had exhausted all treatment options and was losing all hope.
He speaks about how medical cannabis helped save his life here.

4. CBD market set to shrink

The UK’s CBD sector looks set to shrink significantly as the roll out of new regulations continues to batter the industry.

The FSA has confirmed to Cannabis Wealth it received applications for 803 different CBD products – but only 42 have been advanced to the next stage of the process so far.

More than half of all applications (445) were ‘incomplete’ and a further 41 have been withdrawn altogether.

Read the full story here.

5. CBD not linked to single doping case

CBD has not been linked to a single failed drugs test in UK sport despite fears about the undeclared levels of THC in some products.

The World Anti-Doping Agency removed the cannabinoid from its banned substances list in 2017 and since then several high profile athletes have publicly endorsed CBD products.

Even though CBD – which has no psychoactive properties – is not banned, the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) still warns athletes to be cautious with treatments.

Read our exclusive report here.

6. School’s out for cannabis class

The first class on a pioneering university medical cannabis course have concluded their first year of studies.

The research programme at the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin examines the medical and nutritional uses of cannabis, production and the legal and economic frameworks of the business.

It’s the latest sign that medical cannabis is becoming a part of the mainstream education offering and a positive indication that new industry leaders will emerge in the coming years.

Full story here.

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Science finds a way for medical cannabis to relieve pain without side effects

Researchers have developed a molecule that allows THC to fight pain without the side effects.

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Medical cannabis
Many people living with chronic pain have found that cannabis can provide relief. 

Scientists may have developed a molecule which could allow medical cannabis to provide pain relief without any side effects.

Many people live with chronic pain, and in some cases, cannabis can provide relief. 

But the drug also can significantly impact memory and other cognitive functions. 

Now, researchers have developed a peptide that, in mice, allowed THC to fight pain without the side effects.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around 20 percent of adults in the states experienced chronic pain in 2019. 

In some studies, medical cannabis has been helpful in relieving pain from migraines, neuropathy, cancer and other conditions, but the side effects can present hurdles for widespread therapeutic use.

Previously, researchers identified two peptides [molecules which are made up of amino acids] that disrupt an interaction between a receptor that is the target of THC and another that binds serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates learning, memory and other cognitive functions. 

When the researchers injected the peptides into the brains of mice, the mice had fewer memory problems caused by THC. 

Now, this team, led by Rafael Maldonado, David Andreu and colleagues, has gone one step further to improve these peptides to make them smaller, more stable, orally active and able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Based on data from molecular dynamic simulations, the researchers designed two peptides that were less than half the length of the original ones but preserved their receptor binding and other functions. 

They also optimised the peptide sequences for improved cell entry, stability and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. 

Then, the researchers gave the most promising peptide to mice orally, along with a THC injection, and tested the mice’s pain threshold and memory. 

Mice treated with both THC and the optimised peptide reaped the pain-relieving benefits of THC and also showed improved memory compared with mice treated with THC alone. 

Importantly, multiple treatments with the peptide did not evoke an immune response. 

Reporting in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, researchers say that these findings suggest the optimised peptide is an ideal drug candidate for reducing cognitive side effects from cannabis-based pain management.

The abstract that accompanies this paper can be viewed here.

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Dutch Government to supply medical cannabis for UK patients until 2022

The Department of Health has reached an agreement to continue the supply of Bedrocan oils

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The Dutch Government will supply medical cannabis to UK patients until 2022

The Department of Health has reached an agreement with Dutch officials to extend the supply of medical cannabis oils to existing patients in the UK until 2022.

Medical cannabis patients, living with severe, life-threatening epilepsy were left without access to medication when the UK left the EU at the end of last year. 

Families, whose children are prescribed Bedrocan oils in the UK but must obtain their prescription through the Transvaal pharmacy in the Netherlands, were given two weeks notice that their medication could no longer be dispensed following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31, December 2020. 

After outrage from campaigners, the Dutch government agreed to continue supplying the life-saving products until 1 July, 2021 while a more permanent solution was reached.

This waiver period has now been extended until 1 January, 2022.

Health ministers promised to work with officials in the Netherlands to find a “long-term” solution, but according to those at the forefront of the campaign, there is still “some way to go”.

Hannah Deacon and son Alfie Dingley

Hannah Deacon’s son Alfie Dingley, who is prescribed Bedrocan products for a rare form of epilepsy, recently celebrated one year seizure-free.

In a letter to Deacon on Thursday 13 May, the DofH said it was working with the Dutch government, Bedrocan and the Transvaal pharmacy to proceed as “quickly as possible” with the UK production of these medicines.

It added that domestic production is “complex” and that manufacturing “unlicensed herbal medicines” comes with “significant challenges”. 

Deacon said that the UK production of Bedrocan products was the “only solution”.

While other cannabis-based medicines are available in the UK, experts have warned that there is ‘significant variation’ from one product to the next and switching an epilepsy patient’s treatment could be ‘life-threatening’.

“With the 1 July deadline for Bedrolite supply to cease from the Netherlands looming ever closer, we made it clear we wanted an extension to the agreement to stop the situation becoming dangerous for Alfie and the other patients receiving this vital medicine,” commented Deacon.

“The long term solution of Bedrocan products being made in the UK still has some way to go, but it can be the only solution and we thank everyone who is working very hard to achieve this. 

“This is still a long way off from being okay, but for now we have the pressure taken off on the supply issue.”

With limited access to medical cannabis on the NHS, families are still calling for the Government to help fund their children’s prescriptions, which can cost thousands of pounds each month.

Deacon added: “The ever-pressing issue of financial burden on the many families and patients wishing to use medical cannabis in the UK remains and this is a huge issue which needs dealing with.

“There are many ways in which the Government could step in and help access for very vulnerable people and we will continue working as hard as we can to make things better for all.”

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