Cannabis has garnered significant attention due to its potential therapeutic properties, particularly its ability to provide relief from pain and reduce inflammation. As an increasing number of athletes and fitness enthusiasts seek alternative methods for post-exercise recovery, this study aims to investigate the prevalence, usage patterns, and perceived advantages of cannabis within this specific demographic. The objective is to determine whether cannabis could serve as a viable option for enhancing exercise recovery.
In recent years, the global acceptance and legalization of cannabis have piqued interest not only for recreational purposes but also for its potential medicinal benefits. Among the various potential applications of cannabis, one emerging area of interest lies in its utilization for exercise recovery among individuals who engage in rigorous training regimens. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are constantly exploring innovative approaches to optimize their recovery, alleviate pain, and improve their overall well-being. This survey study seeks to explore the intersection of cannabis use and exercise recovery within this particular demographic.
II. Cannabis and Exercise Recovery
Cannabis, known for containing compounds called cannabinoids, is associated with several potential therapeutic effects that could be pertinent to exercise recovery:
Pain Alleviation: Cannabinoids like THC and CBD possess analgesic properties that have the potential to alleviate exercise-induced pain and muscle soreness.
Inflammation Reduction: Cannabis may hold anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential candidate for mitigating exercise-induced inflammation.
Relaxation and Sleep Enhancement: Some individuals have reported using cannabis to induce relaxation and improve the quality of their sleep, both of which are essential elements of an effective recovery process.
This survey study will employ a mixed-methods approach, combining structured questionnaires with qualitative interviews. Participants will be recruited from the well-trained demographic encompassing athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and regular gym-goers who maintain consistent exercise routines.
Demographic Information: Participants will be requested to provide demographic details, including age, gender, fitness level, and the frequency of their exercise routines.
Cannabis Usage Patterns: Participants will be asked to furnish information regarding their cannabis usage, covering aspects such as usage frequency, dosage, and preferred methods of consumption.
Perceived Benefits: Participants will be encouraged to articulate the benefits they perceive from using cannabis in the context of exercise recovery, encompassing pain relief, inflammation reduction, and enhanced sleep.
Challenges and Concerns: Participants will be afforded the opportunity to voice any apprehensions or difficulties related to cannabis usage, including potential legal repercussions and any adverse effects they may have experienced.
Qualitative Interviews: A select subset of participants will be chosen for in-depth qualitative interviews to collect comprehensive narratives detailing their personal experiences with cannabis and its role in exercise recovery.
Upon obtaining consent, a total of 111 participants, with an average age of 31 years (± 13 years standard deviation), successfully completed an anonymous survey. These participants all share a common trait: regular cannabis consumption, which includes the usage of CBD and/or THC, alongside their consistent engagement in exercise routines. The survey covered a wide range of aspects, including the frequency of cannabis usage, the methods employed for cannabis consumption, their exercise routines, strategies employed for exercise recovery, and detailed demographic information.
Among the participants, a significant 85% reported active involvement in aerobic training, underscoring the prevalence of cardiovascular exercise within the demographic. Likewise, 85% of the participants indicated their regular participation in resistance exercises, illustrating a strong commitment to strength training. Impressively, a substantial 72% of those surveyed actively engaged in both aerobic and resistance exercises, showcasing a holistic approach to fitness.
Furthermore, an astonishing 93% of the participants expressed that their use of CBD significantly contributed to their exercise recovery process, highlighting the perceived advantages of CBD in aiding recovery. Similarly, a significant 87% of participants reported experiencing comparable benefits from their THC usage, suggesting that THC also played a constructive role in their exercise recovery journeys. These findings illuminate the positive impact of both CBD and THC, as perceived by the majority of surveyed individuals, on the process of exercise recovery.