Cannabis use and fitness

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Watcher Of The Skies
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Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Watcher Of The Skies » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:29 pm UTC

I was wondering if anyone had any information on the effects of cannabis use (smoked or otherwise) on physical fitness. I checked pubmed, and may have missed some studies due to my poor searching skills - I apologise if that is the case. I've heard the usual "well obviously it's bad to inhale smoke", but I was looking for something a little more detailed and well-researched. I was watching a mandatory doping ed video for a school sports team, and it had a whole section on marijuana and why it is banned from sports and considered a doping offense. They unfortunately didn't cite any sources for their claims (ie "marijuana use has been shown to lead to learning disabilities"), and it seems a little biased to me that sports culture accepts (encourages in some cases) binge drinking but so readily rejects marijuana use, which as far as I can tell is much less destructive.

Any information would be greatly appreciated, I'd love to know if I'm wrong in thinking that marijuana use won't affect my fitness overly.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby meatyochre » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:01 am UTC

Watcher Of The Skies wrote:I was wondering if anyone had any information on the effects of cannabis use (smoked or otherwise) on physical fitness. I checked pubmed, and may have missed some studies due to my poor searching skills - I apologise if that is the case. I've heard the usual "well obviously it's bad to inhale smoke", but I was looking for something a little more detailed and well-researched. I was watching a mandatory doping ed video for a school sports team, and it had a whole section on marijuana and why it is banned from sports and considered a doping offense. They unfortunately didn't cite any sources for their claims (ie "marijuana use has been shown to lead to learning disabilities"), and it seems a little biased to me that sports culture accepts (encourages in some cases) binge drinking but so readily rejects marijuana use, which as far as I can tell is much less destructive.

Any information would be greatly appreciated, I'd love to know if I'm wrong in thinking that marijuana use won't affect my fitness overly.

I can't give you any citations right now, from here (I am at work and all the interesting sites are cockblocked by our filter). However, weed smoke is not harmful like tobacco smoke is. They have very little in common. There's a great documentary that I hope I can find when I get home. It will educate you or anybody else who still thinks pot is harmful in any way (in particular, it delineates the huge difference between weed smoke and cig smoke). If "it's smoke so it must be dangerous!" is still a concern for the gullible, then you can bake it into food. Voila, magic, done.

There's a great long-term study that was done, I believe in Haiti, where they measured the long-term negative effects on children by studying pregnant women who smoked weed versus pregnant women in the same community who did not smoke it. What did they find? NO negative effects on the children. Zero. Zilch. Smoking weed while pregnant IS NOT HARMFUL. So scratch another myth off the list.

It's non-toxic. It makes you lazy, it makes you happy, and it makes Cheetos extra-delicious. It also makes glaucoma better, it makes headaches/migraines go away, it stimulates appetite universally, and it vastly improves quality of life for people with tremors resulting from debilitating illnesses (again, this is one of the vignettes in the documentary I've referred to). Quitting smoking does not cause physical withdrawal symptoms. WEED IS MAGIC. Try it, if you can get away with it.

The only reason I can think to oppose weed from a physical fitness standpoint is because it makes you content with sitting around and overeating.
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shocklocks
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby shocklocks » Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:47 am UTC

ie "marijuana use has been shown to lead to learning disabilities"

There are some studies that suggest pot use may increase the risk of autism in children who have a higher genetic likelihood of developing it. Whether or not it's true isn't really a big deal though because children shouldn't be using it in the first place.

The only real danger with weed is that it temporarily numbs the small hairs in the lungs and that's only if you inhale the smoke. The risk is a lot less if you a vaporizer and non existent if you eat/drink it. A level headed adult using marijuana responsibly isn't going to have any negative effects, fitness wise or in general(unless you get caught with it, ironically enough.)

I wouldn't do your exercise under the influence of it though, it's definitely not a performance enhancer(though my flatmate swears it lets him switch off and run for miles.) As a fitness enthusiast you'll actually have more fun with weed, your lung capacity should be bigger.

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Solt
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Solt » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:43 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:weed smoke is not harmful like tobacco smoke is.


That may be so but that doesn't mean it isn't harmful. I thought any time you are inhaling a high concentration of particulates you are doing damage to your lungs. That's why smog and dust can trigger asthma attacks. That's why coal miners get black lung disease. That's why the people who worked at the world trade center site after 9/11 are having health problems related to their lungs.
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Fume Troll » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:56 am UTC

There is plenty of medical evidence for the dangers of cannabis use, including dependency, mental health effects, cancer risk, links to cardio problems and fertility. Don't underestimate it.

http://www.talktofrank.com/drugs.aspx?id=172
http://www.thegooddrugsguide.com/cannabis/dangers.htm

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby shocklocks » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:35 pm UTC

Oh god the bias on those sites is retarded. One of then even advertises addiction clinics on it's site. So many of those things are just simply not true or exaggerated heavily.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Fume Troll » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:16 pm UTC

Yes, your evidence is considerably more compelling. :roll:

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby shocklocks » Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:26 am UTC

To be honest I didn't want to have to make a big wall of text arguing the same bullshit that comes up whenever a topic like this is discussed. The sources you linked are biased. The Frank one is a government funded site. Pot is illegal, every year people get their lives ruined by the government for smoking a substance that causes no harm to anyone(or definitely a lot less harm then the resulting criminal conviction,fine, jail sentence.) The onus is on them to justify why and as such they need to make the drug seem as bad as possible. I will address each point later but for I'll just say that most of the risks here are either exaggerated, not relevant or just plain wrong. The other site is practically an advertisement site for rehab clinics. The 4 groups that profit most of prohibition are: the police, the drug dealers themselves(ironyyy), drug testings/dog businesses and rehab clinics. Don't get me wrong I don't believe rehab clinics are a bad thing especially for opiates and other substances which are physiologically addictive. Marijuana is not. in fact in America the vast majority(97% if I recall correctly) of people in rehab aren't there voluntarily. Most are caught by their parents,school, the police etc and given the choice between much more serious consequences or rehab. It is a poor way of gauging how addictive the substance is.

If you were to research the reasons pot was made illegal in the first place you'll see none of the "risks" listed here were a factor. I'm not going to sit around linking a bunch of sources ,if you're really interested you can do so your self but the brief history of it is pretty much:
* The first law regarding hemp(different from cannabis however it was lumped into the same product) was one that encouraged people to grow it. Hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers known to man and it had near limitless uses in several industries including: textiles, paper, clothing, various oils, pharmacology and countless others. Cannabis while being a different plant also had various uses. During the last half of the 19th century 50% of medicine was made from cannabis.
* When it was realized these products were in direct competition with current products in these industries there was immense pressure by lobby groups(especially in the paper industry) to ban hemp
* As justification for the prohibition of hemp. the government became making propaganda films about "reefer madness." A worrying happening where black people and Mexicans would smoke marijuana and become frenzied beasts unable to control themselves who would commit obscene acts. Such acts including looking at a white women twice, laughing at a white person or even standing on a white mans shadow. Despite marijuana being completely different to hemp both were outlawed under the same law.
* During world war 2 there was an immense shortage for various products including rope, clothing and medicine. Hemp and marijuana were suddenly swell again and was made legal once again. This lasted until 1948 when the marijuana laws once again came into question.
* Congress realized that marijuana was made illegal for the wrong reasons. It didn't make people angry, it made them mellow and passive. The communists could use marijuana to weaken Americas' will to fight. Marijuana was now illegal again, for the exact opposite reasons it was originally outlawed.
* Since then this justification would definitely not be accepted. The government now needs to show that marijuana use is harmful. Despite report after report showing the low, virtually non existent risks of marijuana as well as it's immense benefits. The situation is extremely similar to the current sate of nutritional information provided by the government. As a lot of people in this forum know, the high carbohydrate, low fat diet the government tells us we should eat isn't healthy. Because of corporate pressure in the agriculture and pharmaceutical industry however(as well as the governments reluctance to admit the error of their wars. Especially true for weed as they've fucked over countless people for marijuana use) these guidelines remain.

Now, with that in mind what risks do these sites say and are they true?
* Risk of paranoia,anxiety. Some what true. Marijuana heightens emotions, be it happiness, pleasure OR depression and anxiety. Using marijuana in an uncomfortable environment, while feeling depressed or as an escape from emotional problems is risky and I wouldn't recommend it. This risk is based on individual circumstance. It definitely isn't a common effect and for the vast majority it's extremely manageable and at most an indication that maybe pot isn't for them. It's worth knowing about but it's an exaggeration to say its a common effect. It definitely doesn't justify not doing it or keeping it illegal.

*Co ordination, learning and memory problems etc. True, marijuana can have a negative effect on your co ordination, ability to retain information and your short term memory WHILE under the influence. Operating heavy machinery, doing your final exam or driving probably aren't the best activities to do stoned out of your mind. Thanks common sense.

* Reduces sperm count, causes fertility problems etc. 100% not true. It's not even worth rationalizing because it's a completely non sensical argument.

*Regular heavy use makes it hard to concentrate, be motivated. True, I ignored this in the thread because it's a psychological effect, not a physical one. No part of the plant makes you lazy and unmotivated. It's just the simple fact that it makes you feel good and(especially if you're in a bad place) lets you forget your worries while under the influence. Given the choice between sorting their life out or lighting up a bowl some people might choose the latter. Using marijuana this way is as stupid as drinking heavily or using any other drugs. Unlike alcohol and a lot of other drugs however it does not contain any addictive properties and using it this way is purely the choice of the user. One will not experience withdrawal symptoms quitting or cutting back on pot. The dependence people develop on it is purely habitual and it's actually something you practically have to work on. For a mature adult using the substance responsibly and not in excess however this doesn't matter. One isn't going to get the urge to smoke more and more and more like they would with an opiate. Hell there's a bigger chance you'll get addicted to coffee or fast food.

*It can give you cancer: Extremely misleading in my opinion. Marijuana doesn't contain the carcinogens present in tobacco smoke. There are numerous studies that show this. The government may disagree with this but the onus is on them to prove it. As of writing this there hasn't been a single case of lung cancer as a result of solely smoking marijuana. In fact there isn't a single case of marijuana causing ANY illness that has been proved fatal. Considering the countless examples of smokers dying from long cancer it's a bit strange the government is unable to produce one sole example from any point of history, in any country where someone has gotten cancer from smoking marijuana. Now it may be argued that there are other substances present in marijuana smoke that may have a tenuous link to other cancers. I don't think it's right to include that without proof though especially when even article they have to use the word "possibly." In a world where damn near everything is considered to give you cancer these days though I think it's fear mongering on their part to include it.

It can give you lung disease: Of all the negative effects that cannabis apparently does this one makes the most sense and seems the most logical. When I began smoking pot this is something I was extremely interested in as I care about my health. The most reputable sources I could find(ie: studies, independent of government influence) seem to be of the general consensus is that long term damage to the lungs by marijuana smoke is largely an exaggeration. If it's an issue it's extremely extremely rare to the point where it's practically unheard of. It does paralyze the cilia in the short term so it's something that should be done in moderation. It would make sense that due to this it can cause an increased risk to symptoms from tobacco smoke if one does both. The marijuana smoke is least of their worries however. This is the only real negative physical effect marijuana has on the body. If you're worried about the health issues associated with pot then your time is best spent reading up on this issue.

*Causes increased heart rate, therefore you're gonna have cardio problems and get a heart attack!: It's true smoking marijuana causes an increased heart rate. It's also true that: exercise, certain medication, body temperature, other recreational drugs, anxiety, stress, exhilaration illness and fitness levels effect heart rate. Marijuana does not make your heart rate abnormally high and an increased heart rate is a natural response to a huge amount of variables. Unless you're recently suffered a heart attack or think you're especially at risk there isn't any reason to worry about it. If you're trying to prevent heart attacks and cardio diseases you should be eating well and exercising. Not worrying about a 20% increase in your heart rate from smoking marijuana.

*Increases the risk of mental illness with those with a personal or family history of it. Definitely something to be aware of. As with any mood/mind altering substance there is a possible risk of this. It's a possibility marijuana isn't the best idea idea for someone with a psychotic illness. There have also been studies that suggest it can actually help symptoms associated with certain types of schizophrenia. People at risk should definitely pay more attention the possibility of problems, ensure if they smoke it's in a good environment around people who know them. That way if there's a problem it can be identified, addressed and the person will know in the future that marijuana isn't for them. For the vast majority it is again a non issue.

*Cannabis use during pregnancy may have some association with the baby being born smaller then expected: Not something I'm aware of or have any knowledge on. I do think it speaks a lot for marijuana when a site with obvious bias that uses the worst possible scenarios is only able to tie that one possible negative effect on cannabis use during pregnancy. Considering how harmful other drugs, some prescription medicines and alcohol can be on an unborn fetus I would of thought there would be numerous studies on this topic. It almost seems as though they're drawing at straws here in an attempt to find something. Granted I don't think If I got a girl pregnant that I would be comfortable with her doing any drugs during the pregnancy. Perhaps that's somewhat irrational on my part but I wouldn't take any risk no matter how small on my children.

Jesus that's a massive amount of words. I apologize if some of it is worded badly or riddled with spelling and grammar errors.

TLDR: See first response.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Fume Troll » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:37 am UTC

First, thanks for your response.

You state that "The sources (I) linked are biased". I chose those two because they seemed fairly balanced to me, and the claims they make can all be linked back to properly conducted research. There are any number of other sources making the same assertions, including for example the UK's NHS, the Lancet (The UK's leading medical journal). As you say, there's plenty out there, and I have looked.

I'm afraid that the fact that you're "not going to sit around linking a bunch of sources" rather diminishes the credibility of your arguments. Just stating that something is not true without any evidence backing it up adds little to the debate.

You assert that "It can give you cancer: Extremely misleading in my opinion. Marijuana doesn't contain the carcinogens present in tobacco smoke. There are numerous studies that show this". I'd be grateful if you'd provide some of the numerous sources for this, as the sources I've looked at all suggest that cannibis certainly does contain many of the same carcinogens found in tobacco, some of them in far greater quanties than in tobacco. For example polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). (Hoffmann, D., Brunnemann, DK., Gori, GB. and Wynder, EL. (1975), On the carcinogenicity of marijuana smoke, Recent Advances in Phytochemistry, 9, 63-81)

Compounding this is the fact that many cannabis smokers use no form of filtration, and can end up depositing as much as four times the amount of tar in their lungs as tobacco smokers (research by the French National Consumers’ Institute). Research by the British Lung foundation has shown similar results. (A Smoking Gun? (2002) British Lung Foundation)

That said, you don't need to smoke it.

You have discussed the legality of cannibis possession and use, not something I felt was part of the OP's question. Personally I think that (in some places) the laws are too draconian.

Your dismissal of the idea that cannibis use "Reduces sperm count, causes fertility problems etc. 100% not true. It's not even worth rationalizing because it's a completely non sensical argument", disagrees with researchers at Queens university in Belfast (The effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, on in vitro human sperm motility is presented at The Annual British Fertility Society Meeting 2004 on Wednesday 31st March 2004, in Cheltenham, UK)

You seem to be agreeing with most of the other risk factors, at least in some way, so I have not addressed those points.

I am not trying to paint cannabis as the worst drug out there, I am simply pointing out that it does have risks, and is not as risk free as your assertion that "The only real danger with weed is that it temporarily numbs the small hairs in the lungs and that's only if you inhale the smoke" suggested.

Is it worse than tobacco or alcohol? Probably not, those two drugs alone cost the UK's NHS over £10bn a year, around 10% of it's entire budget. A relative risk diagram published in the Lancet is below:

Image

That however does not make it risk free, and based on the evidence I've reviewed I think that someone who was really interested in their physical and mental performance would be best to avoid it.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby TheNorm05 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:52 pm UTC

To be honest man, you're more likely yo get hit by a bus while jogging than you are to ever see any of the negative side effects of smoking pot on your overall fitness, especially if you get yourself a vaporizer. I've gotten high off my ass more than my fair share and it doesn't really impact my ability to do what I need to do, and I think my training is going pretty well too. Hell I've even done Calculus high, and I didn't do too bad.

So as per the risks, yeah, there's literally risk in everything. I wouldn't worry in general about getting lung cancer from pot even if you were smoking it because it's too expensive to chain smoke, and you don't get the same urges to keep smoking it. It's also great if you're like me and have back problems from getting hit by a bus while jogging(not really it was a car accident). See what I did there?

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Fume Troll » Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

I wondered if the above statistic was true. Some back of the envelope calculations ensued.

Edit: Spoilered for length
Spoiler:
Cannabis:

Number of finished admission episodes where the primary diagnosis was poisoning by cannabis and the first secondary, diagnosis was accidental or intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics for Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and for England

Year: 2008/09
Number: 123
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2009-11-12g.298257.h

Catchment population of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals: 822,500
http://www.nnuh.nhs.uk/page.asp?id=12

Population of Great Britain in 2008 = 59,853,300
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/index.html
Interpolated number of finished admission episodes where the primary diagnosis was poisoning by cannabis and the first secondary, diagnosis was accidental or intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics for Great Britain:
=59,853,300/822,500 x 123 = 8950

Not a recorded number, but should be within the realms of what's reasonable.

Buses
Reported accidents (All of UK): involving pedestrians and one vehicle: by severity and vehicle type: 2008

Bus or coach
Fatal 35
Serious 310
Slight 1,122
All severities 1,467

http://www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/162469/221412/221549/227755/rrcgb2008.pdf

So based on these numbers you're 1/6th as likely to be injured or killed by a bus, a seventh as likely to be slightly injured, about 1/30th as likely to be seriously injured.

Bear in mind also that these are people who have actually had a stay in hospital, not people treated by their GPs, not people who went to re-hab, not people who were symptomatic but didn't seek help.

Bear in mind also that these statistics are based on everyone in Britain. If you were to restrict the hospital admissions figure only to population who used cannabis you would increase the risk about five fold (it's estimated that around 20% of the population of the UK use cannabis).


Based on the above, I think the statement "you're more likely yo get hit by a bus while jogging than you are to ever see any of the negative side effects of smoking pot on your overall fitness" is most likely not true.
Last edited by Fume Troll on Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:30 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Watcher Of The Skies » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

thanks for all the information! I'm pretty much sitting where I was before on this issue (not that that's a problem...I feel like I can more adequately back up my position now). I hadn't really felt that moderate cannabis smoking hurt my performance in any way, and certainly less than drinking. Even the risks brought up by fume troll don't concern me overly - there's nothing anywhere near as clear cut as the link between tobacco smoking and cancer, for instance - most of the risks are speculative or flat out fabricated rather than researched, as shocklock pointed out. Of course, some studies would be great (Cannabis and VO2 max perhaps) but there seems to be a general lack of unbiased research on illegal psychoactives. It seems like it would be pretty relevant, from a public health rather than legality perspective, given the massive number of people that blaze.\

To be on the safe side, I think I might look into vapes. Then there'll be NOTHING stopping me from gettin high!

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby shocklocks » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:06 am UTC

I think you're misunderstanding where I'm coming from when I brought up the legality issue. My points were that the so called health risks associated with marijuana had absolutely nothing to do with it's prohibition. These risks have been added on over time through various government propaganda. Remember the old one about marijuana causing death to brain cells? That was at one time touted by the government and backed up by a "credible study." So was the whole "gate way theory" before it was realized the leading cause, if any, to this phenomenon was prohibition itself. At one point "Reefer madness" was considered to be a potential danger. Any small risk that can be warped and made into something bigger is fair game because "potential risk to rich industrial corporations," "a n****r's drug of choice before he gets enraged and dares to laugh at a white man or look at a white women" and "devious communist bio weapon" don't quite cut it anymore. Nowadays it's: remember kids if you touch weed you'll turn stupid, fail school, become a paranoid wreck, get cancer and turn into a terrorist!

I also addressed it because so long as people are getting arrested the government needs to justify why. Again that's why I considered your sources bias. It's safe to say if a source doesn't even attempt to look at some of the possible benefits associated with marijuana then it's definitely not "well balanced."


It isn't so much that I can't be bothered looking up sources. It's more that I find the whole thing rather futile. I'm sure the vast majority/ most highly publicized sources will be able to draw a negative spin on cannabis. Considering most research done is government funded it's very simple. Give us the results we want to hear or we'll give your funding to someone who will. It's so easy to just blindly link sources without actually reading the article and determining how credible it is.

The cancer argument for example. When I said marijuana doesn't contain the same carcinogens present in marijuana smoke I meant in terms of whichever ones cause lung cancer. Perhaps I'm wrong here and there is a different reason marijuana doesn't cause lung cancer and tobacco does. I'm not going to lie I haven't read some random study from 1975 although if I'm reading correctly it does indeed say that there are some properties in marijuana smoke "considered carcinogenic." One I do have knowledge on was a major study by the Institute of medicine done in 1999 and funded by the US government. Similar to your study it addresses that there are indeed certain PAHs present in marijuana smoke. They went on the say that marijuana use "may" and "should" cause cancer. The Frank page you linked says it can "possibly cause cancer." Conversely a recent study done by UCLA's Dr. Donald Tashkin found no relationship between marijuana and lung cancer. The difference between that last study and the earlier ones is that this one looked at marijuana use, tobacco use and any associated increased risk in lung cancer. The earlier ones found similarities between certain elements in tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. In essence:
A contains, x, y and z.
A causes lung cancer
B contains, x
THEREFORE B should cause lung cancer.

Has any study shown an actual correlation between lung cancer and marijuana use? No. Has any study ever been able to conclusively say that marijuana causes lung cancer? No. Have there been any cases in human history where someone has gotten lung cancer from solely smoking marijuana? No. Does marijuana cause lung cancer? Level headed minds would say it's pretty damn unlikely. Suffice to say if you did get cancer from marijuana smoke alone you're the first.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Jacque » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:50 pm UTC

shocklocks wrote:It isn't so much that I can't be bothered looking up sources. It's more that I find the whole thing rather futile. I'm sure the vast majority/ most highly publicized sources will be able to draw a negative spin on cannabis.


Emphasis mine. You assume but in actuality have no idea because you didn't look.

shocklocks wrote:Has any study shown an actual correlation between lung cancer and marijuana use? No. Has any study ever been able to conclusively say that marijuana causes lung cancer? No. Have there been any cases in human history where someone has gotten lung cancer from solely smoking marijuana? No. Does marijuana cause lung cancer? Level headed minds would say it's pretty damn unlikely. Suffice to say if you did get cancer from marijuana smoke alone you're the first.


As on objective reader I'll just dismiss this paragraph because as you said earlier than it's futile to look for studies. Thus you actually have no idea, plain and simple. (If I was an asshole I'd just have dropped an [citation needed] here.)

- - -

As an aside, I wonder how many people who some cannabis smoke just cannabis. No cigarettes, no cigars, no hooka (ie. no tobacco in any form)? And if one starts to smoke solely cannabis, what is the likelihood that they will eventually also end up smoking tobacco products (perhaps mixed with cannabis, or just straight tobacco)?

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Watcher Of The Skies » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:46 pm UTC

Jacque wrote:As an aside, I wonder how many people who some cannabis smoke just cannabis. No cigarettes, no cigars, no hooka (ie. no tobacco in any form)? And if one starts to smoke solely cannabis, what is the likelihood that they will eventually also end up smoking tobacco products (perhaps mixed with cannabis, or just straight tobacco)?


Clearly you've never been to BC. I've been smoking weed for years and I've never smoked a cigarette. NEVER, not even when I'm drunk. And that's pretty normal where I'm from.

IT'S A GATEWAY DRUG

edit: typo

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby meatyochre » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:58 pm UTC

I smoked both weed and cigs (when I had access to weed), because weed is illegal in the US and I need to smoke something during an 8 hour work day (given the choice I'd smoke weed exclusively). My ex smoked weed exclusively, did not indulge in any forms of tobacco, because he was self-employed and didn't have to adhere to any form of schedule.

I mean, all you're going to get on this is anecdotal evidence anyway, so the question is moot. But there you have it.
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Jacque » Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

I find this thread funny.

Basically the OP is looking everyone to tell him "Yeah, it's okay to smoke weed. You have our approval." Despite any individuals, with non existent medical credentials, advising him - or anyone else - that in regards to health/fitness it's really not the best idea, OP is going to continue to smoke weed. And then on both sides this thread devolves into wharrgarbl.

If one is serious about physical fitness and being healthy they're not going not going be putting crap into their body be it in the form of smoke (filtered or not), steroids, McDonalds, wine coolers, twinkies, etc. because in the end it's the on the opposite side of the compass rose from healthy.

So OP, here's what you're looking for... continue smoking weed regardless of it's particular legality where you live. You have my wholly non-medical, internet-person given consent. It's no skin off anyone's back if you want to light up, except your own.

Or instead of coming to the XKCD forums for medical advice, you could, you know, go talk to your doctor (the guy in the white coat that reads all of those medical journals) and get the real medical low-down.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Solt » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:29 am UTC

Jacque wrote:Basically the OP is looking everyone to tell him "Yeah, it's okay to smoke weed. You have our approval." Despite any individuals, with non existent medical credentials, advising him - or anyone else - that in regards to health/fitness it's really not the best idea, OP is going to continue to smoke weed. And then on both sides this thread devolves into wharrgarbl.

If one is serious about physical fitness and being healthy they're not going not going be putting crap into their body be it in the form of smoke (filtered or not), steroids, McDonalds, wine coolers, twinkies, etc. because in the end it's the on the opposite side of the compass rose from healthy.


Seriously. "Fitness" is about more than having muscles or being able to run far. It's about leading a lifestyle that will result in you being healthier overall. In addition to the physical aspects, and the dietary aspects, this means not abusing your body. It means not taking medical drugs unless you absolutely need to, it means getting enough sleep every night, it means not drinking caffeine on a regular basis, it means staying away from weird chemicals like pesticides and lead and mercury if you can, it means resting an injury until you are absolutely sure it is healed, it means letting your body heal itself instead of abusing it to the point where surgery or medical intervention is necessary.

Maybe marijuana is fairly benign, but I can say for sure it won't make you healthier. It's not something that humans evolved to need, so we shouldn't be putting it in our bodies if we are striving to lead healthy lives. You can argue till you are blue in the face that it's safe, or you can man up and admit that you're doing something not entirely healthy. It's ok, I don't intend to give up my beer anytime soon. We all do it.
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby TheNorm05 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:42 am UTC

Fume Troll wrote:I wondered if the above statistic was true. Some back of the envelope calculations ensued.

Cannabis:

Number of finished admission episodes where the primary diagnosis was poisoning by cannabis and the first secondary, diagnosis was accidental or intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics for Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and for England

Year: 2008/09
Number: 123
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2009-11-12g.298257.h

Catchment population of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals: 822,500
http://www.nnuh.nhs.uk/page.asp?id=12

Population of Great Britain in 2008 = 59,853,300
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/index.html
Interpolated number of finished admission episodes where the primary diagnosis was poisoning by cannabis and the first secondary, diagnosis was accidental or intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics for Great Britain:
=59,853,300/822,500 x 123 = 8950

Not a recorded number, but should be within the realms of what's reasonable.

Buses
Reported accidents (All of UK): involving pedestrians and one vehicle: by severity and vehicle type: 2008

Bus or coach
Fatal 35
Serious 310
Slight 1,122
All severities 1,467

http://www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/162469/221412/221549/227755/rrcgb2008.pdf

So based on these numbers you're 1/6th as likely to be injured or killed by a bus, a seventh as likely to be slightly injured, about 1/30th as likely to be seriously injured.

Bear in mind also that these are people who have actually had a stay in hospital, not people treated by their GPs, not people who went to re-hab, not people who were symptomatic but didn't seek help.

Bear in mind also that these statistics are based on everyone in Britain. If you were to restrict the hospital admissions figure only to population who used cannabis you would increase the risk about five fold (it's estimated that around 20% of the population of the UK use cannabis).

I therefore think "you're more likely yo get hit by a bus while jogging than you are to ever see any of the negative side effects of smoking pot on your overall fitness" is most likely not true.


Interesting. Only one problem. While you can extrapolate data on drug users(and increase five fold your probability), you can do the same to joggers, which isn't inherently available from your post. Also I'd like to see the statistics of pot-using joggers, just for a giggle.

In any case, it seems the OP has already made up his mind and he pretty much got what he figured he'd get. I bring up the idea of pot smoking joggers because that's what my grandpa does(or more accurately: did). I think he's pushing 80 now, and I think he stopped jogging a few years ago because age started to really catch up with him. And that's pretty good if you ask me. So yeah, there are probably better things you could do for your fitness. But if a 75 year old man who's been blazing since his late teens can jog for all those years, then I'd generally say that at least in one case, weed didn't do a whole lot of damage.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Watcher Of The Skies » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:51 pm UTC

Solt wrote: It's ok, I don't intend to give up my beer anytime soon. We all do it.


Well that's just it. I know it's a compromise, I just want to know how much of a compromise.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Solt » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:18 am UTC

Watcher Of The Skies wrote:
Solt wrote: It's ok, I don't intend to give up my beer anytime soon. We all do it.


Well that's just it. I know it's a compromise, I just want to know how much of a compromise.


Depends. What are your fitness goals? If you're trying to set a world record in the marathon I'd be willing to bet smoking marijuana will prevent you from achieving it. If you're trying to put on and keep on some muscle so you can fit your shirts better I'm sure it makes no real difference.
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Jacque » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:18 pm UTC

Solt wrote:
Watcher Of The Skies wrote:
Solt wrote: It's ok, I don't intend to give up my beer anytime soon. We all do it.


Well that's just it. I know it's a compromise, I just want to know how much of a compromise.


Depends. What are your fitness goals? If you're trying to set a world record in the marathon I'd be willing to bet smoking marijuana will prevent you from achieving it. If you're trying to put on and keep on some muscle so you can fit your shirts better I'm sure it makes no real difference.


Seconded. Anything cardiovascular intensive; cut that shit out. Just building muscle; whateves.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby meatyochre » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:10 am UTC

If he uses in a way that doesn't involve smoking, where is the cardiovascular risk? I'd say [citation needed], but I don't know if there are many or any studies where athletes have consumed marijuana and had their performance evaluated before/after.

At times like this, I regret that valuable modern medical research is being held back by racist and prohibitionist ideals from the last goddamn century.
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Jacque » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:39 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:If he uses in a way that doesn't involve smoking, where is the cardiovascular risk? I'd say [citation needed], but I don't know if there are many or any studies where athletes have consumed marijuana and had their performance evaluated before/after.


By the fact that he said "To be on the safe side, I think I might look into vapes." I would assume he currently uses in a way that does involve smoking.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Solt » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:14 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:If he uses in a way that doesn't involve smoking, where is the cardiovascular risk? I'd say [citation needed], but I don't know if there are many or any studies where athletes have consumed marijuana and had their performance evaluated before/after.


I didn't assume smoking actually. I'm willing to bet the chemical itself has effects on whether the body can achieve peak performance. My examples were not supposed to be "cardio->MJ bad; anaerobic->MJ ok" but rather "best of the best->no MJ; mediocre-> MJ won't make a difference"
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Victoria Maddison » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:26 am UTC

Several Olympic gold medalists have been caught using marijuana.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Fume Troll » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:28 am UTC

TheNorm05 wrote:
Interesting. Only one problem. While you can extrapolate data on drug users(and increase five fold your probability), you can do the same to joggers, which isn't inherently available from your post. Also I'd like to see the statistics of pot-using joggers, just for a giggle.


Interested enough to go and find some numbers? Or just enough to supply some more unsupported conjecture?

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Dave_Wise » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:18 pm UTC

I'd be greatly surprised if inhaling fumes of any sort into your lungs doesn't harm your fitness. I kinda wish things were otherwise though :D
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby meatyochre » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:24 am UTC

Solt wrote:
meatyochre wrote:If he uses in a way that doesn't involve smoking, where is the cardiovascular risk? I'd say [citation needed], but I don't know if there are many or any studies where athletes have consumed marijuana and had their performance evaluated before/after.


I didn't assume smoking actually. I'm willing to bet the chemical itself has effects on whether the body can achieve peak performance. My examples were not supposed to be "cardio->MJ bad; anaerobic->MJ ok" but rather "best of the best->no MJ; mediocre-> MJ won't make a difference"

Science/truth, and what an individual is willing to bet on have nothing to do with each other. There are performance-enhancing chemicals, which are still chemicals, which make you perform better athletically. Because of this, categorically saying "chemicals are bad mkay" makes you look pretty foolish. Because um, it's not true.

Particularly when it comes to marijuana, a drug which has had the most terrible truthless misinformation made available to the public. I mean, when I was 12 I'd have been willing to bet that marijuana made you stupid, fat, and unemployed (and a number of other undesirable qualities that the local police office was happy to pretend would occur if you smoked a joint).

If there truly are gold medalists who've been caught smoking weed (no sources cited though, so grain of salt and all that), I'd say that's fairly indicative that there's no harmful effect. Or, if there is a harmful effect, it's so small as to be statistically insignificant.

Editing to post, so others can do their own research too:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sour ... oEBU_QqFSw

The fact is, science exists to disprove the natural assumptions we make. You cannot trust your assumptions unless you've done science (or researched science done by others) to back up your belief. You especially cannot claim something based on a gut feeling, when our gut feelings are frequently completely wrong. (The earth goes around the sun? The earth isn't flat? We were descended from apes? No way!)
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Jacque » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:14 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:If there truly are gold medalists who've been caught smoking weed (no sources cited though, so grain of salt and all that), I'd say that's fairly indicative that there's no harmful effect. Or, if there is a harmful effect, it's so small as to be statistically insignificant.


Michael Phelps (something like 14 gold medals) was photographed smoking weed at a party. Yes, even olympic athletes smoke weed occasionally. But that doesn't prove anything as far as the effects - or lack there of - of weed on the body and exercise. It's all anecdotal evidence in the end.

And in all honestly, I doubt those athletes toke up anytime before competing. You know, with all those stringent doping tests they do that do actually test for cannabis since it's an outlawed substance in competition.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Solt » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:09 am UTC

Jacque wrote:Michael Phelps (something like 14 gold medals) was photographed smoking weed at a party.


After the Olympics.

meatyochre wrote:Science/truth, and what an individual is willing to bet on have nothing to do with each other.


Yes they do. It's called a hypothesis.

meatyochre wrote:There are performance-enhancing chemicals, which are still chemicals, which make you perform better athletically. Because of this, categorically saying "chemicals are bad mkay" makes you look pretty foolish. Because um, it's not true.


Did I say that? No.

Can you show me where marijuana has been shown to improve athletic performance?
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Fume Troll » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:47 am UTC

For goodness sake. Lance Armstrong sometimes drinks beer and eats pizza. And therefore....nothing.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby meatyochre » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:51 am UTC

Solt wrote:Can you show me where marijuana has been shown to improve athletic performance?

I don't need to...? I never claimed marijuana has been shown to improve athletic performance. I claimed that some chemicals do improve performance. So a chemical isn't necessarily going to have a harmful effect on performance just because it's a chemical.

The assumption that THC is bad for athletic performance has no basis in anything but the FUD (fear,uncertainty,doubt) Americans are fed about drugs as teens.
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:05 am UTC

Well, it's a depressant. I don't think there are many legitimate places for depressants in athletic competitions. I can understand needing to partake after a particularly rigorous training as pain management or decompresser, but weed + physical activity seems like the same slope as "Beer numbs the pain as I workout"...
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby meatyochre » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:19 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:weed + physical activity seems like the same slope as "Beer numbs the pain as I workout"...

Bad analogy detected. Alcohol causes you to actually, physically lose motor functionality (and dehydrates you and makes you piss like a horse--nobody would advocate exercising while drunk).

Besides, OP doesn't seem to be talking about using immediately before a workout. The short-term effects (of booze or of weed) aren't really relevant.
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby TheNorm05 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:36 am UTC

Fume Troll wrote:
TheNorm05 wrote:
Interesting. Only one problem. While you can extrapolate data on drug users(and increase five fold your probability), you can do the same to joggers, which isn't inherently available from your post. Also I'd like to see the statistics of pot-using joggers, just for a giggle.


Interested enough to go and find some numbers? Or just enough to supply some more unsupported conjecture?

I can definitely say that I don't care enough to look it up, and even if a genie gave a me a freebie wish to see any statistic I felt like, this wouldn't be it. I could really care less how often pot smoking joggers get hit by buses in the UK, since I generally barely fit into two of those categories. Irrelevant request aside, I don't see how my point is less valid that yours.
Moreover my post was my dismissal of your point simply for the reason that you're arguing with a joke.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:08 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:Bad analogy detected. Alcohol causes you to actually, physically lose motor functionality (and dehydrates you and makes you piss like a horse--nobody would advocate exercising while drunk).

I can't believe you're under the impression that being stoned improves your motor function, and, with the exception of vaporizers (maybe) doesn't dehydrate you.
Do you disagree that it's a depressant?
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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby Jacque » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:43 pm UTC

TheNorm05 wrote:I could really care less...


Couldn't care less. "Could care less" means you have the ability to care less, meaning you care to some degree. "Couldn't care less" meaning you are unable to care any less.

/Sorry, pet peeve.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby shocklocks » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:24 pm UTC

As on objective reader I'll just dismiss this paragraph because as you said earlier than it's futile to look for studies. Thus you actually have no idea, plain and simple.


Long bump as I've been a away from my computer for a while but this post realllly bugged me. I do have knowledge of a few studies, I even mentioned some of them in the very post you quoted. I don't pretend to have knowledge of every single study done on marijuana, nor do I pretend that I spend my time reading random journal entries. Saying I have no idea because I find tossing random journal articles back and forth futile is retarded. My knowledge doesn't come from these articles. It comes from the word of mouth of various scientists, lawyers, activists in publications/documentaries with views on both sides of the argument. The studies I do have knowledge on aren't ones I have personally read, rather they're ones noted by people I've found to be fairly reputable and unbiased. As I've already stated, the nature of scientific research is such that they depend on grants as a way of funding their studies and paying their salary. The majority of grant money comes from the government and thus corporate and political agenda lead to certain biases. Linking a random journal article means little. Back it up with logical conclusions based on personal scrutiny of the article itself or have your choice of article backed up by someone reputable who can do this scrutiny for you and perhaps it would be a different story. Baring that I don't understand why you instantly dismiss common sense and logic in the first place.

Has any study shown an actual correlation between lung cancer and marijuana use? No. Has any study ever been able to conclusively say that marijuana causes lung cancer? No. Have there been any cases in human history where someone has gotten lung cancer from solely smoking marijuana? No. Does marijuana cause lung cancer?


The government says marijuana may possibly cause cancer because it contains PAH's that are present in tobacco smoke. This alone answers these questions. Obviously no study has been able to justifiably reach any of these conclusions. If it had then they would be the basis of their arguments. That marijuana use definitely contributes to lung cancer as shown by study: a b & c. If they had definite proof they wouldn't say marijuana "should" and "may" cause cancer. If they had bodies of lung cancer victims who became ill solely from smoking marijuana they'd bloody well say so. This is common sense. On top of this I even provided an example of a study done at UCLA that reached the conclusion that there is in fact no correlation. That the elements in marijuana smoke are different to those in tobacco smoke. What else exactly do you want?


As for some of the other points. I believe fitness should be about your personal well being as a whole. Anyone who says marijuana is inherently unhealthy and bad for you is forgetting the vast amount of people with debilitating illnesses and diseases who benefit greatly from marijuana use. That for a long period the majority of medicines were made using parts of the cannabis plant. That the only reason this has ceased is because the drug was made illegal. That the mental aspect of ones health is just as important as the physical in overall fitness. There are experiments where people with certain types of mental illnesses have shown improvement by taking Maryjane. Many a great philosopher, artist and musician has taken inspiration and gained insight from getting high.Your average person feels a temporary release from all the stresses/worries that usually invade their life. In a society where people drink too much and pop anxiety/depression pills like they're breath mints. Where stress is a major factor in nearly every ones life to the point where it impacts negatively on their health and well being is it really a stretch to see how responsible marijuana use could actually be of benefit?

I very much doubt smoking weed a couple times a week is going to impair your overall athletic performance anymore then having the occasional cheese burger or binge drinking session. I would love to see an end to prohibition so experiments could be done on the topic. In fact it would be something I would take a great interest in. Until then however I think it's foolish to instantly decide marijuana is going to impede your fitness goals. As a personal anecdote I've now had 4 of my friends do starting strength along with my self. Of us 5, the one who had the most striking results actually smokes pot daily. I was able to able to reach a 140kg squat and 110kg bench in under 4months of doing the program whilst smoking a couple of times a week. Since I began proper training at home I've had 3 consistent work out buddies who started at the same time and have been doing the program for 9weeks now. One of them smokes roughly the same as me( 2-3times a week), one smokes at the occasional social gathering(maybe one a month) and one has never touched the stuff. All 3 are 18-21year old males of roughly the same height and weight and their starting weights were within 15kg for each exercise. All have continued adding 2.5kg each session to their squat and bench and 5kg each session to their dead lift up till now. At the end of the day you should be setting your own goals and determining yourself through personal experience whether or not a certain substance/activity is impeding them.

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Re: Cannabis use and fitness

Postby meatyochre » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:32 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
meatyochre wrote:Bad analogy detected. Alcohol causes you to actually, physically lose motor functionality (and dehydrates you and makes you piss like a horse--nobody would advocate exercising while drunk).

I can't believe you're under the impression that being stoned improves your motor function, and, with the exception of vaporizers (maybe) doesn't dehydrate you.
Do you disagree that it's a depressant?

Your strawmen are becoming increasingly obnoxious. I never said being stoned makes for a better workout than being sober, you pulled that out of your posterior. However, I can safely say that being stoned makes for a "less bad" workout than being drunk would. Because being high doesn't cause a loss of motor function like liquor does.

I'm saying that even a person who would be OK with an athlete being stoned or drunk sometimes would NEVER advocate for said athlete to work out while stoned or drunk. And yes, it is much more feasible to work out while stoned than it would be to work out while drunk. But again, nonissue because I'm not advocating either one. Just relatively speaking, being high does not physically preclude one from working out. Being drunk definitely does. I've been both stoned and high on multiple occasions so I am speaking from experience here. There are many things it's possible to do while stoned that it's not possible to do while drunk--including driving safely. The effects of being high and being drunk are not comparable except insofar as both states are altered from normal.
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