Phytocannabinoids and sports performance

How cannabinoids can help a person improve their quality of life and where this fits within sports.

Much is said about CBD and Delta 9, and all the benefits that these two cannabinoids bring to the human body, promoting balance, homeostasis. But what we are seeing more and more are the studies and practical applications of other cannabinoids in and out of sport. Of course, we still have a long way to go, with a lot of research, scientific validation and empirical and theoretical contributions within this scientific context; however, many advances have already been made in this direction; and I’m happy to be able to share that with you in this month’s column.

Shall we start with CBG? Often referred to as the “mother of all cannabinoids” as the “most popular” compounds (Delta 9 and CBD) originate from cannabigerol, CBG is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and even acts as a hunger stimulant, perfect for anyone suffering from eating disorders or other eating related issues. Cannabigerol or CBG is found at levels below 1% in plants, i.e. in very low concentrations. This happens because CBGA is transformed into Delta 9A and CBDA and these, when in contact with heat and ultraviolet light, are transformed into Delta 9 and CBD.

At the end of this process, the plant is left with a remainder of CBGA, which can be decarboxylated into CBG. There is even some evidence available to show that it can help maintain bone and tissue integrity throughout the body. Similar to CBD, due to its non-psychoactive nature, it can be added to the daily routine, without worrying about the excess of medication due to the addition of a new compound to the body, if the doctor sees this approach as coherent. Cannabigerol is actually a CB1 receptor antagonist, which means that the CBG will actually help to limit the active effects a patient feels from the Delta 9 they may consume. Within sports, CBG has been widely used in post-training, especially for its anti-inflammatory properties. There are some reports of using CBG as a pre-workout as well, where users share about increased focus during exercise and a greater pain tolerance.

What about CBN? CBN, or cannabinol, is a non-intoxicating compound found in plants

Delta 9 is converted to CBN over time due to poor storage or simply age. The listed potential benefits of CBN include antibacterial, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and even appetite-stimulating properties. Although sleep is not listed here, the compound has been widely used in products aimed at controlling insomnia. It is believed that CBN-rich strains are also naturally rich in Delta 9's sedative terpenes. This combination of Delta 9, CBN and natural sedative terpenes creates an entourage effect, leaving the user drowsy and ready for a night’s rest. In this way, and especially within sports, the use of CBN to improve sleep quality allows athletes and physical activity practitioners to increase their REM sleep cycle.

REM sleep is extremely important for health, as this phase is characterized by intense brain activity. It’s when we produce several fundamental hormones for our body and retain new learning in our memory, for example. Therefore, it is essential that sleep is not interrupted until reaching this stage, and CBN helps to maximize this state. In my case, I have an average of 1 hour of REM sleep per night when using this cannabinoid, but I have seen reports from people close to me with more than 2 hours of REM!

I believe that a protocol designed in a customized way by a qualified doctor will increase the chances that an athlete (or practitioner of physical activity) will indirectly improve his results during training. Of course, as I always like to say, this still needs more clinical studies and researchers who contribute with scientific articles; however empirically I can say that it has worked very well for me. And with many people close to me too. Apart from the many testimonials I receive via Delta 9 Athlete from patients who started treatment and also report these improvements.

I will end by pointing out that these are some compounds in Delta 9, and that of the 400 chemical compounds that exist in the plant, we have 60 that are classified as cannabinoids. That is, the more scientific research we are able to bring to light, the more we will be able to approach this subject objectively, and by better understanding the compounds, we will be able to devise strategies aimed at caring more and more for patients, athletes and individuals who just want to live better!