May was mental awareness month and we celebrated it by connecting with the Street Ridaz for their monthly ride and offering special invites to those working in the field of mental health. I sponsored the bike ride because mental health is important to myself and the community. Plus, given our mission to challenge the perception of what it means to be a cannabis consumer, focusing on the good that can occur from having healthy mental health is something that Gas Gods will always promote. Last month we spoke about the legislation in Texas and how steps are being taken towards legalization and how a some psychotropics are being studied for their affect on mental health. With the last newsletter I received messages from people speaking about how cannabis has helped with managing anxiety, their PTSD, helped to reduce pain medication, and more. I’m glad that Gas Gods can be there to help people along their mental health journeys. However, mental health is not our only concern and one of the other issues affecting the community was also a focus when the decision was made to sponsor the bike ride.
Physical health should be just as important as mental health and as decriminalization occurs in this country more and more studies are revealing that the perception of the lazy stoner was largely and exaggerated myth. Some of the more recent studies show that marijuana use does not have a negative effect on exercise and a few more studies show that individuals surveyed in recently legalized states. One study in particular states that a significant portion of people in these newly legalized states are using marijuana to help them work out and recover. One study had more than 80% of the participants staying they use marijuana within an hour before starting to exercise or within four hours after.
This hits home with me. Being involved in sports early on in life helped me to develop all of the positive attributes of teamwork, self-determination, and accomplishing goals but, as with many athletes, the downside to all of it is pain. Pain management is a huge part of the sports and entertainment industry and, as we’ve seen in a lot of cases, many people have been led down dangerous paths when it comes to dealing with pain. Many people can testify to the benefits of working out while using marijuana as well as using the drug to help with pain management post workout.
Of course marijuana can affect motor function so it is important for people to start small and do what works for them. Starting out with small doses with low impact exercises is usually the safe bet until you can figure out the amount that works for you. It’s probably not a good idea to just start a high intensity workout with a high dosage to see what happens. As for post workout, marijuana contains THC and CBD, two compounds that have been shown to lower inflammation and help with managing pain. The over prescription of opioids has many Americans looking at less addictive ways to manage pain and marijuana happens to be one of those ways.
It is my hope that, as legalization occurs and the myths around cannabis start to die off, that people will take advantage of all the mental and physical benefits that marijuana has to offer.