We know a lot about how pot can influence our minds and the variable body buzzes that we can experience — but what effect does THC have in an athletic setting?
Interestingly, researchers have been poking and prodding at this question for over half a century, with great difficulty. More interestingly, prior research throughout the mid to the end of the 21st century itself remains questionable itself, as it may have been influenced by negative social sentiments at the time.
While experts have concluded that CBD and THC interact with the ECS, they’re not exactly sure how — but they’ve come to observe and validate a few things.
Specifically, CBD doesn’t bind to receptors in the same way that THC does, as THC has a considerably stronger influence over our system as a whole.⁴
When smoking THC, various regions of the brain experience a cascade of different neuro-reactive results. Take, for instance, the amygdala (which regulates fear and emotion), the basal ganglia (relates to reflexes) and the cerebellum (which regulates motor coordination).⁵
Under the classical view of marijuana consumption, an influx of THC to these regions of the brain demonstrates rather obvious effects: panic and paranoia overtake the amygdala; the basal ganglia’s capability is slowed, and the cerebellum sees impaired coordination.⁶
Then, times began to change; social paradigms had been reconstructed, allowing for more unbiased glimpses into the effects of THC on the cognitive networks of the brain.
The studies of yesterday, despite containing largely valid research, could no longer be considered unbiased, separate from the prohibitive authority that has abated today.
Currently, we understand and go as far as to admit that there’s no way to effectively observe which receptors are being blocked or activated and, more than ever, we’re starting to see more capability surrounding the consumption of THC with respect to certain acts of creativity or cognition.
While we’ve moved on from the close-mindedness of yesterday, we’re still saturated in shoulder-shrugs of uncertainty, acknowledging that there are far too many variables at play than we initially realized.
“It is critical to keep in mind that the study of the endocannabinoid system should be region- and condition-specific, along with the consideration of other neurotransmission systems.”⁷
But, again, it took a while to get here.