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Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Nowadays

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Thanks to various state legalizations in the United States, marijuana is slowly gaining acceptance in different parts of the country. As a matter of fact, at this moment there are 10 states plus Washington, D.C. which have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 33 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana. There have been numerous controversies surrounding the use of steroids over the past couple of years, especially in using these in competitive arenas. Aside from the risk of incurring blood clots, strokes, and other fatal health problems, the question remains if using this drug compared to more natural and organic means such as marijuana is legal. With the legalization of this plant coming into place, and with the Farm Bill having been signed into law, there is no doubt that the wonders that this plant holds will finally overthrow the use of steroids.

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 Background on Performance-Enhancing Substances For years, numerous athletes and even artists have been put under fire for using performance-enhancing drugs known as steroids. From the get-go, these steroids were found to improve the body composition of individuals, particularly men. Created as a means to address the lack of testosterone in men, steroids were later developed not only to enhance the body image of the individual, it was also developed to improve the overall performance of the users. Perhaps the appeal of appearing more masculine and being on top of their game greatly attracted numerous users from around the world. Since World War II, athletes have been wanting to get their hands on this drug, especially when it enhanced their performance. At its height during the 1970s, this particular drug was finally banned from Olympic competitions. Steroids and Championships There is no denying that athletes are always pressured to perform well in all of their events. Whether they are aiming to give their mother country a chance towards victory or trying to beat their previous performances, the burden of carrying out their piece well falls on the shoulder of these athletes. The renowned Lance Armstrong was involved in an infamous doping scandal that stripped him of his seven acclaimed Tour de France titles. Such an unfortunate incident resulted from an investigation surrounding his use of banned substances during his career. According to a report from The Independent, studies have shown that the EPO hormone used by Armstrong himself made no difference to the outcome of his performance. However, it is good to note that this particular drug moved well-trained cyclists to the point of exhaustion when performed in a close, laboratory study. 

Organic and natural vs. chemically-engineered, performance-enhancing steroids and other chemically engineered often pose health risks many people are willing to overlook. Aside from heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes, using these drugs can also lead to kidney failure and even psychiatric problems. Typically injected, these drugs can also put users at risk of infections such as HIV and hepatitis. Today, the use of these steroids has been banned not only in the Olympics and various sports leagues, but the United States government has also banned access to these steroids without a prescription. Enter marijuana. This natural and organic herb has been making waves on the Internet for the past couple of years, thanks in part to legalizations in various states. Unlike steroids and other chemically-engineered drugs, the use of cannabis has had profound effects on athletes in different disciplines. Aside from providing muscle relaxation, it can also decrease tension, allowing users to perform well even under pressure. Pro-weed athletes such as NFL linebacker Eben Britton allow the natural compounds of this plant to get them in the zone. Even better, this pot helped him manage his pain, thus making him perform better in his games. CBD, in particular, without its non-psychoactive compound, has been preferred by its many users primarily because of its claims to help recovery. What Makes Marijuana a Good Performance-Enhancing Substance Following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to remove CBD from its prohibited substances list, it can be seen that CBD has now been a great contributor to the performance of athletes. For one, UFC star Nate Diaz swears its ability to promote healing and help stop inflammation from advancing. Bear in mind that individuals naturally produce endocannabinoids within their bodies. These endocannabinoids and their receptors can be found in varying parts of the body, including the brain, organs, and even immune cells.  Other instances show that regular intake of this herb, whether through oil or physical form, can regulate pain within the body. While the use of weed has almost always been depicted in a bad light, there have been studies that smoking cannabis reduced anxiety, thus allowing users to perform better, even when put under extreme pressure. Usage of this herb also allowed stress to dissipate and for athletes to forget previous embarrassments, traumatic events, and other unwanted memories that pose hindrances to their overall performance. 

Being a natural and organic substance, the use of weed in competitions is found to be more favored by athletes. Since it is not prohibited to be used in sporting competitions, athletes who are found using this compound will not have to be fined nor face an anti-doping rule violation. However, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) warns users to use only the purest form of CBD oil or extract, especially when there are other cannabinoids such as THC which are still deemed prohibited in competition. In conclusion, the use of marijuana as a performance-enhancing compound has provided significant developments in the sporting industry. With more athletes and users drawing attention to this product and the benefits it has in store, performing well in varying arenas and fields may soon become a reality. So, whether you are a sports enthusiast, exercise junkie, or simply an athlete looking to better their game, try your hand at marijuana and see the difference in your step in no time.  

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