By Dr. Dominick Monaco, CLS Holdings As we make our way closer to 2022, the world is also entering a new paradigm for the... Member Blog: Cannabis as a Performance Tool 

By Dr. Dominick Monaco, CLS Holdings

As we make our way closer to 2022, the world is also entering a new paradigm for the cannabis industry. Due to advancing global legalization efforts, cannabis use is gaining mainstream acceptance for the first time in history. With these shifting perspectives also comes the rapid deterioration of traditional stereotypes. 

Today, cannabis is not only widely regarded as a legitimate medicine, but many people also look to it as a performance tool. To this end, the endorsement of the herb by pro athletes, media icons, and high-powered executives has again turned our conceptions of cannabis on its head. 

With such rapidly shifting perspectives, we are witnessing a monumental moment in time where propaganda is being replaced with factual evidence. As things evolve, active people are not only endorsing legalization, but many swear by cannabis as a performance tool. 

Indica and Sativa

The more places that legalize cannabis around the world, the more opportunities we have to study cannabis in controlled settings. As our knowledge expands, so does our ability to use specific compounds in cannabis to aid particular activities. 

In the early days of legalization, broad terms such as “Indica” and “Sativa” were used to describe just about every attribute of cannabis – including both product descriptions and psychoactive effects. To this end, Indicas are widely accepted as calming, while Sativas are known to be energetic. 

Terpenes & Strains 

While the effects of Sativas and Indicas are still widely accepted across the industry, we are also beginning to see a much more nuanced approach to cannabis consumption. Especially when it comes to performance, a more granular perspective of cannabis is necessary. 

To maximize the performance benefits of cannabis, it’s critical to understand the constituent parts of the cannabis flower. By understanding the effects of different strains and cannabinoids, and terpenes, people can better choose the right products for their performance needs. 

Notable cannabinoids and terpenes and their effects:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Cannabinoid that provides energy and focus during activities helps boost creativity. Pain reliever after physical activity. 
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): Cannabinoid that relieves anxiety before and during performances. Pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent after physical activity. 
  • Cannabigerol (CBG): Cannabinoid, which promotes motivation and stimulates pleasure. Pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent after physical activity. 
  • Beta-pinene: Terpene believed to act as an anti-depressant
  • Caryophyllene: Terpene with anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Humulene: Terpene thought to provide energy

CLS Holdings’ own City Trees developed several popular products based on the effects of certain cannabinoids and terpenes. Their Calm, Relief, Rest, and Energy distillate vape cartridges offer simplified shopping experiences for new cannabis consumers. By building product messaging around the effects of the products, they help people understand exactly what they are purchasing. 

Physical & Mental Performance 

While a detailed assessment of the compounds found in cannabis can go a long way, you must also account for your specific performance needs when finding the right cannabis product. Depending on how your body and mind react with cannabis, you can utilize it to help with physical activities and cerebral pursuits. 

Whether you are interested in feeling more energized for your workout routine or getting the creative juices flowing for a writing assignment, there is likely a cannabinoid and terpene combination to suit your needs. 

Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Ross Regalati swears by cannabis during both training and competition. The famous Canadian snowboarder feels cannabis “improves concentration” and is great for training because flowers are both “fat-free and calorie-free.” While no longer a professional snowboarder, Regaliti is still a world-class athlete. Today, his choice cannabis strain for exercise is the Sativa-dominant hybrid Bruce Banner. 

The famous female vocalist Alanis Morisette swears by cannabis as part of the creative process. In an interview with High Times, she states, “As an artist, there’s a sweet jump-starting quality to [marijuana] for me… So if I ever need some clarity… or a quantum leap in terms of writing something, it’s a quick way for me to get to it.” Morisette can utilize the right cannabis product for her needs and push through creative boundaries and explore new territories. 

Tips for Finding the Perfect Fit 

While studying different terpene profiles and cannabinoids is a great way to learn about the effects of cannabis, you also need to consider your physiology. Notably, a cannabis product that works well for one person won’t necessarily do the same with another. 

For example, if you are an introverted, anxiety-prone person, using an energetic strain like Diesel for a social situation might not be a good idea. In this case, a mellow Indica CBD hybrid like Cannatonic might be just what you need to feel relaxed and engaged. Yet, a naturally extroverted person would likely enjoy an energetic strain for social situations and need the CBD hybrid to wind down at the end of the day. 

If you aren’t sure what cannabis products will work for you, we recommend visiting a credible dispensary with well-trained budtenders. Once you have sound recommendations, always start small when experimenting with new cannabis products. With a bit of careful trial and error, you will likely discover cannabis products that can help you with anything from enhancing your workout to stimulating your sex life. 

Summary 

Having been on pain management therapies since the age of 17 for my Kyphosis, I now rely solely on concentrated cannabis extracts to manage my pain and keep my Activities of Daily Living at peak performance. Being diagnosed at 17, I was prescribed 1x Hydrocodone per day to manage my pain. By the time I graduated from Pharmacy School, I was taking 18 pills a day (540/month) to manage my pain and the side effects of other medications. It’s been 8 years since I’ve taken a prescribed medication and cannabis and cannabis products have replaced every medication that I was on prior. I’m grateful and humbled to be a key member of a team that produces the very own products I use to manage my health and wellness.

Looking back just a few short years to the genesis of legal cannabis, it’s remarkable to see how far we have come. In the industry’s early days, people didn’t have the luxury to match a specific cannabis product to a particular performance need. Not only was our knowledge of cannabis not sophisticated enough to accomplish this task, but Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) were still lacking in the early days. 

As our knowledge of cannabis continues to expand, so does our ability to make informed decisions on the products we use. Whether you are a trail runner who enjoys a Sativa before you head to the mountains, or a musician who likes to settle into practice with hybrid flowers, some careful study will lead you to the right products for your performance needs. 

During this period of rapid change, it’s exhilarating to see negative stereotypes of lazy cannabis users finally being upended. Even more, it’s incredible to witness pro athletes, high-powered executives, and famous artists not only advocate for legalization but openly promote cannabis as a performance tool. 


Dr. Monaco is the Director of Laboratory Operations for CLS Holdings’ newly opened approximately $4 million laboratory, and is responsible for all day-to-day operations inside the North Las Vegas facility. Dr. Monaco brings over 8 years of licensed & regulated cannabis experience, starting back in 2012 when medical marijuana first opened in Arizona, he has held numerous positions, with escalating responsibilities year over year. He graduated from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, in Tucson, Arizona, with a Doctor of Pharmacy in 2010.

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