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Cannabis and Exercise

May 25, 2020
Cannabis World

Is Cannabis Good for Your Exercise Routine?

When you think about the benefits of using cannabis, you may think about enjoyment, relaxation, or relief from pain and nausea. Chances are that improving physical fitness is not the first thought that pops into your head. However, the latest research indicates that cannabis can actually help people get better results from their exercise routines.

Cannabis Users Report Multiple Benefits for Exercise

Despite the prevailing stereotype of marijuana users as lazy stoners who snack all day, studies show that marijuana users have a lower BMI than non-users on average as well as a lower risk of obesity. Although not all cannabis users are athletes or fitness enthsiasts, those who partake either before or after exercising report a number of benefits.

According to a 2019 study, nearly 80% of respondents claimed that cannabis helped with recovery, 70% said it increased their enjoyment of exercise, and more than 50% felt that it enhanced their motivation to exercise. Also, more than a third of the study’s participants reported that cannabis enhanced their athletic performance.

Cannabis Helps Recovery After A Workout

The most popular reason given for using cannabis before or after exercising is to ease the pain of sore muscles. Exercise causes small injuries to muscle tissue, resulting in inflammation and pain. Both THC and CBD, the two main cannabinoids in marijuana, are known to decrease inflammation and provide pain relief, making cannabis the pefect post-workout remedy. Users also report that cannabis helps them relax after an intense workout. Growers that are drawn to this repaitative and restorative stream of benefits should check out out high cbd strains seeds and other medical marijuana seed options.

Cannabis Boosts Enjoyment of Exercise

Runners report a sense of euphoria, known as a runner’s high, that kicks in after they’ve been running for a while. This feeling comes from the body’s own endocannabinoid system that is stimulated by exercise to release chemicals that are similar to THC. Using cannabis before exercise can activate that blissful feeling right away, making exercise a more enjoyable experience from start to finish. A few tokes of an energizing sativa strain such as sour diesel or blue dream can get you over the hump of procrastination to finally get out the door for that two mile jog.

Not only does cannabis have an immediate effect, but it can also have a delayed effect. THC is stored in fat cells, and it gets released when people exercise and burn off the fat where the THC is held. In other words, people can get that more of that blissed-out feeling from exercise even if they haven’t used cannabis for days or weeks. Research suggests that THC is held in fat cells for up to a month before it is fully metabolized.

Cannabis Can Increase Motivation to Exercise

Motivation is the key to any successful exercise program, but it can sometimes be hard to find. Exercise is often boring and repetitive, and it’s hard to get excited about running on a treadmill or doing that same weight routine week after week. However, since using marijuana can increase people’s enjoyment of exercise, stimulating the body’s endocannabinoid system and the brain’s reward center, people who use weed before and after working out exercise more than the average American and they spend more time on high-intensity anaerobic exercise.

Cannabis May Help Improve Performance

There is not much literature on the effects of cannabis on athletic performance, but some athletes feel that marijuana helps them train more effectively. People report that cannabis helps them focus and gives them greater awareness of their bodies. The World Anti-Doping Agency has banned marijuana as a performance-enhancing drug, though it allows cannabis products that contain only CBD. Other sports organizations, like the NHL and the MLB, however, have removed marijuana from their list of banned substances.

Cannabis Can Help Promote Weight Loss

If the goal of your exercise routine is to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, cannabis can also be an asset due to the way it influences insulin production. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas, and it controls the level of sugar in the blood. When blood sugar is high, the pancreas produces more insulin, which tells the cells to take in the excess sugar and burn it for energy. However, many people develop insulin resistance, meaning that their cells don’t respond to the trigger of insulin production. Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain.

Insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, and it’s associated with other conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a large waist measurement. Research suggests that cannabis can increase people’s sensitivity to insulin, making them less likely to develop insulin resistance. Cannabis use is also correlated with a smaller waist and a lower likelihood of obesity.

Use Caution When Combining Cannabis and Exercise

While cannabis can be good for your exercise routine in many ways, it’s not the best solution for everyone. People react to the chemicals in cannabis differently, and while most people can enjoy many benefits, some experience negative side effects that could interfere with working out or even pose a danger.

For example, in some people, cannabis can cause an elevated heart rate and a drop in blood pressure, which could lead to dizziness while exercising. These side effects are more likely to be triggered or intensified by a high-energy, high-impact workout. THC can also disrupt balance and motor coordination, making some types of exercise riskier to do while high. Smoking marijuana before running on uneven ground, for example, could lead to a fall or a twisted ankle.

Furthermore, marijuana can slow down thinking and decision-making. While it’s great for exercise that requires mindless repetition, it may hinder your ability to think fast while playing a team sport. Cannabis can also increase the risks of mentally challenging activities like mountain biking or rock climbing.

What Products Are Best to Consume Before or After a Workout?

If you’re thinking about using cannabis to enhance your workout, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right products. For example, you should probably stay away from edibles because their effects are too hard to predict. People metabolize food at different rates, and metabolism determines how long it takes for the THC to kick in. People also report that the strength of their reaction to an edible product can vary significantly from one time to the next.

Smoking gives most people a more predictable high, but it puts stress on the lungs. Just like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke irritates the lungs and may cause a hacking cough during use or with prolonged use. These effects do not bode well for a great workout. If you are a seasoned smoker that knows your own limits, then lighting up a nice ak47 joint before your circuit at the gym may be more help than a hindrance.

Vaping whole flower is generally considered a safer alternative to smoking, but users will need to experiment with different strains until they find the right balance of sensations. Since different strains of cannabis have different properties, the best choice will depend on the type of workout you do. For gentle yoga or meditation, for instance, you need a strain that will help you achieve deep relaxation and mind-body awareness Check out i49’s jack’s girl seeds for a nice calm and focused high. For athletic performance training, a strain that boosts energy and enhances focus like green crack strain is ideal.

For the best advice, talk to your local budtender about your exercise program. He or she can recommend the strains that will help you achieve the mindset you want for your workout, whether it’s high energy and motivation or calm focus. A budtender can also steer you to the products that will best help you recover after your workout.

Cannabis Use and Types of Exercise

Cannabis can be great for your workout routine, but it doesn’t combine well with all forms of exercise. The following are some guidelines for using cannabis for fitness benefits.

  1. If your exercise routine is simple and repetitive, such as jogging on a treadmill or running around a track, using cannabis before you exercise can make you enjoy the activity more and give you greater motivation to get off the couch and do it.
  1. If you’re planning to do yoga or Pilates and you want to achieve a deeper state of relaxation, cannabis can help you get there.
  1. If you’re planning to play a sport or take a dance class or do anything requires quick thinking, cannabis is probably not going to be an asset to your workout.
  1. If you’re using dangerous equipment, like heavy weights, or doing an activity that could be risky under normal conditions, avoid cannabis before working out.
  1. If you’re planning to do any kind of exercise that will put stress on your muscles and joints, consider using cannabis after you work out to ease your recovery and minimize soreness. Look for a strain with high quantities of both THC and CBD as well as a high CBD-to-THC ratio.

Final Thoughts

Bear in mind that individuals are unique and reactions to cannabis can vary widely from person to person. If you are not already combining cannabis and exercise, it’s a good idea to ease into the practice gradually with a low dose of THC and a safe, familiar, and low-impact activity. As you learn how your body responds to cannabis while exercising, you’ll get a better idea of whether it’s a good combination for you. If it isn’t, consider saving your i49 cannabis for a post-workout treat that will ease your sore muscles and help you relax.

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