If someone were to tell you that using cannabis could enhance your workout routine, you’d probably think they were crazy, right? After all, smoking cannabis usually makes you want to find a nice warm spot to curl up in. That’s indicas for you. Most indicas makes you want to simply relax and maybe even drift off into a relaxing sleep. However, when talking about sativas? Now that’s a different matter. Working out after using a sativa strain may just make the whole exercise routine more enjoyable and easier to get through.
But can working out after using cannabis really benefit you? Is there a link between cannabis and exercise? How can cannabis enhance your workout routine? And more importantly, is it safe?
What is the link between cannabis and exercise?
First of all, smoking cannabis won’t improve your strength. Disappointing, we know. If you’re thinking one puff can easily make you lift that 30-pound dumbbell over your head, then you’re in for a bad time. In fact, working out after using cannabis may actually decrease your peak performance, as it can slow down your reflexes and thinking process.
Here’s the thing though. When done right, smoking cannabis can turn a dull and boring exercise routine into an outright pleasant experience.
When you exercise, your cells release endorphins and dopamine. These chemicals can be referred to as happy and feel-good hormones. They make you feel joy and trigger a sort of positive feeling throughout your mind and body.
Exercise also activates the cells to release anandamide, a naturally-occurring cannabinoid-like chemical in the body. Anandamide, in turn, activates the endocannabinoid system, a biological system responsible for helping control pleasure and pain.
When you use cannabis and exercise, the cannabinoids stimulate not only the endocannabinoid system but also prompt the cells to release the happy and feel-good hormones.
How do you use cannabis and work out high?
Now this all sounds well and good but before you go take a hit from the bong and turn that treadmill up to 11, there are some things that you need to know:
CHOOSE A SATIVA STRAIN!
As mentioned earlier, if you want to enhance your exercise program by smoking cannabis, choose a sativa strain. Sativa strains are notorious for giving an energy boost and are also known to enhance focus and motivation. In addition to this, they can also make you feel more relaxed and uplifted. These effects can heighten then fun and enjoyment of otherwise mundane activities like exercise. Repetitive activities like running on your treadmill, jogging around the block, or using the elliptical become a lot tolerable and even dare we say, enjoyable.
Some of our best sativa strains for exercise are Island Sweet Skunk and Lambs Bread. Our Island Sweet Skunk delivers a nice boost of energy, to help get the workout going and offers a balanced euphoria thanks to its high CBD percentage. This makes it great for using both before and after your workout as the CBD can ease your sore muscles. Our Lambs Bread offers an uplifting rush of energy that is unparalleled by most other sativas.
You might also find our FeelCBD-Focus is just what you needed as the lemon and lime terpenes, combined with the CBD, work to offer alertness and focus that you won’t find with most CBD products.
REMEMBER: A small dose is better than a high dose.
You want to give your energy a boost and to feel more motivated in getting through your exercise routine. What you probably do not want though is to get super high. So if you’re thinking of working out while using cannabis, then a small dose is usually enough to spark motivation, reduce muscle pain, and make your routine fun.
What are the effects of working out while using cannabis?
Depending on the sativa strain you choose and your method of consumption, the effects can be pretty immediate or can take some time before they are felt. Either way, it’s best to wait until you feel the effects to kick in before you start exercising, in order to gauge your level of potential loss in reaction time.
Some of the effects of working out while using cannabis include:
- Boost in energy.
- Enhancement of focus and motivation.
- A decrease in muscle pain and discomfort.
- Increase in fun and enjoyment of your workout routine.
- Faster post-exercise recovery time.
What are the benefits of cannabis and working out?
Working out while using cannabis does have several benefits. One being that it gives you an energy boost while allowing you to feel more focused and motivated to finish your routine. It may even give you that little extra bit of stamina to exercise longer than your usual routine as you often find yourself either zoning out and enjoying the process or alternatively getting in the zone and hitting your stride.
Another benefit is the cannabis plant’s analgesic effect meaning you don’t have to worry about muscle cramps and soreness making your routine more difficult. The cannabinoids help reduce pain and ease muscle aches and soreness, allowing you to finish your routine.
One benefit that a lot of people might not be aware of is that smoking cannabis and working out has a significant effect on your glucose levels. They both lower your fasting glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity by making your cells more sensitive to the hormone that carries glucose into your cells. By transporting more glucose into your cells, your resting glucose levels are reduced. Reduced glucose levels, in turn, decrease your risks of developing diabetes.
Furthermore, working out while using cannabis can improve your post-exercise recovery time. After all THC and CBD can help reduce pain, relax muscle spasms, and control post-exercise inflammation. Post-exercise low-grade inflammation typically occurs after strenuous activity and causes muscle soreness and keeps many people from working out again going forward.
You may consider using a THC and/or CBD tincture after your workout to help control the inflammation resulting in pain and stiffness we all dread after a hard workout. Constant research is being done on the anti-inflammatory capabilities of cannabinoids but we already have seen how beneficial it can be in controlling pain that would otherwise hinder your ability to enjoy your life. It is also vital to consume the right things after working out as a poor diet lacking in protein and healthy fats can often negate the hard work you put in.
If you use protein powder as your after-workout beverage, why not try mixing some of our Milkshake Mix in with it. The THC, in addition to offering an awesome high, can help with your recovery and the incredible taste and additional protein doesn’t hurt either! You can also treat yourself after a grueling workout with our Peanut Butter Cups or our Tortugas both of which, in addition to being mouth-wateringly delicious, are made with whey protein powder, making them the ideal addition to your post-workout routine.
What are the potential drawbacks of working out while using cannabis?
Working out after using cannabis can have its disadvantages as well. Because it may slow down your reflexes and impair your judgment, you should not do exercises that could result in you getting hurt while under the influence of cannabis. Some of these exercise routines include stair running as well as high-intensity interval training programs. Remember: Your safety is paramount and you should never put yourself in a position that could jeopardize that.
Smoking cannabis and working out is also not recommended for people with heart problems. Cannabis has the potential to increase heart rate and blood pressure. The added stress on the heart can increase the risk of developing a heart attack.
Working out after using cannabis is also not recommended for people who have low fasting glucose levels. Smoking cannabis can further reduce your glucose levels and result in lightheadedness and fainting.
Working out while using cannabis is best for repetitive and low-risk workout routines like running on a treadmill, yoga, Zumba, and strength training exercises. Many martial artists choose to use cannabis both in their training and in their recovery as they feel it helps them get into the right mindset while remaining calm and non-aggressive.
Should you work out high or not? The answer is not that simple, it never is. If you’re a healthy individual with no heart problems, then working out while using cannabis might benefit you. Just choose the right strain, take the correct precautions, and you’re good to go. Remember though, smoke only a low dose. You probably don’t want to be too high when you work out. Unless you do… You do you. Just be safe.