Many athletes, both casual and professional, take the phrase “runner’s high” quite literally, by adding a bit of herb to their exercise regiments. In this article, we examine pairing cannabis and exercise, and how to maximize the benefits, as well as one’s enjoyment of said pairing.
Weed As a Motivation to Exercise
Interestingly, adults who smoke or consume marijuana get more exercise on average than those who don’t. The stereotype that cannabis causes people to become couch potatoes is mostly a misnomer. The truth, to which most cannabis users will attest, is that marijuana contains active ingredients that stimulate the brain, and that ultimately rouse cannabis users to get up and get active.
The fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics conducted a survey that found 54 percent of Americans struggle to exercise because they find it boring. As a result, people either don’t work out, or are likely to end their exercise sessions early. Exercise is treated like a chore to be avoided for as long as possible. But marijuana may be the secret to turning this chore into a much more enjoyable and fruitful activity.
According to a study conducted at the University of Colorado, approximately 70 percent of cannabis users said that getting a bit of a buzz on makes exercise more fun, while half of those polled said that it also motivates them to exercise in the first place. The study’s findings confirm that marijuana can be a great motivator for most people who wish not only to exercise more, but to enjoy it more than they do.
Cannabis Before or After Your Workout?
Ideally, you will help yourself to a somewhat small dose of cannabis before starting to work out. But how long before hitting the gym should you indulge? We believe it’s best to try to time things so that you’re exercising before the high has fully hit you. If you’re smoking or vaping, you can take a few puffs and get right down to it. If you prefer edibles, you may want to wait a little bit so you can enjoy the fulness of your buzz while exercising.
Weed Helps with Workout Recovery
In addition to acting as a motivator, weed can also help to alleviate cramps and assist with general post-workout healing. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, seeing as how humankind has been using marijuana as a painkiller for thousands of years (see our article about cannabis-using historical figures). Marijuana’s soothing properties help to prevent cramps while working out, and help relieve the body from that burning feeling that comes with exercise. So perhaps you should skip the sugar-filled Gatorade, and reach for a dose of THC instead.
How Exercise Affects Your High
If you’re planning on getting completely wasted, then you should probably wait until after your workout to light up, etc. Gym equipment can be dangerous, and exercising outside on sidewalks and streets can be hazardous as it is. Remember to put safety first, and take a modest hit before working out.
The post-workout high might be one of the most enjoyable highs that one can have. After you exercise, your body enters a heightened state. More blood is pumping through your body, your metabolism goes up, and your body absorbs more of the nutrients that go into it. This is why dieticians recommend post-workout meals that are high in protein. Your body absorbs those nutrients in its effort to recover from the duress of the workout. But for our purposes, this means that no matter if you’re smoking weed or ingesting edibles, you’re going to get a much stronger high when exerting yourself.
A higher metabolism (punny!) induces marijuana to take effect faster than it normally does, and ultimately enhances and strengthens your buzz during and after a workout. A side-effect, however, is that the high can also wear off faster than normal. Some cannabis users may consider this a perk rather than a negative though. Many prefer quality over quantity; a stronger high as opposed to a longer one.
When mixing cannabis and exercise, it’s really just best to be attentive to and considerate of how your body feels before diving into your stash pre-workout.
According to the entire medical field, exercise and physical activity are the foundations of a healthy life, and everyone will benefit from working exercise into their day-to-day. We’re not suggesting that marijuana is going to magically make you get up and run, as our bodies each react differently to cannabis intake. We’re just saying that exercise and weed are a nice pairing that can lead to an even healthier life – and nothing like being healthy and high at the same time. 🙂
By the Potmaster General, for Potsmart