Have you heard about the newest workout booster that is not a power or a drink? Well, it is a flower. There are a lot of people who now consume cannabis before or after exercise. You must be familiar with various therapeutic and health benefits of marijuana. People have to go for a 420 medical evaluation to get an MMJ card to buy medical cannabis for their condition. But many people do not have any idea that it can also help them with their workout.
Yes, that’s true, cannabis can help people with their workout. People who do use cannabis with their workout, they say that it helps in making their session more enjoyable. According to a study of the University of Colorado Boulder, cannabis helps in recovering faster after a workout session.
A 2016 study found that among athletes, the second most widely used drug, after alcohol, was cannabis. Another study in 2012 found 23 percent of college athletes consume cannabis. Cannabinoids found in cannabis can help athletes fuel their workout. But you need to understand that cannabis does not make you stronger or faster. But it can help you with your workout in other ways. The two main compounds found in cannabis, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and muscle-relaxing properties. These properties alleviate muscle spasms, muscle soreness, and joint pain related to arthritis. This helps athletes in returning to intense workouts faster as they start feeling better. And if you are also looking to incorporate cannabis into your workout, here are a few ways telling how you can do it.
Use it to Get Some Motivation if Thinking of Skipping The Day’s Training
A study from UC Boulder shows that about 50 percent of people who smoked cannabis pre-workout said it helped them in increasing their motivation to exercise. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence showing that THC can help the most before and during endurance exercise. I know what you are thinking, the lazy stoner stereotype mostly gets people confused. But the research says that THC can activate the runner’s high feeling.
Exercise induces the feeling of euphoria by activating the endocannabinoid receptors connected to the reward and dopamine pathways in the brain. Now, cannabinoids in cannabis also bind to these receptors and activate them. So, when you ingest THC, it creates an artificial runner’s high. This makes you want more of that feeling by way of doing your workout.
Choose THC if You Are Looking For Repetitive, Long Workouts
Many athletes consume cannabis to help with endurance. We just discussed the artificial runner’s height above. When you consume cannabis before your workout, you are increasing the intensity of that feeling of runner’s high. This happens as both THC and exercise combine.
Another reason why cannabis helps in repetitive and long works is the pain-relieving qualities of the cannabinoids in cannabis. This one is just obvious. You will find it easier to keep running if you are not feeling any pain in your bad knee. Some research also shows that cannabis may cause bronchodilation. This may help people with exercise-induced asthma. Cannabis also helps in promoting muscle relaxation and increasing focus. This magical herb can also alter your perception of time, which makes you keep going for a longer time. Trust me, this one really helps a lot to get you through a “dull” workout session.
Understand When Not to Consume Cannabis
While we are discussing how to incorporate cannabis into your workout, it is also very important to learn when not to do it. You should not consume marijuana every time before your workout. THC surely has many positive effects, but it also has some downsides. Studies show that THC can decrease your strength and speed. It can also affect your coordination, spatial perception, judgment, and risk assessment. All these things are important when you have to do heavy or complicated workouts.
This is why you should not consume THC when you have a heavy or complicated workout session. It can hurt you or cause some kind of injury rather than helping you. There are a few activities that require motor control and mental activity. Some of them include HIIT, lifting, rock climbing, and outdoor cycling.
Consume Cannabis For Your Long Runs or Rides
While it is not advisable to consume cannabis before a heavy or complicated workout, it can actually help you with low-risk endurance exercise. The key is not to consume cannabis before every workout. Consuming THC daily in high quantities, it can make you dependent on it, and may even cause addiction.
If you are not prone to addiction, you can still build a tolerance to cannabis. This means you will have to consume more to get the same effects. And I do not have to mention that it can increase the chances of you becoming dependent on it.
No athlete should regularly smoke marijuana as it can damage their lungs. Smoke coming from a joint can contain certain carcinogens that can be harmful to your lungs. The research from UCLA and studies show that smoking cannabis regularly can cause chronic bronchitis and other respiratory problems such as coughing and phlegm production. The best way to minimize your risk to smoke cannabis on the days you really need a boost in motivation. Or have to deal with some kind of pain.
Always Start Low And Slow
The key to getting everything right with incorporating cannabis into a workout is to start low and slow. If you are looking to consuming cannabis pre-workout, you should do so on a low-risk training day. A study in 2017 found that some people were not able to complete their workout after consuming cannabis. You need to keep in mind that cannabis affects everyone in different ways because every person has a unique endocannabinoid system.
Also, your goal is to get the best out of your workout, not to get high. Consuming too much marijuana can get you really high, which does not let you complete your workout. You need to consume only enough marijuana required to get the desired effects. Choose a cannabis strain that has low levels of THC (at least below 15 percent), and higher levels of CBD. Although, the most ideal cannabis strain would be the one having a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio. The cannabinoids work together, and CBD can also help you deal with the negative effects of too much THC.
You should consider the option for vaping as it is safer than smoking, and act faster than edibles. You begin to feel the effects of vaping kick in almost immediately. One more advantage of choosing vaping is that you can easily control your dose. Just take one puff and wait for about 5 minutes to see if you feel the effects. If you feel there is a need for more of an enhancement, then only take another puff.