It’s not exactly a pick-me-up, but cannabis can enhance fitness in ways we never before dreamed, allowing us to train harder, grow leaner, and heal faster.
Podcast (and former TV) host Joe Rogan describes getting stoned and going to the gym with relish. “Getting high and working out is one of the least talked about and least appreciated pleasures of fitness,” he said. “Lifting weights are fun when you’re under a spell, cardio is cool too, but for me, nothing compares to getting high and hitting the heavy bag.” It’s not exactly a pick-me-up, but cannabis can enhance fitness in ways we never before dreamed, allowing us to train harder, grow leaner, and heal faster. Here are ways marijuana can get you excited about fitness.
Your body produces its own endocannabinoids during physical activity that can be increased and enhanced by combining them with the cannabinoids in cannabis — THC and CBD bind to the same receptors in our endocannabinoid system. The pain-relieving effects of both plant and human-derived cannabinoids are only one exciting aspect of using the power plant cannabis to get excited about working out.
Reaching new Personal Bests
When you exercise, endorphins are released, increasing your pain threshold, decreasing your perception of the effort you’re putting out and allowing yourself to push harder, go further, last longer. Driving beyond your perceived limit (safely) leads to gains, whether it’s building muscle, having more endurance, stretching deeper. And this is where marijuana can help. By dulling our perception of pain slightly, we can push through the barrier to reach a new level of fitness.
Getting warmed up and flexible
Loose muscles are essential for flexibility and ease of motion, but if stretching and breathing aren’t enough to release tense muscles, cannabis can be an ally. Ganja yoga isn’t just a hot trend; the two practices do complement each other; weed is slowing the mind while yoga slows the body.
Gaining athlete-like focus
The intense focus that comes from marijuana can be startling to new consumers, but when that focus is trained on something physical—long distance running, yoga, or weight lifting—it can be a revelation. Professional athletes rely on sports psychologists to help them stay “in the zone” during a competition, but a little cannabis could help you reach that state on your own.
Sustaining longer workouts
Did you know that cannabis could be considered mildly performance enhancing? As a bronchodilator, marijuana can help an athlete take in more air, which then gets delivered to oxygen-depleted blood to take to the muscles. The more air that reaches the tissues, the longer an endurance activity can be sustained.
Recover faster for your next session
Recovery is an essential part of being physically fit, building muscle and restoring energy for the next training session and cannabinoids from cannabis can help ease the discomfort of recovery until your ready for your next workout. While CBD helps lower inflammation in your sore muscles, THC will help inspire two other activities critical to recovery: refueling and sleeping.
Furthermore, drugs like Ibuprofen belong to a family of medications called NSAIDs, which can be hard on the kidneys when taken regularly and during sports. Deaths from the toxic effects of NSAID drugs — when tabulated separately — make them the 15th most common cause of death in the United States. CBD used as a recovery tool is a much more gentle approach, and far less toxic.
It’s about time we drop the stereotype of the lazy, unmotivated stoner and celebrate the fact that so many people live healthy, active, positive lives with cannabis. If you find yourself indifferent toward physical activity, it may be a matter of finding the right mix of cannabinoids and terpenes to get you looking forward to that next weight-lifting session, long run or hike. You’ll be blown away at how much more focused and engaged you can feel when you’re using cannabis to elevate your fitness regimen.