It’s no secret that many fitness routines can be enhanced with cannabis. And as marijuana legalization spreads across the nation, more weekend warriors are consuming cannabis products before or after lifting weights, playing team sports, hiking and running.
A study released in May adds scientific credibility to the notion that marijuana is beneficial for athletes of all stripes.
According to the study titled “Patterns and Perceptions of Cannabis Use with Physical Activity”:
Analysis of survey responses revealed that participants were using cannabis in combination with a wide range of physical activities. While cannabis use was reported before, during, and after [physical activity], the majority of participants (92 percent) reported use of cannabis before [physical activity]. Most participants (77 percent) believed that the use of cannabis products with their [physical activity] had a positive effect on their performance.
The strain of cannabis used with PA was dependent on timing of cannabis use before, during, or after [physical activity]. Although participants reported a range of reasons for using cannabis before, during, or after, pain management was the only reason reported across all time periods.
Of course, these findings merely substantiate a large body of research suggesting that the human body benefits from cannabinoids before, during and after a fitness regimen. The Boston Globe, in a recent report, examined the fitness trend of “cannathletes.”
According to the story:
While the idea might seem inherently counterintuitive — weed, after all, is a substance more commonly paired with Doritos than dead lifts — there is a passionate contingent that swears by it.
“It’s a weird phenomenon, but it’s an increasingly common phenomenon,” says Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of the book “Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction.” “The fact that a lot of people are saying it helps them can’t be ignored.”
Signs of its influence are everywhere. In Boston and beyond, cannabis-themed yoga classes have become en vogue. On Reddit, users swap stories about their best (and worst) experiences working out under the influence. (“I toke up then go for a jog at night through the neighborhood,” writes one user. “It’s like a spirit journey.”)
The Globe points out that even the Massachusetts State Police gave a nod to the curious trend in a recent public service announcement. The police department’s official Twitter page recently posted this tip: “Working out high is legal. Driving is not.”
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Jim Alpine, the founder of the 420 Games, has been proselytizing the benefits of cannabis and fitness for years. It is now his job.
“I call it a social movement,” Jim McAlpine told the Globe. “I’ll look on Instagram, and people define themselves as kind of ‘cannabis athletes.’ ”
McAlpine is not alone; other fitness experts are jumping on the bandwagon these days.
Eric Wilson, the owner of Movement Sciences in Boston, tells the Globe that in the next three to five years there will be different types of cannabis products developed specifically for fitness goals. “If you’re going fishing, maybe you want an indica blend,” he says. “If you want to go for a long run, maybe a different one.”