You probably haven’t heard the words “cannabis” and “exercise” used many times in the same sentence. More likely, you associate marijuana with laziness and overeating. However, states like California and Colorado, where adult use of cannabis is legal, are home to products designed to generate highly targeted effects, including boosting energy. Has the new age of cannabis innovation sparked an unexpected love affair between marijuana and physical activity?
Enter science to provide a clear but unsatisfying answer, that it depends. One reason for the ambiguity is the lack of clinical trials; it’s difficult to fund and conduct research on a Schedule I substance, especially on its relationship with what is arguably a leisure activity.
However, there have been enough studies, surveys and anecdotes on how cannabis affects the body for scientists to have made a few conclusions on when it may help — and when it may hurt — when you hit the gym.
Hi: There’s more in common between a cannabis high and a runner’s high than meets the eye.
Even if you haven’t experienced this feeling yourself, you may still have heard of the concept of a runner’s high. It’s the sensation of focus and euphoria that many long-distance runners achieve and liken to a high. And that’s with good reason, since endurance exercise can trigger the endocannabinoid system, the same system associated with a cannabis high. According to a conversation between Marcel Bonn-Miller and the New York Times, “there’s a lot of overlap in terms of the pathways that are activated between what’s known as a runner’s high and the high that comes from THC.” If you aren’t fortunate enough to experience this boost naturally, a) hey, we’re with you, and b) you might be able to simulate the sensation with the help of a light dose of THC before your next run.
Hi: No pain, but still gain? Not quite, but CBD can help you reduce your pain post-workout.
A sustainable exercise routine requires attention to post-workout recovery. Some of the most common consequences of physical activity, inflammation and soreness, can be addressed with CBD. “It lowers the amount of many, many pro-inflammatory cytokines — things that our body makes naturally in response to any inflammation response,” said Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Health, to the New York Times.
Low: Cannabis impairs your ability to be
Cannabis can be used to boost productivity. It can make you more energetic, and it can make you more creative. But it won’t make you more coordinated, so this is where the type of exercise you’re doing matters. THC may work nicely if you’re running, cycling or doing other sports that primarily require repetitive motions, but it may seriously detract from your soccer game, or from other activities where you need to be nimble, fast and strategic.
Low: Don’t play with your heart, specifically if you have or are at risk of heart disease.
There is research linking cannabis use in young adults to increased risk of cardiovascular complications. Physical activity already puts an additional demands on your cardiovascular system, so avoid exacerbating that with cannabis if you’re at risk of heart disease.
How: Some ways of consuming cannabis are better suited for exercise than others.
Since you’re engaging in cardiovascular activity, it’s important to take care of your lungs, which means smoking is not the ideal pre-workout activity. Depending on your other fitness goals, which may include weight loss, you may also want to avoid edibles, which often contain high levels of sugar. Vaporizing flower or concentrate, or consuming a sublingual are our best bets for getting a dose of THC before you hit the road. To reward yourself and recover after a hi-performance workout, try CBD-infused topical lotions, CBD e-liquids for vaporizing, or CBD extracts.
The Topstone vaporizer was actually designed by a former professional cyclist. It’s versatile and works with wax or concentrate. See more details on Say Hi.>
Kin Slips sublingual strips are low in calories and dissolve below the tongue, so that they take effect quickly. Their Cloud Buster formula is designed to give you energy and focus, ideal for a long run. See more details on Say Hi.>
Empower BodyCare’s Black Label Topical Relief Lotion is a potent salve for aching post-workout muscles and joints. See more details on Say Hi.>
Sauc (pronounced “sauce”) CBD e-liquid is made for vape pens like Topstone, giving you an easy and quick way to get relief from CBD after a strenuous workout. See more details on Say Hi.>
Vertly Body Lotion combines full-spectrum CBD with a blend of other essential oils to massage away the ache in your muscles and give your skin a healthy glow, all at the same time. See more details on Say Hi.>
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