Most people usually associate sports and exercise with a healthy lifestyle, and cannabis is not generally considered to be compatible with fitness.
I know this might sound a bit controversial, but many recreational and professional athletes use cannabis products after competitions.
So, if you are wondering whether it's OK for you to smoke weed and work out, the answer is simple — it depends.
First of all, how do you feel when you are high? Does your heart rate increase significantly? What kind of sport are you involved in? And most importantly, how well do you tolerate cannabis in general?
Here are 6 scientific reasons why smoking marijuana can be a good addition to your exercise routine.
1.Marijuana relieves exercise-related pain
You worked out so hard that you now feel satisfied just because you pushed yourself to the max. But, after you cooled down, you felt a sharp pain in your hamstring. You don’t want these little injuries to set you back? Perhaps a joint could help you get your mind off that short-term pain.
Cannabis is a well-known painkiller and has been used for treating acute and chronic pain. Many studies have proven that cannabinoids have the power to switch off the pain signals in our body so we don't feel it as much of it. In other words, marijuana makes the pain bearable.
2.Cannabis protects your brain from injuries
In contact sports (boxing, hockey, football and the like) athletes are prone to head injuries like concussions. If it's a minor injury, it usually heals within a week or two. However, severe concussions take longer to heal and can produce a range of symptoms.
When you suffer a blow to the skull, your brain starts swelling, which damages the brain cells and alters brain functioning.
Cannabinoids, like CBD, have anti-inflammatory properties and help reduce the swelling in the brain, which helps you recover from the injury itself.
According to a 3-year retrospective study done by the UCLA, the death rate among concussion patients who had THC in their system at the time of their accident is much less than compared to people who don't have THC in them.
3.Pot boosts your metabolism and makes you slimmer
Although stoners consume up to 600 more calories per day than non-consumers, that extra fuel doesn't have to turn into fat.
It's been scientifically proven that THC increases appetite in humans, thus making us consume more calories.
So how do so many seasoned stoners have tiny waists with next to no body fat?
Well, according to a 2016 study, marijuana users tend to have a better carbohydrate metabolism and are, in general, less obese than non-consumers. Pot smokers also have lower fasting insulin levels and are less resistant to insulin.
Although we still lack research in this area of cannabis use, those who have researched this issue agree that "prevalence of obesity is lower in cannabis users than in nonusers”.
4.Pot gives you all the focus you need if you know how to summon it
Pot can be good when you need to focus on repetitive tasks, which is why so many recreational runners enjoy running while high. They argue that taking a few puffs before heading out for a long-distance run can make the run itself more enjoyable.
Can you just imagine running by the lake and being even more aware of the nature surrounding you? That kind of bliss can most likely aid your performance and make you run more than you’ve planned to.
Because pot helps you get into the zone, it's a much-appreciated supplement among those who like to meditate and do yoga.
But please remember, if you want to get the focus you need, it's all about choosing the right strain. Some strains could make you lazy and induce the couch-lock effect. But if you find the right sativa, with the right ratio of CBD to THC, you just might get the effect you’re looking for.
5.Marijuana wipes away the pre-workout anxiety
Never been to the gym before? The thought of being judged by all those experienced lifters makes you anxious? Well, weed can help with that version of social anxiety.
Although marijuana can make some people paranoid (f it happens don’t worry, it will go away as soon as the high wears off), with high CBD strains you’ll walk into the gym like a boss without being anxious.
This is because CBD prevents full-blown panic attacks and helps you not overreact to the regular life around you by reducing general anxiety. This will allow you to heal yourself by going outside and socializing normally.
6.No more sore muscles
You recently started working out and your first workout left you so sore that you wish you never went into the gym in the first place.
Luckily for you, CBD (cannabidiol) is proven to relieve inflammation in the body, including the muscles. Consuming a high-CBD product after your workout will make the soreness go away much faster. Also, by taking a dose of CBD before your activity you’ll avoid the soreness and pain in the first place.