5 Ways Cannabis Can Get You Excited about Fitness
Posted on September 19th 2018
UFC announcer, podcaster, and stand up comedian, 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. Lifting weights are fun when you’re under the 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. And in these days of fit, athletic figures and biohacking don't we all want that?
Taking the Runner’s High to New Elevations
Exercise helps prevent obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses while aiding in the creation of new brain cells and reducing stress. When we exercise, endorphins get released, increasing our pain threshold and allowing us to push ourselves harder. Now that we know about the existence of the endocannabinoid system, we see that our bodies also produce natural cannabinoids during physical activity. The system is a group of lipids and cell receptors that have a direct connection with the cannabinoids in cannabis—THC and CBD bind to the receptors in our endocannabinoid system—and that relationship influences everything from pain to appetite, mood, and memory. The pain-relieving effects of both plant and human-derived cannabinoids are what gives us more runner's high in every workout.
5 Ways Cannabis Will Get You Excited about Fitness
1. Get loose, flexible and warmed up
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 go well together, weed slows the mind while yoga slows the body.
2. Create new Personal Bests
Pushing 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.
3. Get in the zone faster
The intense focus that comes from marijuana is startling sometimes, but attention is directed toward something constructive—focusing on specific muscle groups through weight training, pilates, or yoga—it’s a revelation. Professional athletes rely on sports psychologists to help them get in and stay in “the zone,” but the right cannabis can do that without the mind games.
4. Breath deeper
Cannabis is 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.
5. Recover faster and safer
Recovery is an essential part of being physically fit, building muscle and restoring energy for the next training session. The cannabinoid THC helps with relaxation and sleep, both of which aid in recovery whereas high-CBD strains are exceptional could help with tissue inflammation. And a strain that causes the "munchies" effect can stoke an appetite that might not otherwise be there after high-intensity exercise,
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.
Strains to Try While You’re Working Out
Common sense for a seasoned marijuana user would be to stick to the lighter sativa strains for activities and save the heavy indicas for the post-workout relaxation. But with all of the strains now available to us, from CBD-rich strains to hybrids, the lines aren't so clearly drawn. Hybrids especially have unpredictable effects on different people. The best thing you can do is become a discerning advocate of consumption. Look for edibles and other products that fit in with your regimen and have fun experimenting safely with strains and activities.
It’s time we drop the stereotype of the lazy, unmotivated stoner. Many athletes live healthy, active, positive lives. 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.