80% of Cannabis Users Mix Weed and Working Out
Today is April 20, 2022, and seeing as how today is "420" I thought it would only be appropriate we talk about Exercise and Marijuana, or using Marijuana as a Pre-Workout. So for today's post, we're going to be sharing the stories of a number of individuals who use Marijuana as part of their pre-workout or taining routine.
You know years ago when I was in college I had two roomates who enjoyed using Marijuana before weight lifting, and before playing basketball. At the time I couldn't really get in board, while they would smoke a joint and head off to the gym, I'd generally find myself at my neighbors dorm room with a box of Chips A'hoy Cookies and a bag of Funions playing Tony Hawk or Blitz on his his Playstation. Fast forward to today however, and while it's not something I do before every workout, though it is something I enjoy on occasion prior to a workout, and for post workout recovery I do find that using marijuana, or using marijuana or CBD topicals can really help with muscle soreness and muscle recovery.
It turns out myself, and my college roomates aren't alone in using marijuana either as a pre-workout supplement or post workout recovery tool. A recent study out of the University of Colorado Boulder found that 80% of cannabis users mix weed and working out, with 70% saying it increases their enjoyment working out, 78% saying it boosts post workout recovery, and 52% saying they find it motivates them. Another study of older adults found that those who used marijuana got more exercise than those who didn't.
It's not just anecdotal stories from stoners either, studies show that marijuana can boost athletic performance in a variety of ways from helping to reduce inflammation, easing soreness and pain, treating muscle spasms, helping with bronchial dialation, and helping users sleep, which is when our bodies recover.
We asked a number of individuals in the fitness and health space about their use of marijuana with exercise and here's what they had to say...
I typically use an oil an hour or two before working out. I do so for a variety of reasons. The first being, its my medicine. I have several chronic illnesses, one of which nearly killed me, so we moved from Texas to Colorado to get me out of hospice, and off all the meds.
Cannabis helps with muscle spasticity and recovery. It helps treat inflammation, and eases pain and soreness. It also helps improve sleep, which aids in recovery as well.
As far as consumption, I use oils, lotions, patches, and I occasionally smoke or vape. Lotions are great for workouts and work very similar to Icy Hot, and you don’t get any sort of high from them, assuming you’re using one that is high in CBD. It’s the same with patches. The biggest difference is that patches ease pain and inflammation throughout the body, where lotions are target a location.
When it comes to strains it depends on what you’re doing. If you’re lifting weights, or doing aerobics, you don’t want an Indica. As the saying goes: Indica? In da couch. You’ll be “couch locked” meaning you won’t want to get up and move a whole lot typically. However, an Indica or a Hybrid is great for yoga. It allows you to relax in to poses and almost drop in to a meditative state as you flow from pose to pose.
If any of my clients were to ask me about using marijuana to enhance their workout, I would suggest starting with yoga and whatever strain they want to try. A sativa will help give you energy, and often produces a “head high.” If you’re going to lift weights, a sativa would be best. Then, after your workout, before bed, use indica. It will help you sleep, relieve pain, and relax your muscles so they can rebuild and heal.
With that being said, every person is different. I find that trial and error works wonders. A strain that I love someone else may hate. So try a couple different strains before you write-off cannabis as not working for you.
There's a number of reasons I like to smoke weed before working out. I find that using marijuana as a preworkout helps to improve my focus and concentration. Cannabis is known to increase dopamin levels in the brain which can lead to increased alertness and motivation. I also find it helps me reduce the perception of pain so I can push myself harder during my workouts and cannabis can help increase blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body which I find gives me more energy and more endurance which are crucial while working out.
While I do consume marijuana in a variety of ways like edibles, I typically smoke it or vape it just out of convenience and because it kicks in faster that way. On rare occasions I'll also use lotions and oils. I typically try to use sativas as indicas tend to be more relaxing where as sativas tend to be more energizing and provide a clearer high making them more ideal for workouts and activities. Everyone is different though so you'll need to experiment and see what works best for you.
It's important to realize everyone's bodies are different and everyone reacts differently to things so don't use marijuana and head straight to the gym if you haven't used it before, make sure you know how your body is going to react and start slow as some people will find that marijuana enhances their performance where for another individual it may impair their coordination or their ability to stay focused
I'm a medical marijuana user and I use marijuana before working out and before playing soccer. I cannot use any type of Ibuprofen so if I'm feeling any pain marijuana is the only thing I've found which can bring me relief. I also struggle with anxiety and it helps me deal with social situations when playing soccer as well, it calms me down and I feel like I play better and I don't care if I mess up or make a mistake. I also find that it gives me endless energy to run around for hours.
I've been smoking prior to exercise and soccer for a number of years, I always use sativas, and my favorite strain is White 99. If I were giving advice to someone new to marijuana my advice would be to start slow, a little goes a long way.
I've been regularly working out since I was 14 years old, so that means I've been going to the gym 5-6 days a week for over 20 years, and since being an adult I almost smoke before going to the gym, literally everytime.
I typically lift or do resistance training 3-4 times a week and do cardio 2-3 times per week. When I lift I typically smoke about a third of a gram and get mildly stoned, I love lifting heavy and listening to music when I'm high, and I find it helps me go a little harder. When I do cardio I like to get REALLY stoned, so I smoke about 2/3 of a gram and run on the treadmill for 75-90 minutes. I find that my mind wanders which helps make the time go by faster, I'm not constantly watching the clock waiting to be done. I like to listen to house music during my cardio workouts.
I normally smoke joints, though I'll occasionally use a weed oil pen for the convenience, but I prefer joints. I also prefer sativas for activities like working out where I"m going to be more active and sativas allow me to do that. While I know some people really like certain strains, I'm one of those guys who kind of thinks its all the same and the clever names are just marketing, but that's just me, others swear by certain strains.
My advice to new users would be make sure your comfortable and accustomed to smoking weed and chilling out before you decide to smoke weed and head into the gym. I'd recommend getting a nice playlist together, nothing beats smoking before a long cardio workout session, that' the BEST!
One of my favorite things to do is to get stoned and listen to podcasts or music. I feel productive, fulfilled, and I find that I get into the zone and am super focused and can plow through 4 sets of heavy reps without thinking about it. I typically vape as I feel its easy to appropriately dose, not as harsh on my lungs as smoke, and convenient.
My advice to new users would be to start slow, and maybe consider trying an at home workout prior to heading to the gym. Nothing worse than realizing your blasted and start feeling paranoid or self concious at the gym.
I like using marijuana prior to working out,it helps me get in the zone as they say. If I time it correctly my high from the marijuana wears off right about when my runners high kicks in. I also find using marijuana prior to a workout helps me stay hydrated as it makes me thirsty and gives me cotton mouth.
I typically smoke my weed prior to the gym and I prefer strains with terpene profiles which tend to fall on the sativa side, but everybody's endocannaboinoid system works different so the only way to truly know what straisn work best for you is to try them. I find a strain like "Green Crack" gives me an all natural pre-workout replacement where as something like Grand Daddy Purp helps me soreness after I'm done working out.
My advice to new users would be start slowly until you achieve the desired effect your looking for.
John has years worth of experience working in the nutrition and supplement industry and has been working out and weight training since his teens. His other areas of expertise are SEO and Digital Marketing and when he's not in front of a screen John enjoys exploring the outdoors hiking and paddleboarding.