Using cannabis to supercharge your workout may seem counter-intuitive. The old stigma of cannabis making a person want to be one with the couch and eat their weight in Cheetos is hard to shake. Yet, there is new evidence to indicate that the use of cannabis can pair well with getting and staying in shape.
Whether you just want to shed a few pounds or take your fitness routine to the next level, cannabis can help. It can even help you enjoy the workout more, making you more likely to stay at it.
Let’s take a look at each of the benefits cannabis can bring to your fitness regimen.
Cannabis Relieves Chronic Pain
All athletes deal with pain when they’ve pushed themselves and their workouts to new levels. Working out or playing sports can create tiny tears in your muscles. This causes them to swell and can make you feel sore and uncomfortable. Cannabis helps ease that pain, gets rid of inflammation, and helps you recover faster. In the case of injury, cannabis can help you recover quicker, which gets you back to your fitness regimen in no time.
Runner’s Highs Have New Meaning
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, is stored in fat. This storage can give you an extra boost when you’re doing your cardio for up to 28 days after consumption. Here’s how: As your body begins to burn off fat, small amounts of that stored THC is released back into the bloodstream. This has the same effect as consuming small amounts of cannabis. According to a study, THC levels in users increased up to 15% immediately after a moderate workout, yet this increase faded completely two hours after the workout.
Cannabis Raises Your Metabolism
Want to raise your metabolism and lower your insulin levels? Smoke some cannabis. In a study that included over 4,600 participants, researchers discovered that insulin levels in cannabis consumers are 16% lower than those who do not consume. It also found that they have a smaller waist circumference. Controlled insulin levels are key to metabolism, energy, and weight loss, meaning cannabis consumption can help speed up fat loss and lead you to a healthier weight.
Improve Focus – On Your Workout
Athletes know the importance of staying focused. Long distance runners have known about the focusing effect of cannabis for years. Cannabis can help get you in the zone, concentrating less on the pain and more on the running. Keep in mind that if you’re interested in testing this one, smoking may not be ideal. Consider vaping or eating an edible before your long-distance run.
Now that we’ve covered how cannabis can help improve your workout, choosing the right strain of cannabis is important. The strain that you choose can make all the difference in how cannabis helps your workout or your post-workout recovery.
Choosing the Right Strain is Important
The strain that’s best for you is going to depend on your individual needs. For example, you might need one strain for focus and a different strain for post-workout recovery. Some people might need a strain that decreases anxiety to allow them to focus. Others might need an energizing strain to get them into the mood for exercise.
When it comes to post-workout recovery, you might want a strain for relaxation. If your workout was particularly intense, consider something known for busting pain and relieving inflammation.
For becoming active, you’ll probably want a sativa over an indica strain. Here are a few strains that are recommended for getting active.
Get Active Strains
Choosing a strain to help get you started is just as important as choosing a strain that can help you with post-workout recovery. Whether you want relief for pain or inflammation or just something to help you get enough sleep for your workout tomorrow, there’s a strain that can help.
- Jack Herer – Named for the marijuana activist and writer of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer provides a happy, uplifted, and energetic high. It can also help with focus, which is important for your workout.
- Harlequin – With a CBD to THC ratio of 5:2, Harlequin provides a clear-headed and alert high while also helping to relieve pain. Vaping some of this before your workout can help you to keep focused.
- Strawberry Cough – If social anxiety is keeping you from hitting the gym, Strawberry Cough can help with that. This strain provides a high that can get you moving despite your anxieties.
- Blueberry – After claiming the top prize in High Times Cannabis Cup 2000 for best indica, this strain went to new heights. Many consumers turn to Blueberry for its ability to relieve pain, fight stress, and help with insomnia.
- Trainwreck – The high THC content of this hybrid sends pain, stress, and depression packing. It will also leave you feeling happy and uplifted as well.
- Blueberry Haze – Not be confused with one of its parent strains above, Blueberry Haze is the hybrid cross of Blueberry and Haze. If your workout has left you achy and with muscle spasms, Blueberry Haze can help you. This strain can also help send you off to dreamland, so you might not want to overdo it during the day.
The stigma of cannabis consumers being couch potatoes and junk food consumers are mostly over. Not only can cannabis help get a person active and keep them focused, but it can even help to raise metabolism. Relieving pain and inflammation in the recovery phase can get an athlete back on his feet again. New cannabis strains are being bred all the time and cultivators are always looking for a new market to tap into – the fitness market being one of them.