Celebrated for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a natural analgesic, Cannabis has successfully shaken off its imagery of depicting laziness and inactivity and is now highly considered as a booster for rigorous physical activity. There is an increased preference amongst workout enthusiasts that are considering the natural benefits that can be derived from Cannabis for purposes of exercise in comparison to the artificially sweetened beverages that have been used for ages. This discovery has been further reinforced by the fact that the World Anti-Doping Association removed CBD from its list of banned substances, so maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all. Let’s get into it.
To acquire the full benefits that can be derived from incorporating the use of cannabis in your exercise routines, then there is a need to be intentional about your intended goals. Just like when you’re going to the pharmacy, you’re particular about the condition that you want to treat and you expect a certain outcome, shopping for cannabis that can aid in your exercise regime uses the same exact approach.
Are you looking for that extra boost that will elevate your workouts to the next level and that will push you to do so much more or are you searching for something that will help you achieve optimum muscle recovery and leave you absolutely prepared to take on the next days work out like a champ? These are the really important questions that need to be considered as you immerse yourself in this.
There are two main subspecies that are known under the Cannabis family of plants. The strains are Sativa and Indica, and with regards to exercise, these two strains when used give out very different results. Their differences become a very important point of discussion for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in this practice in a bid to reap the numerous benefits that come along with incorporating cannabis into workouts. Sativa has the ability to stimulate your senses and provide that needed extra boost to really get you pumping during your workout and for this reason is recommended for use pre-workout, while Indica has a more calming effect and has therapeutic effects that would be extremely beneficial for a post-workout routine.
Before exploring the pros and cons of Cannabis as a pairing to a workout, it’s important to dive deep into the top-rated strains that can be used both before and after a workout just so that the advantages and disadvantages become more relatable when we get to them.
1. Sour diesel. This particular strain is said to contain 90% Sativa and 10% Indica. Therefore, it qualifies as a definite pre-workout booster. It elicits feelings of vibrancy and excitement and just from this description alone, you can tell that this will get you in the mood for a workout even when your entire being feels like sleeping on the couch. There is almost a guarantee that you’ll experience feelings of joy whilst working out having consumed this, and to top it up, it hits the system slowly and thus an assurance of staying motivated for hours.
2. Durban Poison. Described as a pure Sativa strain originating from Durban in South Africa, it has gained popularity for its energetic and uplifting effects which is exactly what you need when you want to exercise.
3. Ghost Train Haze. A Sativa dominant with a citrus aroma that enhances concentration and creativity when taken in low doses. Because of its effects in increased concentration, it is most popular amongst outdoor hikers and generally nature explorers as it allows them to explore and appreciate their surroundings on a whole new level.
1. Sour Bubble. A pure Indica strain with a sky-high THC content of up to 27%. In the initial stages, it has a relaxing and mood-enhancing effect on the user, but as time passes, its effects intensify and give full-on heavy sedation and are thus recommended for use by seasoned users.
2. Giga Bud. In addition to its relaxing qualities and sleep-inducing abilities, it has a unique characteristic that is most essential to athletes that are trying to bulk up. This strain induces feelings of hunger. This strain is an absolute answer to athletes that struggle with appetite and need all the help that they can get.
3. Black Domina. This strain delivers feelings of relaxation, happiness as well as sedation effects. It is said to have an earthy, peppery, and at times woody flavor.
From the effects, it’s clear that the effects of Cannabis on a workout regime are quite legendary and cannot be overlooked. In this next segment, we will examine in detail the good and bad of this to get you in a better position of deciding whether you’ll be for it or against it.
If you’ve had an opportunity to listen to the greatest athletes of all time talking about exercising and how they push themselves harder when their bodies are literally screaming at them to stop, then you, a small-time exercise enthusiast, have an idea that it takes a considerable amount of mental strength to get your head in the game.
That pep talk that you have to give to yourself every so often to ready your body to exercise gets mentally exhausting and sometimes without buddies to cheer you on and encourage you to stay on track, you might start to develop negative feelings towards an activity that is most certainly beneficial to the health of your body.
Based on the top-rated Sativa strains that we have discussed, Cannabis goes a long way in getting you pumped and ready, boosts your mood and does away with the need to have a one on one with yourself in a bid to try and remind yourself why it’s important to exercise and why you should do it. As a matter of fact, when you incorporate Cannabis into your workout routine, you now acquire a new task of reminding yourself to stop.
In addition to helping you get into the desired mental state necessary for performing workout activities, Cannabis also increases the level of enjoyment when participating in exercises that are of a repetitive nature. Physical exercise activities generally cause a natural high derived from endorphins but when Cannabis is added to the equation, they are reinforced by the presence of CBD which mimics the functioning of the neurotransmitters in the endocannabinoid system.
CBD is able to replicate the effects of bodily secreted cannabinoids and thereby double the feelings of pleasure already being experienced by the individual.
A lot of people avoid exercising because it’s a given that there will be post-workout joint pains that will be experienced and it seems easier to just avoid all that altogether. Cannabis has CBD and THC that contain anti-inflammatory properties and this works to greatly reduce the intensity of any post-workout inflammation that is bound to occur. Considering that this is the primary reason why people would rather seek alternative costlier methods to stay in shape than exercise, having the verified least amount of pain experienced guarantee after a workout should be a game-changer.
Sometimes when you’re exercising, your body is physically present but your mind and everything else seems to be occupied with other matters that may be stressing you out. The effect of this is that you are not able to experience the full benefits of a workout because you’re not wholly present. Enter Cannabis and you’re given the ability to detach and zone out and be present where you are. Being present allows you to fully immerse yourself into the workout, really focus on the task at hand, and derive the 360-degree benefits that allow not only your body but also your mental health to benefit.
When you’re really focused while doing, you’re then able to practice your breathing. When an exercise becomes too tough you are able to channel into your meditative state and push your body to accomplish more than you thought it was capable of doing.
More than half of individuals who have tried out Cannabis with their workout have reported an unlikely effect that was caused by its use. They have experienced the munchies. The sudden urge to eat something as they feel that they have expended a considerable amount of energy during their workout. In some, it has been a mild case while in others it has been extreme. For those individuals that are trying to add some muscle mass, this may be the best method to ensure that you get enough calories during your workout that are sufficient to keep you pushing through the exercise and on to the path of achieving your desired goal.
Whilst getting our heart rate to go a little faster can be a great boost for getting a person psyched up, it bears its own risks especially if you have heart disease or are suffering from blood pressure.
Even for individuals that may consider themselves to be of sound health, experiencing feelings of dizziness may be an indication that you have unlocked the negative effects on heart rate that are associated with incorporating Cannabis into your workout. It is of paramount importance that everyone is aware of this possible occurrence and that any unusual change is monitored to avoid getting caught off guard.
Other times, depending on the strain consumed and the level of experience of the user, Cannabis may cause a high that makes it difficult for the individual to workout safely. The THC content in some strains can be considerably high and being that this is the chemical that causes the high, an individual is prone to injure themselves whilst working out or altogether be unable to handle their own body. It is critical for one to get an understanding of their limits and be aware of the dose that hits the sweet spot for them. Without this, there may be no exercise taking place at all.
Even though it is said to doubly increase the level of enjoyment derived from repetitive exercises, intake of Cannabis grossly reduces the ability to make accurate judgments on activities that may involve risk and require quick decision-making that may as well be the difference between preservation and loss of life. It is advisable that individuals who partake in activities such as rock climbing or the likes refrain from partaking in it to avoid the chances of making risky decisions that may have dire consequences.
The THC in Cannabis works on your glucose metabolism twice as hard and this may lead to dehydration within the body. It, therefore, creates a need to constantly hydrate or adverse effects such as drying of lips may be experienced.
If you’re looking to combine Cannabis and exercising, the pros and cons really go head-to-head and the best advice that can be given is to start small as you learn yourself so that you can experience the benefits that come with spicing up your workout routines like so. It is common practice for individuals to lean more towards edibles rather than other forms as they are more agreeable, but experts warn that this may work out counterintuitively as you have no control over when it will kick in and you may also take more than is necessary when you feel that the effects are taking longer than necessary to kick in.
Ingesting Cannabis through vaporization is recommended as the safest possible way as its effects are rapid. If you’re in a state like where there is the legalization of Cannabis take this opportunity and for example visit a Seattle dispensary where a budtender will be more than willing to get you started on the right footing. If you’re going to take a leap of faith, do it right.