As more individuals begin incorporating cannabis into their daily lives, many want to better understand how cannabis can be used to enhance their workouts. Despite stereotypes about cannabis consumers and “couch-lock,” a survey conducted by Social Psychologist, Angela Bryan, revealed that 4 out of 5 cannabis consumers use cannabis either before or after their workouts. Bryan’s survey also revealed that most respondents claimed they consumed cannabis before working out to make the activity more enjoyable.These findings suggest that at least anecdotally, cannabis elevates our exercise experiences.
In addition to your everyday fitness buff, a laundry list of professional athletes and Olympians have spoken out about their cannabis use as a means to aid in or alleviate the symptoms associated with their heavy physical activity regimens. Whether an individual chooses to consume cannabis as part of their pre-workout routine, or post-workout for recovery, it appears that the plant’s many compounds are becoming regular talking points in the greater fitness community.
The Science Behind Cannabis and Workouts
To date, researchers have begun to explore the many ways in which cannabis and the plant compounds within it could act as a supplement to elevate our exercise experiences. Though more research is needed to fully understand cannabis’ capacity to enhance human activity, thus far studies have revealed benefits including anti-inflammatory properties, which in turn, reduce soreness and discomfort, as well as the plant’s capacity to reduce muscle spasms.
Benefits, according to science:
Research reveals that cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents. By assisting in apoptosis, or cell death, they are able to reduce cytokines and other inflammatory immune responses, making them useful therapeutic agents for a variety of human ailments.
Reductions in Soreness and Discomfort
Overall, cannabinoids are shown to exhibit a plethora of therapeutic properties which may be potentially beneficial to athletes. These properties include anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, analgesic, and anti-anxiety functions. Though there is no clinical research directly addressing soreness and discomfort in athletic populations, CBD and other cannabinoids may decrease discomfort overall through the above mentioned mechanisms of action.
When a muscle contracts involuntarily, this is a spasm or “cramp”. There is abundant research on cannabis’ ability to decrease inflammation, which is at the root of exercise related muscle spasms. When it comes to muscle spasticity, clinical research on patient populations suffering from MS, or Multiple Sclerosis determined that cannabis shows promise treating spasticity-related syndromes and symptoms.
Using cannabis as a part of your pre-workout routine may be able to boost your energy and promote focus during exercise. If you select an uplifting strain, it’s likely that you’ll experience an elevating jolt right before hitting the gym. Additionally, cannabis’ calming effects can help you tune into your workout, eschewing the worries of the day or any potential self-consciousness.
When it comes to cannabis, or THC, as a means to enhance your physical capabilities, there’s currently no research that points to this conclusion, only anecdotal reports.
Cannabis After Workout
In terms of using cannabis for recovery post-workout, the plant’s ability to reduce inflammation is a key factor in its appeal to athletes and the greater fitness community, especially when incorporating ratio products, such as 1:1 CBD/THC.
Risks and Precautions to Consider
If you are considering incorporating cannabis into your workout routine, it’s important to recognize potential risks. There is research that suggests smoking cannabis is detrimental to lung health. Smoking cannabis is associated with airway inflammation, and chronic Bronchitis.
Additionally, many different factors influence an individual’s tolerance to cannabis and their subsequent impairment levels. Someone who is very impaired can potentially find themselves in dangerous situations when exercising or using exercise equipment.
Athletes in Cannabis
There are numerous athletes of various specialties and backgrounds that openly discuss their cannabis use, advocate for the plant, or founded their own cannabis or CBD businesses.
- According to Insider, 36-year-old Hall of Famer, Calvin Johnson revealed that he started smoking cannabis during his college career at Georgia Tech, and then smoked after every home game he played in the NFL.
- UFC fighters and brothers, Nick and Nate Diaz, have openly advocated for cannabis for years, starting two separate cannabis businesses, once focused on flower, called Kill_4209, and another focused on CBD products, Game Up Nutrition.
- Famed NBA player, Kareem Abdul Jabar openly spoke about his cannabis use to treat migraines and nausea after being arrested for possession at a Toronto airport in 2002.
Aside from professional athletes, a general trend towards cannabis wellness means that cannabis-related fitness classes are popping up all over the country. Whether these include cannabis yoga classes, running clubs, or post-workout meetups, cannabis is slowly becoming a facet of the mainstream fitness community.
Legal and Practical Considerations
Cannabis is legal for recreational, adult-use for those 21 and over in the state of Massachusetts. It’s wise to familiarize with the regulations in your area to avoid ticketing or run-ins with local law enforcement. It is currently illegal to consume cannabis in public, therefore should you choose to enjoy cannabis products before or after your workout, be sure to do so in your home or on a private property that allows consumption.
Whether or not clinical research agrees, people are using cannabis as part of their regular workout regimen. The benefits of cannabis for exercise is still not totally understood, but anecdotal reports from regular consumers and professional athletes suggests that cannabis at the very minimum, elevates the exercise experience and may alleviate inflammation, aiding in recovery and reducing discomfort from soreness.
At Bud’s Goods, we’re not only committed to providing good bud, but we’re also committed to serving our community the best quality products for their lifestyles. If you’re new to consuming cannabis and looking to incorporate cannabis products into your daily routine, check out our Cannabis Measurements Guide for some basic information.
Furthermore, at Bud’s Goods, we believe consulting a professional when it comes to using cannabis as an exercise supplement is key to having an optimal experience. Consult your doctor or a cannabis medical professional if you have any questions about using cannabis products.
In the meantime, visit a Bud’s Goods dispensary location near you to shop Massachusetts’ best cannabis products. Our budtenders are happy to guide you through our selection to help you find the perfect products for your lifestyle.