Is it Safe to Exercise on Weed?

A man running while high on cannabis

Is it safe to exercise on weed? Finding the motivation to step onto that treadmill, lift those weights, or dive into the swimming pool can be an uphill battle. How about replacing the often dreaded pre-workout protein shake with something a little more… unconventional? A hint – it’s green and controversial.

Enter cannabis. While it has been historically associated with lethargic, snack-munching couch dwellers, a fresh perspective is emerging. This unorthodox motivation tool is opening up new dimensions in exercise, breaking the chains of workout apathy for many.

Pros and Cons of Working out High

Pros: Working out while high on cannabis has found supporters who claim several benefits. Some users report enhanced focus, reduced anxiety, and an increased mind-muscle connection that can lead to a more enjoyable workout. Additionally, cannabis may aid in muscle relaxation and pain management, potentially aiding recovery.

Cons: On the other hand, there are potential drawbacks to consider. Working out high might impair coordination, reaction time, and judgment, thereby increasing the risk of injury. Some individuals may also experience dizziness or an increased heart rate, leading to discomfort during strenuous exercises. The individual experience can vary widely, and approaching this practice with caution and awareness is advised.

Demystifying Cannabis Stereotypes

The classic imagery of the sedentary stoner couldn’t be further from the truth. A fascinating study cleverly named “The New Runner’s High?” gathered insights from 605 cannabis users. The results are more than a little intriguing. Around 82% of the survey participants reported using cannabis along with their exercise routines. Even more astonishing, a significant 37.5% of respondents believed that cannabis actually amped up their performance levels.

Cannabis club enthusiasts were not left out either. The survey data revealed that flower and concentrates were their preferred choices, edging out edibles. In fact, this club is starting to reflect a new wave of health-conscious, active lifestyle followers who are smashing the old, lazy stoner stereotype.

A couple working out while on cannabis

Does Exercise Increase Your High?

The relationship between exercise and the sensation of a cannabis-induced high is complex and not fully understood. Some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that exercise might enhance or prolong the feeling of being high. This may be linked to the body’s release of endorphins during exercise, which can synergize with the THC in cannabis to produce an elevated sense of well-being.

Additionally, exercise increases blood flow, which might intensify the distribution of THC in the system. However, individual responses can vary widely, and more scientific research is needed to definitively understand the connection between exercise and the intensity or duration of a cannabis high.

The Art of Timing: Cannabis and Exercise

It’s all about timing when it comes to pairing cannabis and workouts. The survey found a pattern in when respondents chose to indulge. A surprising 68.9% reported using cannabis within an hour before breaking a sweat, while 82% enjoyed cannabis within the four-hour window following their exercise. Not to mention, a solid 67% of participants were found to use cannabis both before and after hitting the gym.

Can this pre and post-exercise cannabis consumption affect the duration or intensity of the workout? Absolutely! The aerobic exercise average among these cannabis users was clocked at 159.7 minutes per week. This overshadows the 103.5-minute average of non-users. Clearly, cannabis consumers aren’t shying away from pushing their limits.

Is it safe to exercise on weed?

More than Just a Runner's High

A closer look into the CU study brings us to data from the 131 survey participants reveals more than 55 physical activities they enjoyed while high. The list was quite diverse – hiking topped at 60%, yoga followed closely at 58%, and aerobic machines claimed the third spot at 50%.

The reasons for using cannabis before physical activity were more layered than one might think. Yes, the participants cited ‘focus and concentration enhancement’ and ‘heightened exercise experience’, both at 66% and 65% respectively. But the mind-body-spirit connection, also at 65%, emphasizes the holistic approach that these participants have toward fitness. However, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that about 25% of users also reported occasional negative experiences, like an increased heart rate or feeling too high to continue.

The Science Behind the Cannabis-Workout Connection

The link between cannabis and workout motivation might seem elusive, but science might have some answers. Exercise is known to elevate the levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid that induces feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Cannabis, interestingly, targets the same receptors as anandamide. So, pre-workout cannabis use might just be the secret to kick-starting those feel-good vibes even before you step into the gym.

Then there’s the psychological theory. If cannabis makes exercise more enjoyable, it creates a positive feedback loop, inspiring the user to work out more frequently. So, while cannabis might not necessarily increase your speed, strength, or endurance, it could be the key to unlocking a more consistent and enjoyable workout routine.

Now, you might be wondering about the effects of chronic cannabis use on fitness. Researchers dug into this and found no significant impact. Chronic users, even those using at least once per week, showed no significant differences in their workout performance compared to non-users. The only slight deviation was a marginally higher resting heart rate among chronic cannabis users.

With this lack of evidence for performance enhancement or deterrence, researchers question why sports regulatory agencies might need to restrict cannabis use at all.

Does Working Out High Burn More Calories?

The notion that working out high might burn more calories is intriguing, but scientific research on this subject is lacking. While some users report more intense workouts, others might experience relaxation or decreased motivation. The relationship between cannabis use and calorie expenditure during exercise remains largely speculative, and individual experiences may vary widely.

Weed Smokers Lungs After 5 Years

The long-term effects of smoking weed on the lungs are a subject of ongoing research, and findings can vary. After 5 years of regular cannabis smoking, some studies suggest there may be a risk of bronchitis and other respiratory issues due to chronic irritation and inflammation.

Unlike tobacco smoking, evidence linking cannabis smoking to lung cancer is inconclusive, but smoking weed may still lead to structural lung changes, coughing, and increased phlegm. It’s important to note that factors such as frequency of use, method of inhalation, and the presence of any filters or water filtration (as in a bong) can influence these outcomes, and more research is needed to understand the full spectrum of risks and benefits.

Is it Safe to Exercise on Weed?

To summarize – as you venture into the world of cannabis-aided workouts, it’s crucial to remember that everyone’s experience will be unique. Cannabis affects each person differently, so it’s important to pay attention to your body and monitor how you feel before, during, and after workouts.

Choosing a consumption method that works for you is a key factor in this journey. Smoking or vaping cannabis offers immediate effects, allowing you to control your high more efficiently. However, if you have respiratory conditions like asthma, you might prefer low-dose edibles, which provide a longer-lasting but more gradual effect.

Proper dosing is crucial. It might be tempting to consume a large amount before working out, but less is often more when it comes to cannabis. A hit or two can often be enough to create the desired mindset for movement. The goal is not to get overly high but to reach a state where you’re more attuned to your body and the exercise at hand.

Lastly, remember that balance and patience are key. Just like finding the right workout routine takes time and trial-and-error, so does integrating cannabis into your fitness journey. Listen to your body, adjust as needed, and soon enough, you’ll find what works best for you.

With the growing acceptance of cannabis use and the positive relationship found between cannabis and exercise, it’s an exciting time to be a part of the cannabis club. As you continue on your path to wellness, remember, cannabis might just be the motivational boost you need to make each workout session a rewarding experience.


A dog on a cannabis space suit walking around Barcelona

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