Cannabis has long been associated with the lazy stoner stereotype. For this reason, when it comes to cannabis and fitness, you may be thinking, “Yeah, fittin’ a whole pizza in my mouth!” But really, this is just a stereotype that has been reinforced on us through classic “stoner” characters in TV and movies like the famous Cheech and Chong.
Just because cannabis consumers have commonly been portrayed as being lazy, does not mean all cannabis is going to lock you into the couch.
It turns out, there are a lot of benefits to combining cannabis and fitness, and it is much more common than you might realize. In fact, there are several professional athletes, both currently playing and those who have retired from their sports, who talk about how cannabis helps their performance and recovery, as well as advocate for legalization. Many of these athletes even own and operate cannabis businesses, or invest in the cannabis industry.
A study conducted in partnership between the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, surveyed 600 adult cannabis consumers across 5 states. It found that a staggering 82% of those surveyed admitted to consuming cannabis within 1 hour before or 4 hours after exercise.
70% reported feeling like cannabis increased enjoyment of exercise. 77% said they felt cannabis improved recovery from exercise, and 51% agreed that cannabis increased their motivation to exercise.
Given this anecdotal evidence highly supporting the benefits of cannabis and working out, combined with testimony from professional athletes, it seems clear that you may benefit from adding weed to your workout.
Clearly, as mentioned in the above research study, cannabis seems to work as a mood elevator causing some to feel more motivated to exercise, and many to have more fun while exercising. This can make exercise easier for those who may not enjoy it, or have a hard time getting started. Relieving pain and reducing inflammation, both before and after exercise, is another reason people tend to mix it with cannabis. By reducing pain levels and overall inflammation, it can make it easier for you if you’re in too much pain to start a workout, and it can help reduce pain and inflammation caused by physical activity.
The best part is, you don’t have to be an athlete, or even super into fitness, to gain the health and wellness benefits of mixing cannabis with exercise.
Even consuming a little cannabis before or after going on a nice walk through a park or your neighborhood, or when doing something else physical like gardening or yard work, can help keep you in good health by keeping you active. As with anything new, when it comes to deciding how much to consume before or after, start out slow to understand what your tolerance level is and how combining cannabis with exercise affects you personally.