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How to Use Cannabis to Fuel Your Workout and Recovery

When you think of stoners, you might not think of the fittest bunch. In popular culture, marijuana users are lazy, locked to their couches and unmotivated to get up for snacks, let alone to exercise for health and wellness.

However, a new type of stoner is rapidly emerging — a type that uses weed to vastly improve the duration and intensity of their workouts and to repair their body during recovery. If you are intrigued by this new stoner technique, read on to learn how to apply it to your fitness regimen.

Cannabis as a Pre-workout

While some types of training require impeccable hand-eye coordination and fast reflexes, other types of training tend to be a bit more repetitive and duller. Any type of workout that requires as much mental fortitude as physical power is one that can benefit from a cannabis pre-workout. Many athletes appreciate a boost of bud during monotonous cardio exercise, long-distance running or cyclic strength training.

Weed doesn’t have a good reputation for inspiring get-up-and-go, but there is more to cannabis than meets the eye. Different strains of the plant have vastly different effects; some strains do have incredibly powerful sedative effects designed to help users relax and fall asleep peacefully, but other strains are highly regarded for their ability to impart motivation, focus and energy. Researchers believe that the variation in effects can be attributed to cannabinoid concentrations and terpene profiles, as both types of compounds have been shown to have physiological and psychological effects on users.

Thus, the first big secret to using weed as a pre-workout is choosing a strain that will give you a boost. Here are a few of the best high-energy strains that lend focus and motivation to a workout:

  • Harlequin. Balanced in CBD and THC content and packed with energizing pinene, this strain (and many of its descendants, like Harle-Tsu) is excellent for exercise.
  • Orange Diesel. Most strains that have citrusy names are good for providing energy, but this one offers the extra benefit of incredible focus.
  • Ghost Train Haze. High in THC, this strain is best used in micro-doses, which ensure creativity and energy without negative effects like paranoia.

With the right strain, you will feel a drive to exercise thanks to your smoke session — as long as you don’t over-indulge. It is a good idea to use smaller doses, even micro-doses, of weed as a pre-workout to ensure you don’t overwhelm your system. Though THC overdoses aren’t dangerous to your health, they are distracting and will almost certainly make your workout less productive.

Cannabis as a Post-workout

Though pre-workout weed is becoming more common, athletes have indulged in a post-workout puff for ages. Bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Olympians like Michael Phelps have admitted to using cannabis during rest and recovery because the drug is so good at inciting relaxation and allowing muscle and respiratory repair.  

You can dose with cannabis as soon as your training session is complete, but it might be wise to give your mind and body a bit of time to naturally cool down. Later in the day, as you start to feel sore, you can indulge in a smoke session (or partake in your favorite marijuana method) to mitigate the worst symptoms of a tough workout and facilitate a speedier recovery.

Contrary to the strains used in pre-workout, you want to prioritize sedative effects in your post-workout bud. Generally, strains with higher quantities of CBD help to manage pain and inflammation better than high-THC strains, and terpenes like caryophyllene, myrcene and linalool and facilitate relaxation and sleep.

You can talk to budtenders at your local dispensary to get more information about strains and products designed to boost workout recovery. Then again, if you are suffering from an injury that requires more intensive rest, you might consider applying for a medical marijuana card. In states like Maryland where only medical marijuana has been legalized, dispensaries function more like pharmacies, where budtenders are knowledgeable about certain conditions and trained to provide advice for finding optimal relief.

You don’t have to identify as a stoner to use weed regularly in your fitness regimen. Whether you like to work out high or you enjoy the drug’s soothing effects while you are feeling sore, you can improve your health, wellness, strength and stamina by utilizing cannabis in exercise. 

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Owner of Personal Trainer, Father and fitness copy writer. Working hard making the world fitter and healthier!

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