Marijuana has never been more accessible – or popular than before. But how does it affect your workout?
Many athletes use ice packs to decrease inflammation and pain but this might not be enough. Others use benzodiazepine drugs that block GABA receptors, but these drugs can be dangerous since they come with serious side effects. Recent studies suggested that athletes who use cannabis may be more likely to exercise, more motivated and have quicker recoveries from injuries sustained during their workout. Here’s what we know about the cannabis plant.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is non-psychoactive and is said to bring a calm and relaxed feeling — a “body high,” not a “head high.”
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive chemical that generates feelings of euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, and drowsiness.
In other words, THC is the ingredient that will get you “high,” while CBD soothes the body.
CBD and THC attach itself to the endocannabinoid receptors and mimics the endocannabinoids. This positively affects the homeostasis process and help reduce pain and can prevent inflammation of adjacent muscles. Cannabis can dilate veins to ensure there is a constant blood supply which helps muscles to remain relaxed. Because CBD can help you get better sleep and reduce inflammation, it also aid the muscle recovery process. Most of our tissue repair process occurs during sleep, so more sleep combined with the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD make it a strong contender for a muscle recovery supplement. Reducing muscle and joint inflammation is one of the most promising areas of cannabis research.
So, if you have the right strain, you can use cannabis to your advantage.
When you need to be focused, harlequin can help. It’s a Sativa-dominant strain with high levels of CBD, which make this strain one of the most effective strain for the treating pain and anxiety, as CBD can counteract THC’s paranoia while amplifying its painkilling properties. It will both energize you and help you find a sense of calm and focus. With low levels of THC, you will not end up getting so high that you can’t function, instead, you’ll probably just get a boost of motivation along with the therapeutic effects of CBD.
If getting motivated to get out there and exercise is your biggest struggle, Sour Diesel can help. It produces a strong body and mind euphoria, boosting energy while relieving the muscles of aches and pains, making you feel good and happy which is a great way to begin exercising. It’s a Sativa-dominant strain that is great for daytime.
Ghost Train Haze
This strain is often consumed by weight-lifters, hikers, and nature explorers. The Sativa-dominant strain delivers an energy boost, which helps you stay on track with exercise reps, sets, and overall workout routine. However, it contains high THC content thus making this strain more ideal for experienced cannabis consumers. Ghost Train Haze delivers a potent dose of THC to knock out pain, depression, and appetite loss.
Great White Shark
If you need to loosen up various stiff, achy, and sore muscles, than this Sativa-dominant strain can help. The Great White Shark produces a strong, body buzz effect that is euphoric and comes on quickly. It is commonly used for treating symptoms of chronic pain and should be reserved for consumers with a high THC tolerance. Although it is a soothing marijuana strain, it is also uplifting so you can use it during the day.
The Indica strain is definitely relaxing but also uplifts the mood. As the strain progresses though the body, the more Indica side of the effects dominate and the mind-state becomes more sedate and meditative. Muscle relaxation, light pain relief, mood elevation, anti-anxiety properties, and appetite stimulation are all parts of the Grape Ape experience. Its high causes the eyes to feel heavy and creates a strong body buzz that relaxes the muscles, and is best for nighttime use. This strain is ideal for post-workout muscle and joint recovery and relaxation.
The Bottom Line
Studies have found that people who used marijuana immediately before or after physical activity exercised more often and for longer than those that didn’t use it. If you’re interested in mixing up your workout routine with cannabis, start small and know your limits. Listening to yourself and body is unlikely to steer you wrong, so if you’re feeling ready to start a new adventure, pay attention to your body’s signals. Cannabis can be a valuable tool for health and fitness when used safely.