With more and more research showing the benefits of cannabis in treating a variety of health conditions, including cancer and chronic pain, it no longer can be considered a ritual reserved for hippies and stoners. Despite this widespread use, weed stereotypes endure: most avid gym-goers still view cannabis as counterproductive to workout goals.
One of cannabis greatest strengths is that it has something to offer everyone. From casual enthusiasts to professional athletes, anyone can use cannabis as a training and recovery supplement.
Learn how cannabis can take your fitness goals further than you’ve ever imagined.
Cannabis and Your Workout Routine
Using cannabis to boost a workout involves THC reacting with the endocannabinoid system to create a euphoria similar to a “runner’s high.” This feeling, often cited as a motivating factor for many serious athletes, stimulates the reward center of the brain and keeps athletes pushing harder, often leading to a deep feeling of loss or depression if a workout is missed. Since cannabis induces a similar feeling, it can also increase motivation.
By using cannabis before a workout, you can improve your focus and increase your endurance. Smoking immediately following a workout can provide better airflow to the lungs. Cannabis is also effective for muscle recovery and reducing the pain, swelling and soreness associated with progressive overload. Unlike other workout supplements, however, cannabis is fast-acting and provides these benefits almost immediately, so there’s no need to allow it to build up within the system before you experience the effects.
If an injury occurs, cannabis can also accelerate the healing process and eliminate the need for addictive painkillers. Both THC and CBD are proven to provide pain relief in mere minutes and are much safer than opioid painkillers.
Cannabis and Professional Athletes
Professional athletes always have access to the best research and supplements for enhanced training and recovery, so it’s no surprise that many professional athletes use cannabis to boost their training. The major benefits that attract these world-class athletes to cannabis include minimal muscle damage, improved healing, fewer muscle spasms, mental focus, mental support for skill-building, and anti-inflammatory effects that protect the organs and tissue from injuries.
Professional athletes require a high caloric intake to maintain their fitness levels, which is sometimes hard to achieve. Cannabis increases appetite and makes food more appealing, which helps athletes hit their optimal intake and enjoy bland food more.
Another benefit that’s vitally important for success in professional sports is mental strength. Psychology is incredibly important in professional sports, especially for athletes who have experienced severe injuries or a loss of confidence that impacts their ability to perform optimally. This psychology is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders, both of which are relieved by the calming effects of cannabis.
How to Use Cannabis as a Workout Supplement
Because supplemental cannabis use is different than recreational or medical cannabis use, it requires a different approach to reap the benefits. The cannabis dosage for the goal of getting high could be enough to compromise your safety in a training environment, which is why microdosing is ideal for balancing the medicinal and psychoactive effects.
Microdosing is the practice of using very small doses of cannabis throughout the day. A microdose is just enough to provide the medical benefits from the THC without triggering psychoactive effects, making it more like an herbal supplement than a medical or recreational drug.
Cannabis microdoses can be used before or after a workout to achieve different effects. Sore joints can benefit from a cream or lotion, while smoking can be helpful for heavy aerobic workouts or for those who tend to experience headaches and migraines following a workout. Like all cannabis use, the particular doses, timing and strains will depend on your desired goals and effects.
Best Cannabis Strains for Workouts
Different cannabis strains can have different effects on your workout, so here are our picks for the best cannabis strains for workouts and what makes them so effective.
- Sour Cheese: Sour Cheese is a hybrid that provides a balanced high that combines energy and a relaxed mental state. It’s slightly sativa-dominant, so it should create enough energy to perform without the usual crash.
- Super Lemon Haze: Super Lemon Haze is another sativa-dominant hybrid that has powerful cerebral effects for motivation and an added dose of energy. The THC is around 25 percent in Super Lemon Haze, so be mindful of dosage to be sure your workout is safe and productive.
- Orange Diesel: Orange Diesel is another sativa-dominant strain that is often used medicinally to treat ADD and ADHD. This is a good choice for those looking for more motivation to work out or who have difficulty focusing on workout goals.
- Harlequin: Harlequin is another sativa-dominant hybrid, but it has a higher ratio of sativa to indica than the other strains we mentioned. The 5:2 ratio of CBD:THC gives you a rush of energy without the psychoactive effects, providing a steady stream of focused energy.
- Sour Diesel: Sour Diesel is a classic strain that creates a euphoric, cerebral high that provides mental clarity and focus without over-the-top psychoactive effects. Because of this, Sour Diesel is a great choice for yoga or other workouts that require mental strength.
- Ghost Train Haze: Ghost Train Haze is one of the most powerful strains on the market, containing roughly 25 percent THC. Too much of this can compromise your workout, but lower doses are excellent for concentration and focus.
- Jack Herer: Jack Herer is a popular strain and creates an uplifting effect. This strain is great for increased energy and motivation, making it ideal for those just starting out or trying to find a workout spark.
- Chocolope: Chocolope is a cerebral sativa that improves motivation and focus. Though it’s hard to find, it’s a wonderful choice for grueling workouts.
- Durban Poison: Durban Poison is pure sativa and has similar effects to other sativa strains, though much stronger. When used with a workout, this strain can increase productivity and endurance.
Check Out Our Menu at Euphoria Wellness
When it comes to cannabis and your workout, the effects are varied, and the different possibilities can help with everything from endurance and focus to pain relief and recovery. The best way to see if cannabis is the right workout supplement for you is to try it out and experiment with different strains and doses to achieve the desired effects.
If you’re looking to boost your workout with cannabis, the team at Euphoria Wellness Las Vegas can help. Our experienced staff will be happy to discuss the different strains and their benefits for workouts so you can determine which is the right choice for your needs. Call or stop by today with your Nevada medical cannabis card to browse our menu!