The recent legalization of cannabis has revealed a large number of trends that many people did not expect. We didn’t see the overwhelming adoption of cannabis among the over-50 crowd coming, or the sheer variety of cannapreneur enterprises that have popped up. But one trend that has taken everyone by surprise is how popular cannabis has grown with runners and other athletes. Unless, of course, you’ve been exercising with MJ as your secret weapon for years.
Why Do Runners Love Cannabis
Cannabis has a reputation for couch potatoes, but if you know the secret, it’s actually the perfect complement to the endorphins and physical high one gets from exercise. Just a few breaths can increase stamina and make running much more inherently enjoyable because the natural high pairs so perfectly with the runner’s high. But it’s not just about euphoria. It’s also about how your body feels and how well it recovers after a run. While we will definitely go into detail, cannabis helps to ease the aches and pains associated with running and even helps to prevent aches and stiffness when a run is over.
Exercise and cannabis go hand-in-hand, whether you puff before, during, or after a session or a long run. Let’s break it down into the several different reasons why runners love cannabis and many athletes would recommend a little cannabis to boost your performance and comfort with physical activity.
Eases the Aches and Muscle Soreness
You might think that runners are in it for the high, but really, they’re in it for the physical comfort. Cannabis has a unique quality of easing muscle soreness almost immediately and preventing it from returning after a workout. Runners who enjoy a little cannabis before they hit the trail will find that their muscles warm up more comfortably, that the stretching sensation when you push off feels good, and that you “feel the burn” without actually experiencing physical discomfort.
That physical fuzzy feeling provided by cannabis that most people associate with a “body high” also provides a warm supportive sensation for runners. And no, this isn’t’ fooling your muscles or putting you at risk of injury. Your muscles really are more relaxed while still fully being under your control which feels amazing and circumvents the aches and soreness that often come with runner training.
Reduces Fatigue, Increasing Stamina
That feel-good sensation that makes your whole body more warm and relaxed also has a unique way of reducing the fatigue we often feel while running, especially during long runs. When your body would usually start complaining and your mind would begin its laser-tight focus on counting the minutes until you can get into your shower at home, cannabis helps you continue to feel the joy of running even as your body gets tired.
A big part of the stamina enhancement is the reduction of muscle pain and, even more importantly, muscle stiffness as you wear yourself out. Anyone who has ever done a big workout with cannabis knows that the major missing component is pain. And when you don’t feel pain, you can reach your real stamina limits, not just what your brain says you can handle.
Prevents Post-Workout Pains
Of course, that lack of muscle soreness and stiffness isn’t’ just in the moment. You might be thinking “Yeah, but I’m sure you feel it an hour later, or the next day”. The surprising answer is that no, you don’t! Unlike drinking, cannabis paired with exercise isn’t “writing a check your body cashes later”. It relaxes your muscles in the moment, which means that you don’t tense up and it helps to avoid building up dangerous amounts of lactic acid in the muscles which is often what causes those signature aches and post-workout pains.
Enhancing the Runner’s High
Cannabis also has a unique way of enhancing the pure wonderful joy of running. If you love to exercise, to feel your body tune up to it’s most efficient state, to feel the wind in your face and endorphins pumping through your blood; well Cannabis only makes it better. We’ve all heard about the Runner’s High, that special euphoria we only get when we reach an optimal cardio workout and get to go really, really fast.
This euphoria pairs perfectly with the gentle high of cannabis. Both create a feeling of wellbeing and happiness. Both make your body feel light and energetic. Both activate the mind so you think your most creative and enlightened thoughts. And Cannabis makes the natural runner’s high feel that much more amazing without the nervous jitters that some people get after an intense workout. You will run longer, your muscles will feel better, and you will gain more joy out of each run by pairing the right strain of cannabis with your daily or weekly runs.
Easier to Eat When Exercising Intensely
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Runners have also turned to cannabis for one other reason: Eating. Many runners have a hard time eating before an early-morning run or after a run even if they are hungry. The reason for this is that the body goes into a special ‘workout mode’ where it needs calories, but your body believes you can’t be held down by food in your belly.
If you need to eat breakfast without it sitting like a lump in your stomach before a run or if you have trouble eating the protein you need for muscle building after a run, cannabis is the natural solution. Even a very mild high can help un-knot your stomach and boost your appetite so that you can eat what’s healthy and enjoy it even if your body would normally be more resistant to intaking calories on the right schedule.
Enjoying Cannabis Without Impacting Your Lungs
Finally, you may be wondering “How on earth can runners smoke weed when they need their lungs for big deep cardio breaths?” The answer is, of course, that they don’t smoke it at all. Modern cannabis methods are so incredibly varied beyond the traditional joints, pipes, or bongs. It is no longer necessary to light the leaf and inhale smoke to get a pleasant high before, during, or after a run.
Vaping is the direct alternative, with the VG vapor being gentle and easy on the lungs with none of the traditional damage of smoke. But many runners use even gentler methods like tinctures or gummies. For runners with knee or hip pain, they may even turn to a cannabis topical to ease the aches directly through the skin.
Whether you are a runner, a cannabis connoisseur, or just curious about how these things come together, let us assure you: Runners love cannabis because the two go perfectly hand-in-hand. Many athletes are enjoying legal recreational cannabis because it eases muscle pain before, during, and after intense exercise and naturally enhances the Runner’s High that good cardio can bring. For more insights into the benefits and varieties of today’s legal cannabis, contact us today!