Cannabis and fitness

It’s a new year and fitness goals are in many of our minds, but too many people still think cannabis and fitness don’t go together. Cannabis gets a bad reputation for making people sink into the couch to binge-watching their favourite show and snack. But this just isn’t the case anymore. More and more people are using cannabis to help them reach their fitness goals. And it might not be in the ways you have considered. Yes, cannabis, particularly CBD, is a great resource for recovery as it helps to reduce inflammation, effectively manages pain, stimulates appetite and helps you sleep (which is when your body recovers). But we can also use cannabis as a pre-workout.

If you were hoping for a post more about setting goals around fitness this new year we have that post for you too. Check out our post “Set Better Goals and Increase your chance of success”.

How can cannabis be an effective pre-workout? Consider some of the common barriers people face when considering exercise:

  • Lack of time 
  • Lack of motivation/energy 
  • Find it boring or unenjoyable 
  • Lack the confidence or feel anxious about it
  • Lack of sleep

Cannabis & fitness: How cannabis can help you overcome fitness barriers. 

Finding the right strain of cannabis, or using CBD, before exercising can help make fitness more enjoyable and help you reach your goals. 

  1. Raises metabolism. 
    • According to a study recorded in Men’s Journal: The compounds in cannabis may help raise metabolism, speed fat loss, and lower cholesterol. This can help us reach our fitness goals and even lose weight.
  2. Motivation and focus. 
    • Some fitness buffs believe cannabis helps them stay focused at the gym. “I found it helped with my motivation on days when I didn’t want to go (work out). When lifting, it helps me focus on slowing down on my reps, focus on form and really engage my muscles. (And) cannabis makes running more tolerable — like a runner’s high, but you start with it,” Canadian resident Daniel Winer told MarketWatch.
    • This increase in endorphins can help motivate you to get into the workout rather than having to push yourself to build up those endorphins naturally. 
  3. Makes fitness more enjoyable. 
    • Cannabis can help you feel more connected to your body as well as to nature. Consider how a small dose of cannabis might change your perspective the next time you go on a trail run or hike the Grouse Grind. Though we suggest not attempting something like the Grouse Grind the first time you combine cannabis and fitness.
    • Consider combining cannabis and yoga for exactly this reason. Read about Liv at CannaCentric’s experience with cannabis, yoga and chronic pain.
  4. Reduces Anxiety.
    • It’s normal to feel a little anxious about going to the gym or starting a new exercise routine. Cannabis, when used appropriately, can help manage those anxieties and help you feel calmer when approaching your exercise routine. Read more about how to use cannabis to help anxiety here. 
    • It’s important to note that you should not use cannabis as a substitute for knowledge. If you are unsure of how to safely approach a new exercise routine do your research or consider starting with a coach.

Using Cannabis Safely As a Pre-workout

Cannabis does have an impact on your brain and your body so it’s essential that you pay attention to your body and use cannabis safely to prevent injury.

If you are not an experienced cannabis user it may make sense to limit your use to recovery for now or consider using CBD only as it does not produce the psychoactive high associated with THC. If you are an experienced cannabis user but are newer to fitness take it slow and remember the advice below.

  1. Make sure you have the right equipment. Having the right equipment regardless of whether or not you’re using cannabis pre-workout is an important part of safety.
  2. Have the knowledge you need. If you are new to a particular fitness routine make sure you have the knowledge and skills you need to be successful prior to adding THC into the equation. If you haven’t weight lifted before do your research or consider a trainer to make sure you are getting the lifts right. Safe lifts and good form is always better than heavier weights.
  3. Start with a small dose and don’t use cannabis for the first time before e big event (like a race or lifting competition).
  4. Have a workout buddy. Safety always comes in numbers and this is also true when it comes to working out. Having a sober spotter can help make sure you are exercising safely.
  5. Don’t do your biggest lifts. THC can impact your balance, so don’t do your big power lifts when you use before your workout. It may be better for those long cardio days where you want to focus on running and ignore that pain that most of us hate. Though of course remember not to use too much that it affects your balance too much and makes you ignore the possibility of an injury.

Fitness

Things to remember when combining cannabis with fitness

  1. Start small.
    • A small dose prior to working out is likely enough to help get you motivated, focus and deal with any of those workout/gym anxieties. As physical fitness increases, a person often metabolizes cannabinoids faster which means a smaller does it often appropriate
  2. Hydrate.
    • Make sure to drink enough water during as well as after your workout. Most of us are guilty of not drinking enough water as it is, and we particularly need to replenish ourselves after a sweaty workout. 
  3. Recover/eat right.
    • CBD can be a huge part of our fitness recovery plan but we also need to make sure we eat right. Protein is a helpful part of a post-recovery meal as well as fruits and veggies to keep things balanced. 
    • Consider adding cannabis to your healthy meals rather than having that stereotypical edible treat. Try a cannabis-infused salad dressing that you can add to all your greens. Check out the recipes section of our blog for more healthy cannabis recipe ideas. Cannabis edibles are made easy with Miss Envy’s infused line of edible products
  4. Don’t skip cardio.
    • Despite all the positive aspects of cannabis if you do choose to smoke, over other cannabis consumption methods, it does have an impact on your lungs. So keep your cardiovascular fitness up and your lungs as healthy as possible by not skipping cardio.

What people are saying about cannabis and fitness

In areas where cannabis is legal, studies seem to show that those who combine cannabis and fitness tend to workout more. Read more about what people are saying about their experience with cannabis and fitness at MarketWatch.

Christine Ledon (@sokhalessi_fit) does CrossFit, Snowboarding and indoor climbing and cannabis is a significant part of her workout routine. She says “CBD before, THC after is my rule.” She uses a CBD dominant tincture during the day, and typically a couple of hours before her workout, then a 1:1 vape helps to balance her mood and soreness throughout the day. Since her upper body is often extra sore she makes sure to use a THC heavy topical and prioritize stretching. She is in Southern California and currently using mostly NanoTech products through MCEC Delivery.

Christine also says that she feels “fortunate that [she] found what works. [And] anyone new to this has to know that patience is key and to [reccommends people] to try everything. What may work for [her] could give someone else anxiety.” So, experiment a little and find out what works best for you, just make sure to do it safely. And remember, “all of this is superior to ibuprofen,” she adds. We definitely agree, Christine!

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Have you used cannabis in your pre-workout routine? We’d love to hear your experience as well as what routine works best for you. Send us a message on social media @miss.envybotanicals

 

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