Something that isn’t often thought of as being hand-in-hand is getting stoned and working out. For most people, both are mutually exclusive - you don’t want to rip some weights when you’re high, and you certainly don’t want to be ripped when you’re pumping at the gym. Cannabis and fitness are starting to see a lot more synergies between the two as CBD becomes a regular part of many peoples’ workout routines. Nevertheless, smoking weed after a workout or working out while high on buds just hasn’t seemed to catch on.
If you’re a true gym-junkie, have you thought of cannabis and how it might help to improve your performance? Sure, you might have mad lifts… but what’s the highest you can get, bruh? Cannabis isn’t just helpful for easing pains while you strive for massive gains - cannabinoids and terpenes can improve focus, support muscle elasticity, reduce anxiety and much more.
In many ways, weed before and after the gym is fantastic for setting yourself in the right mindset for crushing some personal bests. Let’s wrack up some heavy truths about working out while high and learn more about the potential advantages and disadvantages of doing oils, edibles or smoking after workouts.
Cannabis can improve or support solid fitness performance in many ways, many of which have become more clearly defined over the past 5 years. Whether it’s some THC for after-workout pain & inflammation management, or relaxing pre-workout nerves and muscles with CBD, cannabis can be found in numerous workout routines. Everyday fitness freaks and professional athletes alike are relying on mental & physical health support from cannabinoids & terpenes from both cannabis and hemp.
Before we touch on the benefits of working out while high, it’s important to make a few comments on the health risks/rewards of smoking cannabis. Smoking after workouts, no matter what it is you’re inhaling, is certainly not in-line with an overall healthy lifestyle. An obvious but often overlooked truth about smoking cannabis is that it’s not good for you, both in the short- and long-term.
You might be enjoying better sleep, improved appetites, less nausea or muscle cramps, and not to mention a much more relaxed body & mind when you light up some buds. Cannabis itself is undeniably beneficial in many regards, but unfortunately the most popular method for absorbing these active compounds - smoking or vaping - is ultimately detrimental to your wellbeing. There’s no “healthy” way to smoke anything - the lungs are not meant to be the main point of absorption for anything but oxygen.
With these obvious risks to smoking cannabis out of the way, let’s consider some of the commonly known benefits of working out while high:
Relaxed mind & body
Sharper focus, heightened awareness or sensitivities
Reduced pain, inflammation, muscle spasms and cramps
Increased tolerance for strain, improved endurance
Increased energy levels, reduced fatigue
Quicker recovery times
Ingesting or absorbing some weed before or after the gym can have significant effects on your fitness performance, but it’s all about finding the right doses and timing them effectively. Your success with cannabis supplements will also depend on your tolerance levels, where you need improvements to your workout routine, how rigorous or frequent you workout, etc.
Most fitness pros that take THC or CBD before, during or after workouts do so because many active compounds of cannabis are known to relax nerves, quell anxiety and ease tension. Fears of performance issues, concerns about injuries, illnesses, and the palpable weight of pressure that comes with maintaining a high-level physique can make working out a stressful ordeal. Most active people find going to the gym to be stress-relieving, but there are times when even the benefits of physical exertion can be overtaken by the pressures of being fit & healthy.
The other most popular reason for taking weed before or after the gym centers around preventing or treating injuries. It’s all-too-easy to hurt yourself when you’re hitting the weights hard, pushing your limits of endurance, or beating your personal best. Even if you’re careful, accidental tears, sprains, breaks or many kinds of strain can happen and derail your fitness journey.
Cannabis is very potent as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, so it can aid in recovering from all the strain you’re putting on your muscles. By taking CBD before a workout or microdosing THC during your routine, you might be able to ease tension or reduce the impacts of inflammation on your musculoskeletal system, therefore avoiding injuries. There’s no guarantees that ingesting weed before and after the gym will mean you’re injury-free, but cannabis certainly improves your chances.
The third most prominent benefit of working out while high has more to do with your state-of-mind than your actual physique. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are known to be great motivators - when they’re dosed properly. If you’re familiar with certain cannabis strains, you know that weed can be the complete opposite of a ‘motivator’ if you take too much of it. This is why a lot of gym junkies are choosing to microdose cannabis in high-potency forms - high-THC, high-CBD, full-spectrum oils or capsules. Microdosing is a great way to get some of the cognitive boosts from cannabis like enhanced focus, mental alacrity and feelings of energy without the brain fog from getting high.
These are just three of the most commonly reported reasons why weed belongs in your workout routine. How else are athletes taking weed before and after the gym? Let’s continue this discussion in the next section where we’ll analyze the ways in which people are benefiting the most from working out while high.
One common question that pops up at every personal trainer’s office has to do with pre- and post-workout routines: is it better to ingest/absorb weed before or after the gym? Put quite simply, it will always depend on your fitness level, your fitness goals and your tolerance to cannabis.
There’s no secret formula for getting the most out of cannabis - it’s not one size/type fits all. Each and every person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is unique, so we can all expect to experience different effects and have unique, personal experiences whenever we introduce cannabinoids into our bodies. This is why it is so difficult to predict the effects of cannabis, even if we have data on the experiences of certain strains or potency levels.
It’s important to understand that some people might find CBD before a workout helps to relax their nerves and focus up for a big day at the gym. In other cases, THC after hitting the weights can help some people to recover quicker and get right back to working towards their fitness goals. You have to experiment with weed before and after workouts to determine what dosing schedule works best for you.
Also keep in mind that cannabinoids like THC, CBD and others can complement one another when taken together in certain amounts. Full-spectrum cannabis products - those cannabis products that contain all of the resident cannabinoids and terpenes - are great for accomplishing multiple effects with a single dose. You need to be familiar with your tolerance levels to weed before you delve into these kinds of high-quality, high-potency products. That being said, you can derive a ton of benefits from these kinds of entourage-effect products.
The cannabis products that work best in your case will depend on potency, volume, dosing schedule and factors like your own genetics, diet and fitness levels. To get you started, here’s a few popular ways to take cannabis as a pre- or post-workout supplement:
CBD oil before working out, to calm nerves, relax muscles, focus your brain
THC capsules pre-working out to get ahead of soreness, stiffness or swelling
Cannabis topicals applied to areas where chafing, strain or irritation often arise
CBD edibles a couple hours before doing cardio can help you hit that ‘runner’s high’
CBD or THC vape to quell anxiety and motivate you before attempting a new personal best
Toking on some potent buds after working out to bring you down after an intense workout
CBD oil ingested or applied topically to sore areas
THC capsules, oils or edibles after working out to decrease inflammation
Cannabis post-workout to calm your body & mind
Smoking THC after workouts to stimulate appetite or ease nausea
A big part of hitting your fitness goals has to do with how you relax & recover after all that intense weight lifting. Many fitness freaks are very particular about what they put into their bodies, and rightly so - your physique and fitness are your greatest pride if you’re a gym junkie. Fitness enthusiasts and fitness pros alike share many admirable qualities, such as dedication, discipline, extreme focus and the ability to push their limits.
This is all well and good, but even the most ripped, statuesque Greek God or Goddess deserves to chill out and relax like the rest of the scrawny masses. Sometimes smoking after working out is okay - your muscles aren’t going to melt away if you take just one night off! Relaxation is really important for mental and physical wellbeing, especially if you stick to a strict workout schedule all week.
When you’re ready to start investing in your own R&R - which is an important part of any fitness regiment by the way - check out the huge inventory of all kinds of weed to suit your needs, at Haute Health. Whether you want to light one up, drop some edibles, dose some oil, or pop a quick capsule Haute has all your cannabis needs covered, and then some.
Stay strong, stay primed, keep pushing your limits and don’t forget to do a little dro from time-to-time and you’ll never go wrong.