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Can Cannabis Improve Your Workout?

Can Cannabis Improve Your Workout?

If you were hoping for a straight answer as to whether marijuana is capable of impacting your workout, there unfortunately isn’t a whole lot of scientific research behind the effects of cannabis on exercise thus far. What does exist says that the consumption of weed prior to your workout can actually degrade your peak performance.

While that may be the case, consuming cannabis can also raise the level of enjoyment you experience during certain activities – especially those that are repetitive.

Basically: running on a treadmill while high may motivate you to run for longer and possibly more in the future, but it is recommended to forgo the ganga for any activity in which your best is required, or something in which your safety could be at risk if you are not at your most alert.

If your workout requires quick decision making, it is probably best you forgo the smoke sesh’ prior to said activity. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be pretty tricky while high, too. Studies have shown cannabis to be capable of interfering with your reaction time and your perception of short intervals, and a decreased sense of focus could mean you may be forgetting about proper form.

What They Do Know

THC is stored in the human body within fat cells. A study done by the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal showed that this process of storage can provide an additional boost to those exercising, even up to 28 days after the fact. As your body starts to burn off fat, slight amounts of THC are released back into your bloodstream. This effect this can produce is like consuming small amounts of marijuana.

The American Journal of Medicine published a study that found regular consumers of cannabis to have 16% lower levels of fasting insulin (the insulin in your body prior to eating) as compared to non-cannabis consumers. The same study found consumers to have 17% lower insulin resistance levels and to typically be less resistant to insulin in general.

The UCLA conducted a three-year retrospective study in which they found the death rate of concussion patients who had THC in their system at the time of their accident is much less than those who did not. It is believed that that anti-inflammatory properties provided by CBD can assist in reducing the swelling occurring in the brain, helping to recover from the injury.

A 2016 study found marijuana users to typically have a better carbohydrate metabolism and are generally less obese than those who do not consume – even though users also tend to consume up to 600 more calories on the daily.

Benefits of CBD

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has banned marijuana in both natural and synthetic forms in-performance, however they have changed their minds regarding CBD and removed it from their list of banned substances as of 2018. CBD provides so many benefits without the psychotropic affects, from treating inflammation, stress, and anxiety.

The natural inflammation and resulting soreness that can occur post-workout can make it difficult to stay motivated. Regularly exercising users of CBD typically experience less soreness and stiffness and an increase in flexibility, making it easier to work out more frequently.

Large amounts of CBD (in excess of 100 milligrams) can make you drowsy, so try to consume a smaller dose prior to your workout and a larger one post-workout.

Strains Matter

Consider the areas of your workout you would like to improve upon, and from there you can decide which strain would be best to assist in accomplishing your goals.

If you find yourself lacking motivation once you get to the gym, try sativa strains that could provide you an extra boost. If you have difficulty winding down post-workout, consider an indica strain that could help you get to sleep and recover your muscles.


Cannabis has been known to work well as a painkiller, with consumers using it to treat acute and chronic pain. Smoking can help to make the pain from any small injuries that may incur while working out much more bearable.


The best way to figure out how working out while high is to just try it. Start with a short, low-risk workout in which it’s not crucial that you operate at peak performance. Also skip out on the sesh’ prior to any high-reaction/high-risk workout where your safety is reliant on a sharp state of mind.

There are several questions to start with if you have yet to work out while high but are considering: how does getting high affect you otherwise? Do you experience a significant increase in heart rate? What kind of exercise would you be taking part in while high?

Consuming cannabis can raise your heart rate and lower your blood pressure, so if you regularly work out and are rather fit, working out high can increase your chance of feeling lightheaded. Working out can also make you feel higher, so try not to go too overboard prior to your exercise time if you don’t want to get too high.

Medical users tend to have a higher tolerance and can therefore function with higher levels of THC.

It is advised to skip the edibles prior to working out, as the time it takes them to kick in can vary.