Weed and Working Out: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Weed and Working Out: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Many gym goers are smoking weed before a work out, but is it a good idea?

Have you heard the latest pre-workout routine that some say does wonders for their gym time? Marijuana! Yes, you read that correctly. Marijuana is becoming an increasingly popular supplement with anyone from the average-joe gym goer to the professional athlete. But without any clinical trials, how do you know if dosing before you hit the weight rack is actually a good idea? This week, we learn from cannabis-friendly experts the pros and cons, and when having a pre-workout marijuana boost is never a good idea.


The Pros and Cons

The question of whether taking marijuana before a workout is a good idea will vary from expert to expert. While there are many anecdotal studies that tout the benefits, there is very little clinical evidence that dosing before a workout will increase your physical gains.

“Cannabis has been shown to be a performance-degrading drug, so for peak performance, you should not use cannabis,” says Harvard-trained physician and cannabis therapeutics specialist Jordan Tishler, MD.

“It’s worth noting that cannabis can impair motor control and judgment, so it should only be used in a safe setting,” Tishler adds. He advises against activities like “street running, cycling, bungee-jumping, and skydiving,” and also suggests starting on a small dose.

But, Dr. Tishler also states that there can be some benefits to a cannabis-fueled session. “Cannabis has been shown to be good for pain control and can be useful while training at non-peak levels. Like a runner’s high, cannabis can help with endurance.”

Integrative cannabis physician Dr. June Chin agrees, saying that provided there is no persistent initial injury cannabis can help “during the training season to help recover, ease pain, and push to the next level. The goal is that they don’t get bogged down by that stubborn knee or lower back pain. They can run the longer distance, be faster and more efficient. They can power through it.”


Rest and Recovery

As previously stated, it seems that the highest benefit from using marijuana while working out comes during the rest and relaxation period post workout. And for that, many of the experts say sticking with a CBD (the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana) can lead to a speedier recovery between workouts.

On top of the many benefits of CBD, it is also known to decrease muscle spasms and seizures, as well as decrease pain and inflammation. The last two prove to be crucial in allowing your muscles to repair and grow, leading to a better recovery. And the better your recovery, the more consistently you’ll be able to work out.


First, Understand Your Relationship With Marijuana

Before you begin smoking prior to a workout, it’s imperative that you already know your relationship with marijuana to begin with. Doses and strains react very differently to each individual. Not knowing how your mind and body react to marijuana can lead to a dangerous situation for you and those around you. Start with small doses, and easy exercises such as walking or yoga to see how your body reacts to both simultaneously. Once you understand how marijuana and exercise work for you, then you can adjust your dose and workouts from there.


When To Absolutely NOT Do It

Even though there are benefits of marijuana-themed workouts, experts all agree that there are definite times when you should only rely on your endorphins for a workout high.

  • If you’re under 18, stay away. Not only is it illegal, but smoking marijuana at such a young age could lead to developmental delays.
  • Those with heart issues, beware. Marijuana acts as a muscle relaxant, which in turn relaxes your blood vessels, which can lower blood pressure. To compensate, your heart will pump faster and harder which spells trouble for those with heart issues, especially when working out.
  • Stick with adrenalin. When dealing with fast-paced, highly technical activities, it’s best to keep your mind and body completely clear. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s a sport where your life is on the line (auto racing, skydiving, etc.), wait until the final whistle to light up.


At MedicalMarijuana.com, we’re always interested to hear how you safely incorporate marijuana into your everyday activities. Do you have experience with marijuana while working out? What differences have you noticed? Let us know on Facebook, or @mmdotcom.


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