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 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.