For many people, the image of a standard cannabis consumer and that of a dedicated athlete will be hard to match. If you think of a standard smoker as an overly laid-back, dazed, and lazy couch-hugger, we see the problem. It’s not the kind of person you may expect to see grinding away at the gym, or training for that marathon in disciplined dedication. Thing is, though, you may be dead wrong in your assumptions.
If, on the other hand, you are one of the many cannabis consumers who manage to integrate their exercise routines with their marijuana hobby, you may want to read on. There may be some unexpected benefits to enjoying sports as well as weed. Could we be on to a winning combination here?
Increasingly, people with as much love for sports as for cannabis are finding ways to combine both worlds. Modern athletes are using cannabis products to boost their performance. At the same time, long-time smokers find ways to stick to a healthy exercise routine in their daily lives. Can an active lifestyle and a passion for weed go hand in hand? We set out to find some answers, so do read on – this could be the boost you need to actually make that workout work out for you!
Pushing Our Bodies To The Limit
Typically, during exercise, we tend to work our body to the point where our reserves of fuel, building materials, and other essential substances are depleted. In addition, for a sports routine to really push our performance beyond our comfort zones, we generally get mild or severe muscle aches and cramps as our ‘reward’. If we go too far, actual injuries may occur. In other words: if we want to pump our muscles, improve our performance and extend our capabilities, we need to push our bodies beyond their limits. We just need to do that in a sensible way if we want to keep it up.
Lean, Mean And Green
Cannabis as a plant species is known to be full of organic compounds that can benefit the human body. These days, more and more athletes are discovering that these cannabinoids may be a positive contribution towards a healthy and sustainable exercise regime. Sure: a healthy diet, plenty of recovery time, and a balanced schedule really help to keep sports healthy, but amateurs and professional athletes are beginning to throw in cannabinoids as part of their overall strategy for healthy workouts to get as lean, mean and green as they want to be.
CBD And THC
We have explored possibilities of using cannabinoids for all sorts of medical conditions, ranging from epilepsy to PTSD and from cancer to anxiety disorders. Still, there are chronic conditions that aren’t necessarily real diseases for which THC or CBD can provide real relief. When it comes to sports, chronic pain, stress, and exhaustion can be serious obstacles when you’re trying to stick to your training schedule. This is precisely the point where cannabis can support your athletic efforts.
Supporting Your Endocannabinoid System
In our own nervous system, what we call the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a central role in maintaining a healthy balance for all the organs that make up our body. From our muscles to our liver, lungs, and vascular system, these organs all contribute to our athletic performance. CBD in particular is known to function as support for our ECS. CBD helps relieve pain, counters inflammation, and aids recovery of depleted tissues. These are properties that can really help you to keep going where you might give up unaided. As more and more athletes are finding out, using CBD-rich cannabis strains can help you go the extra mile and stretch just beyond that comfort zone. That may be the difference between an ‘okay’ workout and a session that pushes your abilities just a little further.
Boosting Your Athlete’s Mindset
As you know, there’s more to cannabis than just CBD, beneficial as that may be. The best-known compound in marijuana is THC, of course, and this too may prove helpful in your athletic endeavours. Picking the right strain is crucial here. If you opt for a very strong body buzz strain, you may find yourself hopelessly couchlocked, without any ambition left to go to that gym in the first place. Still, with the right dose of THC in your weed, you can improve your focus to the point where you manage to squeeze in a few extra reps.
That Extra Mile
If you prefer to work out at home, or run a few miles in the park, a few puffs of a suitable strain could help you keep up just al little longer, improving your stamina with every single session. Whether you practice at home, out on the road, or in the gym, though, always make sure to stay cautious. It’s great to see your tolerance to exercise and minor aches improve, but if you push yourself too hard, you’ll end up with injuries after all. These injuries tend to be more severe because you have pushed further beyond your regular limits, so that could put you out of action for even longer. That would defeat the purpose of course. Be sure to explore your own tolerance levels to prevent going too far.
Of course, there are some obvious drawbacks involved in using cannabis for your athletic performance. The first one is the fact that smoking is bad for your lungs. This can be largely circumvented by vaping, or by opting for edibles and CBD or THC-infused drinks. Edibles take some timing and can be tricky in terms of the right dosage, so taking a vaporiser with you may be your best option here. When it comes to CBD, there are many dietary supplements, oils, and other options to use CBD without having to smoke anything at all.
Another serious risk for professional athletes is doping regulations. Even though the world seems to be taking a more tolerant stance to weed in general, doping regulations change all the time. Especially when competing internationally, you could be in for a nasty surprise if local regulations turn out to be stricter than those at home. If you plan to take your athletics to a professional level, you may want to consult a sports physician on your options. On the other hand, professional leagues such as the NBA or NFL are full of top athletes who add cannabis to their training routines – and more of them are opening up about it every season.
Works Both Ways
Whatever your attitude towards either weed or sports, we are starting to discover that the two can really supplement each other. Cannabinoids can really improve your sports performance, but it works the other way around as well. If you are a veteran smoker, you may find that adding a bit of exercise to your daily schedule will noticeably improve your physical and mental wellbeing. As a matter of fact, treating yourself to a nice spliff will feel more rewarding after you’ve worked up a sweat first.
Balance And Moderation
Whether you’re a gym addict or not, though, remember to be moderate and balanced in all things you do. Find a sport that feels right for you, and then pick a cannabis strain to match your taste, your needs, and your personality. Don’t overdo it on the smoking; don’t go too far in those workouts either. Ask your local coffeeshop professional for advice if you don’t know where to start, and good luck finding the perfect combination that works best for you!