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Cannabis and Exercise: Benching Blazed

How does cannabis affect your workout?

When you think of marijuana, the first thing that pops into your mind isn’t usually working out or exercise, but did you know that the two could be more closely related than you think? Around the world, scientists are rushing to identify links between cannabis, exercise and many of the different activities that we do. 

Forget the Doritos and Netflix. It’s now all about cannabis and working out. 

One cannabis dispensary in San Francisco, Mission Cannabis Club, which offers cannabis delivery to surrounding areas, knows only too well the link between fitness and cannabis. The traditional ‘stoner‘ image of cannabis users is mostly a thing of the past as you watch a long line of extremely fit and buff customers walk in and out through the front doors. 

As the legalization of cannabis continues across the country, we’re seeing a completely different type of cannabis user emerge. It’s not only in cannabis dispensaries in San Francisco either, but the typical cannabis user is also evolving at a rapid pace, and the cannabis industry is rushing to meet the needs of a new group it never even anticipated. 

What does the research about cannabis and exercise tell us? 

Despite the typical ‘stoner‘ image of being lazy and overweight, you might be surprised to learn that research has shown that cannabis users are actually less likely to be overweight or obese and have a lower BMI (body mass index) than average Americans. 

We know what you’re thinking, what about the munchies? Surely all those late-night snacks and midnight meals will end up on your hips. Wrong! In another study, which stretched over three years, marijuana users actually gained less weight than those who chose not to use marijuana products, without even considering exercise. 

It’s this type of research that starts to make you think about stereotypes and what most people believe. It’s the results of these studies which has led researchers to start looking at other questions like ‘what is marijuana actually made people more active?‘ what if? It’s an interesting question, and lucky for us, the people at the University of Colorado are investigating this very question. 

It takes the term ‘runner’s high’ to a completely different level! 

This study looked at whether or not marijuana made people more active and want to exercise and workout, and was published in the medical journal, Frontiers in Public Health. The study involved more than six-hundred marijuana users from across America who lived in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized.

Of the six-hundred participants, the study was closely split between males and females, with the average age of participants sitting at about 37 years old. What was really exciting was that over 80% of the people involved in the study agreed with using marijuana either before exercise and a workout or directly after exercise and a workout. 

The study found that those who used marijuana actually did forty-three minutes more of aerobic exercise than the national average and thirty-minutes more weightlifting or weight exercise than the national average for their age. 

Angela Bryan, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC-Boulder, said, “the average marijuana user in our study was exercising a lot more than your average American, it seemed that not only were cannabis users, in general, doing exercise quite a bit, but they were combining cannabis and exercise behavior at pretty high rates.”

So, why are people that smoke marijuana more active and in better shape on average than those who don’t? Interestingly, many of the people involved in the survey who smoked marijuana cited that they did exercise more often because they were having more fun. Maybe getting high and hitting the treadmill or the exercise bike when you’re baked is just more fun?  

How does cannabis use impact your body regarding exercise? 

You only have to watch a sports show or look online to see that professional athletes are jumping on board the marijuana train for exercise at a phenomenal pace. Dozens of professional athletes have come out in support of cannabis use for both pre-workout exercise and also as a recovery aid. 

One of the most famous was Nate Diaz, a professional mixed martial artist who appeared in a post-fight interview using cannabidiol (CBD) vaporizer while answering questions about the fight. 

Battered and bruised with his face almost completely pummeled after losing the fight to McGregor, Diaz said when questioned by reporters about what he was vaping ‘It’s CBD,” Diaz said at the time. “It helps with the healing process and inflammation after a workout, stuff like that. So, you want to get these for before and after the fights, training, workout, and exercise. It’ll make your life a better place.

There have been various studies that have focused on CBD’s ability to help reduce inflammation and its natural anti-inflammatory properties, but how does that help with exercise and working out? 

Studies have shown us that CBD can reduce inflammation in the body. It does this by interacting with the receptors located within the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Everyone, regardless of whether or not they’ve tried marijuana, has an ECS. It’s believed that the ECS is responsible for maintaining balance and harmony inside our bodies. 

When we exercise, it causes microscopic tears in our muscles. The body then floods the area with inflammatory bodies, which cause swelling. This swelling helps to protect the area while it repairs itself. When the microscopic tears are repaired, the muscle is stronger than before. As you repeat this process during a workout over and over again, you build muscle. 

Now, the time between the tears occurring (when you work out) and when you can work out again determines how often you can work out and how quickly you will build muscles. Of course, there are pharmaceutical products that help with inflammation, but wouldn’t a natural product such as marijuana be better than putting who knows what chemicals into your body? 

Cannabis and Exercise – Conclusion 

There is a growing movement around the world to finding natural solutions to health issues. Marijuana could have a lot to offer, and many of the preliminary studies are starting to look very promising. Still, more medical research is needed before we can make any specific claims about what cannabis could or couldn’t do, including for exercise. 

As the legalization of cannabis continues worldwide and across the United States, more and more studies are being started, and the knowledge surrounding cannabis increases. For the time being, doing exercise and enjoying a little bit of cannabis might not be such a bad thing! 

If you live in San Francisco, and you’re looking for a cannabis dispensary in San Francisco, which offers cannabis delivery, then Mission Cannabis Club is definitely worth a closer look!