So it’s time for your weekly weed delivery and you’re looking to try something a little different. What about a strain to help with exercise? Let’s get past the stereotype that cannabis restricts you to a couchlock only type of enjoyment. Although the type of stimulation you would normally associate with cannabis isn’t the type of stimulation that would come to mind with exercise – research has shown that more people are lighting up pre- and post-workout. Two of the main reasons? Motivation and recovery.
The biggest hurdle for those less enthusiastic about getting in the recommended daily amount of physical activity is that they’re simply not motivated.
The University of Colorado Boulder published a paper in The Journal of Frontiers in Public Health that studied 600 adult marijuana users living in states where cannabis is legal, including Colorado, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. It included questions about marijuana use and exercise and whether participants felt it affected their workouts and how they thought it influenced exercise motivation and recovery.
The researchers in the study, including Angela Bryan a professor of psychology and neuroscience, found that about 70% of the 600 study participants claim that using cannabis before a workout actually makes the workout enjoyable. According to the study, “participants who use cannabis before and/or after exercise reported that they exercised more, and had positive attitudes about co-use on exercise, which implies cannabis may be a useful tool for exercise among some users. In other words, sedentary cannabis users, particularly those who attribute low physical activity to concerns about recovery, motivation, or enjoyment, may benefit from co-use, provided that they select low-risk exercise options that do not compromise safety during intoxication.”
Oftentimes the lack of enjoyment in a workout is enough to deter frequent exercise however, for most of the participants in the study, throwing cannabis into the mix “increases enjoyment of, recovery from, and to some extent the motivation to engage in exercise. As these factors positively correlate with exercise behavior, using cannabis with exercise may play a beneficial role in the health of cannabis users,” reads the study.
Think about the feelings of euphoria often associated with a runner’s high. The physical activity releases endorphins in the brain and it’s these endorphins that ignite the feelings of pleasure because they activate opioid receptors. According to Bryan, the pleasure triggers ultimately create a positive feedback loop that encourages the continuation and repetition of exercise because if something feels good, you’re going to want to do it again and again.
Okay so maybe now cannabis has helped motivate you to work out and maybe you’re even enjoying it in ways you really haven’t before, but you’re having a rough go with the recovery. Cannabis helps there too.
Research shows that intense physical activity puts stress on the body and can trigger a flood of chemicals known as cytokines – which inflame muscles and are a big reason why you feel soreness the day after an intense workout. According to Bryan, CBD (considered the non-psychoactive component of cannabis) has been shown to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines and can limit the feeling of sore muscles.
CBD topicals and tinctures are perfect for locally targeting pain and inflammation but cannabis in general is a great natural alternative for alleviating all kinds of pain (acute and chronic) and even muscle spasms – especially for those individuals who want to avoid habit-forming opiates.
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Use Your Judgement
The study also acknowledges that cannabis can disrupt balance, impact reaction time, effect motor function and can elevate heart rate. While those side effects might be passable for lower impact exercise, stay away from anything that might require a lot of effort with coordination like HIIT, lifting, rock climbing etc.
Time for Experimenting
CBD oil and cream can be incorporated into any workout as they relieve delayed onset muscle soreness and microscopic tears to muscle fibres. Place an order with Chronic Haze today to receive your goods!
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