Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Distance runners and newcomers to a 5k alike are familiar with the mental and physical challenge of hitting the pavement. As more states legalize cannabis, increasing scores of runners are turning to cannabis use to improve their runner’s high and the toll running takes on their bodies.
But what strain is best for that daily run? While there is no definitive “best strain for running,” there are reports of some varieties having more uplifting and energizing effects than others.
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12 Best Strains for Running
Individuals may benefit differently from different strains (cultivars). We’ve collected a list of our 12 favorite cultivars for running and getting the most out of your outdoor adventure to speed up your exploration process.
(Note: What works best for you may be individual to you and may not even be on this list. So, don’t feel like you’re limited to the strains listed below.)
1. Pineapple Express
Pineapple Express is an energizing, tropical-flavored hybrid cultivar popularized by the movie of the same name, though it first appeared after its 2008 debut. A combination of Trainwreck and Hawaiian, this cultivar produces long-lasting boosted energy levels, making it an excellent choice for distance running. Users report feeling buzzed and alert while enjoying pain relief and prevention from running-related workout strain.
2. Durban Poison
Durban Poison is a landrace pure sativa that helps those who prefer to sleep in to look forward to their morning run. The potent, energizing cultivar is an excellent strain for inspiring people to hit the payment and keep them motivated for miles at a time. However, you may want to consume it in a method other than smoking, as its peppery aromas may induce a slight cough.
3. Green Crack
Green Crack is another excellent motivator for those who need help attacking their morning run. This sativa-dominant hybrid is a highly stimulating cultivar that targets energy levels and low moods. Its more psychoactive effects will also make your run much more enjoyable, distracting from the intense impact of long-distance training with an appreciation for the great outdoors.
4. Sour Diesel
Cannabis users have long sung Sour Diesel‘s praises as one of the most popular strains for improving focus and energy. Sour Diesel produces a relatively clear-headed high despite its high THC content, thanks to its energizing and focusing limonene and beta-caryophyllene content.
5. OG Kush
OG Kush‘s moderate THC levels and balance of sativa and indica qualities make it an excellent choice for during and post-run cannabis use. The strain’s myrcene and pinene content are beneficial in reducing sore muscles or mitigating calf strains after a long workout.
6. Great White Shark
Sativa-dominant and potent, Great White Shark‘s nearly 20% THC content reportedly helps relieve muscle stiffness and produce a euphoria that allows users to lose themselves in a long run. Myrcene, pinene, and terpinolene also help contribute to the muscle recovery boost provided by Great White Shark.
7. Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze is a popular sativa cultivar that’s much-beloved for its ability to relieve stress and boost users with creative, happy-go-luck energy. This makes it a great strain to complement the natural runner’s high produced by the body’s endocannabinoid system, helping people run longer and train more effectively.
8. Jack Herer
This sativa-leaning, legendary strain is named for the well-known cannabis rights activist Jack Herer and provides a mixed bag of effects that make running all the more achievable. Jack Herer’s limonene content and psychoactive effects equip consumers with an energy boost that makes elevating your heart rate even more fun, perfect for those who need a little more motivation to get off the couch.
9. White Widow
White Widow is a famously energizing strain with a host of medicinal uses. While its origins are uncertain, White Widow produces a balanced range of energetic effects that don’t make users feel out of control.
Harlequin is a strain much beloved for its high CBD content, purporting an approximate 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC. A fan favorite amongst avid runners, CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory that prevents and soothes muscle soreness. Incorporating Harlequin into your fitness routine produces a clear-headed mental experience, as CBD acts as an antagonist and effectively blocks THC from overwhelming the body’s endocannabinoid receptors.
11. Red Congolese
Red Congolese is another landrace sativa touted as a classic wake-and-bake cultivar. Red Congolese’s dominant terpenes typically include pinene and myrcene, and its appetite-suppressant abilities may also indicate higher levels of THCV. Users report experiencing improved energy that lasts for hours, making Red Congolese a handy companion for those training for long-distance runs.
Chocolope is a high-potency cultivar with among the highest levels of THC on this list, testing on average at 30% per dry weight. Descended from Cannalope Haze and Chocolate Thai, Chocolope acts and tastes just like your morning cup of coffee. If you have a high tolerance or really need an energy boost, Chocolope may be the perfect companion for your morning workout.
Tips for Running While High
Now that you’ve picked your strain, it’s time to lace up your shoes and hit the road, trail, or treadmill. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you do so:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
- Eat a light snack beforehand.
- Plan your trail in case you get lost.
- Plug in some music to keep you energized.
- Eat a protein-rich meal shortly after your run.
Finally, if this is your first time attempting to consume cannabis before a run, pick an easy, short run to test how your body reacts to combining cannabis with running.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does sativa give you an energy boost?
The terms sativa and indica refer to the physical structure of a specific cannabis plant, but they are often used colloquially to describe the purported effects of a given strain.
Most dispensaries use the word sativa to describe more energizing, day-time use strains, though the effects often come from the strain’s exact combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The terms “sativa” and “indica” do not accurately describe the effects an individual may get from cannabis.
Does indica make you lazy?
Cultivars described as indica or indica-leaning typically contain higher levels of myrcene and pinene which are more relaxing terpenes that are likely to make you want to rest or sleep, depending on their potency. However, this is not always the case, and it is entirely possible for a myrcene-rich sativa to have similar effects.
Is indica or sativa better for activity?
Sativa strains are typically better suited for energetic activities such as running or other exercises. However, hybrid strains or those with higher CBD content may work well for muscle recovery or prevent soreness or injury. Therefore, there is no “better” type of strain ideally suited for keeping active.