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7 Best Strains for Working Out

woman doing sit ups

The best strains for working tend to be sativa-dominant with intensely energizing effects. Numerous superstar athletes like NFL Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson and pro swimmer Amy Van Dyken have sung the praises of cannabis medicine. However, as cannabis can raise blood pressure and heart rate in the short term, it is generally recommended to avoid cannabis use before exercise.

Learn why these athletes and other active people use cannabis as a fitness tool. These strains are best for helping you conquer your workout goals:

  • Green Crack
  • Great White Shark
  • Sour Diesel
  • OG Kush
  • White Widow
  • Durban Poison
  • Sour Cheese

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How Cannabis Affects Exercise

Cannabis has the power to affect both the body and mind when you exercise. Here are some of the ways that the right strain can enhance your exercise regimen:

Higher Energy Levels  

Higher energy levels could be a real perk if you favor predawn workouts and want to skip the coffee. Sativa strains are reputed to energize people and even boost creativity in some cases, a bonus if you’re trying to add some variety into your usual workout routine.

More Motivation

The sometimes euphoric effects of marijuana can make you feel more motivated. The potential of cannabis to relieve depression and anxiety may be beneficial if you need the inspiration to work out.

Greater Focus

Some strains, especially sativas, are known for producing a clear-headed high. When your mind is clear, your body is naturally more likely to function at top performance. Cinex and Green Crack are two sativa-dominant strains noted for producing clear-headed highs.

Pain Relief

Pain is one of the biggest roadblocks to achieving fitness goals. Fortunately, cannabis has shown to be a natural remedy for many people’s chronic pain. Cannabis also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help decrease pain and increase range of motion.

Faster Recovery

Along with pain relief, high-CBD cannabis strains may help you recover faster and reach the next level in your fitness routine. According to one scientific study, CBD users reported faster recovery times than people who did not use CBD.

These are just some of the ways that cannabis may benefit your workouts. Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all exercise program, the benefits of using cannabis are also unique among individuals. Some people may not respond well to cannabis use for exercise, especially those with a THC sensitivity that may lead to stoned sensations and lack motivation.

Best Ways to Use Cannabis for Exercise

Cannabis edibles are arguably the most potent way to consume the plant. If you’re experienced with THC and ready for intense sedative effects, edibles could help end your workout. CBD edibles, on the other hand, have the opposite effect and help boost energy levels in low doses.

Smoking weed is a popular consumption method among cannabis users but may not be the best for athletes. While smoking or vaping the right strain could lift your mood, it could temporarily reduce your lung capacity and lead to long-term respiratory issues. In addition, some strains, like Strawberry Cough, are more likely to make you do just that. Of the many effects of cannabis, coughing is not one you want to experience when exercising vigorously.

If you’re feeling muscle stiffness or soreness from your intense workouts, try rubbing some cannabis topicals onto the affected areas. Cannabis topicals work best when applied frequently (every few hours or so) and are best for physical rather than mental benefits. While you might feel some psychoactive effects from a cannabis topical product, these are unlikely to be as intense as smoking or eating marijuana.

Regarding when to use cannabis for exercise, some people prefer to pop an edible before working out and slather on a topical post-workout. You may prefer to use cannabis mid-workout, but be aware of your state’s marijuana laws before doing so.  

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Best Strains for Exercise

The perfect strain for exercise makes you feel physically energized and mentally motivated.

Green Crack

Legend has it that rapper Snoop Dogg named this potent strain after experiencing its intense effects. Green Crack is known for warding off fatigue and may help raise your energy levels enough to go full force in your next workout. The most abundant terpenes in Green Crack include beta-caryophyllene, pinene, limonene, and myrcene.

Download Free Guide to Beta-Caryophyllene

Great White Shark

Sativa-dominant and potent, Great White Shark contains little CBD and approximately 20% THC. High THC levels could be why some claim the strain loosens their stiff muscles and makes them feel euphoric. Myrcene, pinene, and terpinolene are the most common terpenes found in Great White Shark.

Sour Diesel

Cannabis users have praised Sour Diesel for improving both energy and focus. This clear-headed strain may help with extended workouts. Sour Diesel’s terpene profile includes pinene, limonene, beta-caryophyllene, and myrcene.

OG Kush

Moderate THC levels and a good balance of sativa/indica lineage make OG Kush a popular choice for exercise. The strain is likely to raise your energy levels but not to the same extent as Sour Diesel and other more potent strains. OG Kush is rich in the terpenes pinene, limonene, and beta-caryophyllene.

White Widow

White Widow is famous for its energetic effects and is a common medical strain. Of unknown origins, White Widow is a balanced hybrid that may energize you without making you feel out of control. White Widow’s dominant terpenes include terpinolene, myrcene, linalool, and pinene.

Durban Poison

This rare pure sativa strain has reported energizing effects. Durban Poison’s terpene profile includes plenty of pinene, limonene, and myrcene.

Sour Cheese

Sour Cheese is sativa-dominant, but with a 60/40 sativa-to-indica ratio, it’s much more well-balanced than Durban Poison. Expect a solid start to your workout with the sativa influence of this strain and a relaxing cooldown once the indica effects set in. Sour Cheese’s terpenes include beta-caryophyllene, limonene, and myrcene. It also sometimes carries a high cannabigerol (CBG) content — up to 3%!

Working out high is not for everyone. Consult your doctor before you use cannabis for exercise, especially if you have any heart issues, high blood pressure, or are taking medications.

Integrate cannabis into your fitness routine properly with a medical marijuana card. Contact our virtual clinic, and one of Leafwell’s qualified physicians will guide you through the application process.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is sativa good for exercise?

Pure sativa and sativa-dominant strains may help some people get a more intense workout by providing an energy boost. Some sativas like OG Kush and White Widow are among the best strains for easing sore muscles.

Is sativa or indica better for working out?

With their reportedly energizing effects, sativa strains are considered better for working out. Certain strains like Green Crack and Sour Diesel are suitable for strenuous workouts and help some people perform better at the gym. On the other hand, indica strains may be better for a post-workout cooldown. However, we would not recommend using cannabis immediately before a workout as it may raise blood pressure and heart rate to abnormal levels, possibly increasing the chance of a stroke or heart attack.