Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Many health-conscious consumers enjoy pairing weed with working out. In fact, a recent study of 600 cannabis users found that the vast majority endorsed cannabis as the perfect pairing with exercise. Users reported that incorporating cannabis products into their workout routine improved motivation, increased enjoyment, and helped their bodies recover faster.
Interestingly, it’s for these perceived benefits that the World Anti-Doping Agency has banned marijuana, labeling it as a performance-enhancing drug. (However, research finds that cannabis has little or no impact on exercise performance.)
For people not competing in major sporting leagues, it may make sense to combine weed and working out to see how you feel. Along with the enjoyment-enhancing effects of cannabis, its other potential health benefits include improved blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and more.
Get your medical marijuana card
Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.
The Best Workouts to Pair With Weed
Here are our top choices for physical activities perfect to pair with cannabis, plus what strains to choose.
Consuming cannabis before or after a hike is a way to heighten an already lovely experience. Hikers have long turned to cannabis for its psychoactive properties; this can help capitalize on nature’s gifts and a hiker’s feelings of serenity and oneness.
Combining limonene-rich strains with high-cardio or long-distance hikes can increase motivation and help you face the challenge of a strenuous trail with a positive attitude. Hikers also turn to marijuana for its anti-inflammatory properties; this makes it a powerful recovery tool to soothe sore muscles.
However, if using cannabis while hiking, stay mindful (and respectful) of your surroundings. Opt for edibles or non-flammable consumption methods to avoid sparking flames or bothering other hikers. Public consumption of marijuana is illegal even in legalized states, so it’s usually best to consume any cannabis products before or after hitting the trail.
Yoga practitioners appreciate the mellowing capacity of more relaxing and euphoric strains to enhance a session. Smoking weed can help yogis get out of their heads and quiet a noisy ego, allowing the body and mind to focus on body postures.
Some yoga studios in recreationally legal states have launched events that mix cannabis into their classes. However, choosing the right strain (cultivar) is important, as one’s mind could wander — or easily fall asleep — in a relaxed pose.
Dancing high might sound intimidating, but the right strain can make a Zumba class or dance hall less scary. It can also enrich the experience and make it a much more fun way to elevate your heart rate.
Sativa-leaning strains like Durban Poison and Green Crack are some of the best for high-energy activities like dancing. These energizing strains could encourage dancers to let their guard down and focus solely on moving their bodies to the music.
Recently the root of Sha’Carri Richardson’s Olympics controversy, running and marijuana can be complementary.
The sensation of a “runner’s high” is thought to be induced by endorphins. However, a recent study found that naturally occurring cannabinoids like anandamide circulate at higher levels during exercise, creating feelings of euphoria. Like THC, these chemicals work with our endocannabinoid system and can enhance the experience.
Some runners claim that smoking weed boosts the enjoyment of their workouts immensely. It can also be a motivator, encouraging them to run further or beat their personal best. Cannabis plants also offer pain relief benefits that can speed up recovery after a strenuous workout.
With the rise of on-demand cycling classes, coupling weed with high-intensity stationary bike workouts has attracted more and more devotees.
Studies have found that cannabis has little to no impact on skills needed for bike riding like motor coordination. With a stationary bike, however, this is a non-issue. A quick 30-minute spin class coupled with your favorite sativa strain will have you happily finishing your ride in no time.
High-CBD products are a lovely companion for post-Pilates stretches or for those who wish to avoid THC before a session and take advantage of CBD’s anti-anxiety effects. Cannabis can also offer relief for body aches and joint pain.
Tips for Adding Cannabis to Your Workout Routine
If you want to give pairing cannabis with exercise a go, there are a few things you should remember before you begin:
- Avoid large doses and stick to cannabinoids that don’t push your tolerance to its limit.
- Drink plenty of water, as consuming cannabis can leave you dehydrated.
- When hiking or running, choose familiar paths to avoid getting lost.
- Eat a small, healthy snack beforehand so you’re not exercising on an empty stomach.
- If you don’t want to exercise high, cannabis is a great reward after a workout.
- Avoid smoking weed and working out with weights or complicated machinery, as mishandling can lead to injury.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate cannabis into your workout routine. Physical activities that are safe and fun to do while using cannabis include nature-focused exercises like hiking and mindful practices like yoga or pilates. Marijuana can also make a workout more enjoyable while offering health benefits like relaxation and pain relief.
Get Your Medical Card
Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.