POWERPLANT: CANNABIS & EXERCISE
Imagine there is a natural medicine that acts as pre-workout stimulant and as a post-workout analgesic. If this substance exists, it surely would be a useful tool for doctors, coaches and athletes. There is an unmet need in this space for an alternative to harmful prescription painkillers and chemical concoctions. This “miracle drug” has been in front of our eyes the whole time. Cannabis.
If you’ve ever forced yourself to workout or exercise you know that the hardest part is getting started. Once exercise begins, the brain is flooded with endorphins, which motivates the athlete to continue. Getting over the hurdle of packing a bag and driving to the gym can be too large of an obstacle for many. Cannabis can provide a change in perspective and motivation. Marijuana awakens sections of the brain that are untapped during normal consciousness. The recreational high that is induced can make exercising seem more enjoyable. Some may experience a heightened desire for outdoor physical activities and exploration.
Many athletes take pre-workout shakes and drinks. These beverages usually come with the unwanted side effects of caffeine over-consumption. Cannabis, specifically Sativa-dominant strains, can provide a burst of energy and clarity. Many users also report that cannabis can increase focus. It may help you “zone in” on one activity. The plant is also known to align your body and mind, leading to a more enjoyable and productive experience. Marijuana is known to have some side effects, but none that are as detrimental to your physical health as caffeinated stimulants. You may want to swap that energy drink for some of the green.
Taking an oral tincture or eating a healthy edible may be the best method for medicating before exercise. You don’t want to cloud your lungs with smoke directly prior to a workout. In fact, Cannabis can actually act as a bronchodilator, allowing the lungs to function effectively and retain oxygen. There are obvious advantages for athletes if they are able to breathe better during a game, practice, or workout. Without adequate levels of oxygen, the mind is not able to function at peak performance. Cannabis can help athletes make split second decisions and trust their body’s intuition.
Physical activity can actually intensify your high. A University of Sydney study showed that participants who exercised for 35 minutes after consuming marijuana had levels of THC 15% higher than those who medicated but did not exercise. The reason for this is that THC and other active cannabinoids are stored in fat cells in the body. Your body begins metabolizing fat as you exercise. As your body burns the fat, small amounts of THC are released back into the bloodstream, which can result in an increased high. If you want to get the most benefits out of your marijuana you may want to consider going on a walk or playing a sport post-medicating. The THC that is released back into your bloodstream can help continue the benefits of cannabinoids throughout your workout.
Cannabinoids and THC are known to help people deal with negative emotions and stress. It is common to feel stressed during intense physical activity as you are pushing your body to the limit. Cannabis can help athletes push past these feelings and continue their exercise. The cannabinoid ‘CBD’ is known to help with stress and anxiety. CBD may help patients to clear their mind and focus solely on the activity at hand. THC and other cannabinoids are also effective in pain management. A productive workout requires ripping the muscle tissue so that it can build back stronger. Physical activity can leave you feeling sore and hurt during and after. Cannabis can help increase your pain-threshold at the gym and during a game. The plant also helps relieve inflammation that is frequently the root cause of discomfort. This makes cannabis a perfect way to wind down and a healthier alternative to prescription drugs and painkillers.
Cannabis can be used before, during, and after physical activity. The benefits aren’t limited to just athletes, but to anyone who is attempting to get in shape or exercise. This article has summarized the reasons that marijuana is an effective pre-workout and post-workout tool. Famous athletes like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt have admitted to using cannabis during their professional careers. Whether they knew the benefits or were just trying to have fun – they still experienced the positive effects.
If you do attempt to integrate marijuana into your workout routine, start slow and find out what works best for you. Everybody is different, especially when it comes to our physical and mental health. It would be wise for doctors, scientists, and national sports leagues to begin to study and spread the benefits of the “Powerplant”.
Let the Plant Power your Body and Mind.