When people think about regular
cannabis users, there is a stereotype of a lazy, couch sitting, snack eating
However, when you look into the
numbers, a different picture begins to emerge. In fact, cannabis users are less
likely to be obese than people who do not use cannabis. One researcher,
intrigued by this reality, surveyed more
than 600 cannabis users in the US and asked them about their
exercise habits and other health factors.
What she found is that 4 out of 5 of
these regular users used cannabis right before or after they exercise. What is
even more interesting is that the cannabis users who combined the two
activities actually spent more time exercising than the users who didn’t
combine smoking and exercising.
As the benefits of THC in cannabis
are increasingly understood by the medical community and the public, you might
be wondering how you can incorporate THC into your workout routine. Let’s take
a look at some of the benefits of THC that specifically relate to exercise and
Before we get into the medical
benefits of THC for your fitness workout, we should probably talk about what
THC is exactly.
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol.
When you hear people talking about THC, they are actually talking about
Recently, there has been increasing
interest in delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol. If this piques your interest, you can
follow this link for more info.
THC is by far the most well-known
cannabinoid from the cannabis plant. However, there are actually more than 100
naturally occurring cannabinoids found in marijuana. Another well-known
cannabinoid that has been gaining popularity in recent years is CBD.
Because the world of cannabis
research is still in its infancy, the medical benefits of CBD and THC are
something that researchers are still looking into. However, there is a lot of
optimism about the potential health and medical uses of these powerful
Can You Take THC?
As THC and cannabis increasingly
become legal, lots of different types of products have ended up on the market
in states where it can be produced and sold.
When many people think of cannabis,
they just think of smoking the flower bud. That is certainly one option when it
comes to ingesting THC, however, some fitness-minded people might be worried
about the impact of smoking on their lungs.
There are also a number of ways that
people can ingest THC without smoking. They might buy cannabis in the form of
marijuana edibles, THC tinctures or oils, sprays, or even topical methods.
These different delivery methods can
serve different purposes. It can take a different amount of time to feel the
effects depending on how you take THC and it can also change the types of
effects that you feel. For example, topical application tends to make you feel
effects locally, and for this reason, are commonly used to help treat local
aches and pains.
It Can Help Relief Chronic Pain
If you suffer from chronic pain, it
might be pretty difficult to motivate yourself to start your workout for the
day. More people suffer from chronic pain these days than heart disease,
cancer, and diabetes combined. In fact, the most common cause of long-term
disability in the US is chronic pain.
In recent years, medical cannabis
has become an increasingly popular alternative to the medications that have
traditionally been used for pain relief. Opioids are one of the common
medications used to treat pain, which come along with a lot of very negative
Specific types of chronic pain,
including pain that results from inflammation and nerve damage, might be
particularly alleviated by cannabis.
THC Might Help Improve Your Lung Capacity
This one might surprise you. One of
the medical benefits of THC is that it might actually help improve your lung
capacity. While many people might worry about smoking cannabis because of the
negative effects of smoking, one study from 2012
found that not only did smoking once a day for seven years not adversely affect
lung function, but it actually improved it.
How is that possible?
The reason that the study puts
forward is that inhaling cannabis smoke actually gives the chest muscles and
the lungs a bit of a workout. It is suggested by the research is that the way
that people smoke marijuana might be where some of the pulmonary benefits are
coming from. When people smoke weed, they typically inhale deeply, stretching
the lung tissue and expanding the volume of the lungs.
It also might help to strengthen the
chest wall’s muscles.
When your lungs are functioning
better and more efficiently, you can have better workouts with better results.
THC Is Linked to Managing Your Weight
Many people associate cannabis and
THC with getting “the munchies.” Considering this, using THC to help
manage her weight seems like a strange idea.
One study from the International Journal of
Epidemiology actually found that people who regularly smoke cannabis are
less likely to be overweight or obese compared to people who don’t. Another
study from 2011 in the American Journal of Epidemiology had very similar
It has also been suggested by
studies that cannabis users tend to have lower cholesterol levels and trimmer
waistlines than people who do not smoke.
Researchers have speculated that one
of the medical benefits of THC is that it can help people lose weight. The
hypothesis is that THC can cause changes in the microbiome of a person’s gut
that is responsible for regulating digestion and weight loss.
There is still much to be learned
about the relationship between THC and weight loss. Also, one should not expect
to magically lose weight by smoking weed but not exercising or eating well.
However, it seems that ingesting THC in combination with a solid exercise
routine might help you shed those pounds a little easier.
It Can Help With Repetitive, Long Workouts
Some days you feel more into working
out than others. While THC might not be that helpful for complicated or heavy
workouts, it can be great or repetitive, long workouts.
Something kind of magical happens
when you combine THC and exercise. It can help to amplify the “runner’s
high” that you experience from doing exercise alone. It can also help to
make workouts more tolerable because of its ability to reduce the experience of
Cannabis can also help you increase
your focus, relax your muscles, and change your perception of time. This means
that if you are doing a particularly dull exercise like a long session on a
stationary bike they can help you push through and get to the end.
THC Can Help Encourage You to Do Your Cardio
Have you ever tried using THC before
going on a long run or a bike ride? There is something so enjoyable about this
combination that you might find yourself looking forward to your cardio workout.
Put on your favorite music, tie on
your running shoes, and get going. As a side note, if you are ever
recreationally using cannabis and finds that you are feeling a bit anxious or
overwhelmed, getting a bit of exercise like going on a run might be just what
the doctor ordered.
In the survey mentioned in the
introduction, 70% of the cannabis users said that exercise was more enjoyable
when they used cannabis beforehand. While some people might think that using
marijuana might make any activity more fun, it is been suggested that there
might be a specific chemical interaction occurring when people use cannabis and
When some people are exercising,
they experience a feeling of euphoria that is referred to as a “runner’s
high.” This experience is thought to come from the release of endorphins
in the brain, but this is not known for sure. Another possible explanation is
that this euphoric feeling actually comes from the endocannabinoid system, which is the same system
that THC and CBD interact with.
It has been hypothesized, therefore,
that using cannabis might allow people to “jumpstart” the euphoric
feelings that they can receive from working out.
However, it can be a good idea to save
it for long runs or rides rather than using it every single day. This is
because you can build up a tolerance and it can end up leading to dependency
issues in certain circumstances for certain people.
It Can Help You Recover From Injuries
If you’re working out every day, no
matter how careful you are, you will likely experience an injury at one point
or another. It is absolutely essential that you consider recovery of part of
your workout and you don’t hurt yourself worse powering through when you’re
Some studies have found that THC
might be just as effective in treating pain as opiates. However, THC is far
less addictive and does not have the same negative side effects.
Even if you aren’t working out today
or for a few weeks because of an injury, THC might help you recover. You should
think long and hard before taking prescription painkillers for your injury, as
the consequences of doing so might be much worse than the pain itself.
It can also help you with your
regular recovery days that you should be taking even if you aren’t injured. In
the same study mentioned in the introduction, 77% of cannabis users who also
exercise said that it helped them with their recovery.
It Can Be a Great Part of Your Mindfulness Routine
It’s important to keep your physical
body in shape, but it’s just as important if not more important to stay on top
of the health of your mind.
There are a lot of different
benefits to practicing mindfulness training.
For one, mindfulness and meditation
can help to improve your physical health. They can do this by lowering your
blood pressure, helping you get better sleep, reducing pain, reducing digestive
distress, and improving cardiac conditioning.
It can also help to enhance
serotonin levels. Serotonin works as a natural mood stabilizer and is a
chemical that is produced in your nerve cells.
Your immune system, chronic pain,
and cognitive decline might also be helped by mindfulness practice.
Practicing mindfulness can also help
to reduce your stress, help to treat depression, help you recover from injuries
or illness faster, and focus more effectively professionally and personally.
THC and CBD can be a wonderful
addition to a mindfulness routine. Particularly if you find yourself always
distracted and unable to calm down, THC can help you get into the zone. You
might find that this helps you go deeper into your meditations, which can in
turn help improve your fitness practice.
THC is wonderful for helping you
relax into an experience. Certain strains might be better than others for you,
you might want to do some research into the different changes before trying
Benefits of THC: Are You Going to Incorporate It Into Your Fitness Routine?
It might be a big surprise to some
that using cannabis might be beneficial for your fitness goals. As recreational
cannabis use is only legal in certain states, only a portion of the population
can legally find out whether or not THC can benefit them in their workouts.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor if you are going to try out new
things when it comes to your health.
Did you find this article on the
fitness benefits of THC interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of
our blog for more fascinating and informative content!