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High Intensity: The Benefits of Working Out While High

Have you ever tried to workout while high? Well, with the growing cannabis industry trend of combining cannabis with workouts, it seems like pumping iron and puffing on a joint are no longer mutually exclusive activities.


This blog aims to unravel the potential benefits and challenges of this buzz-creating mix, debunking the myths that cloud it, and providing informed insights for curious both cannabis users and gym rats.


So, strap in as we work out way through the science, the sweat, and yes, the smoke, of this unique fitness trend.


Weed and Workouts

As uncanny as the combination might seem, there’s biological reasoning behind the synergy of cannabis and workouts.


The association lies in the drug interaction with our brain and body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for maintaining bodily homeostasis and is involved in managing muscle pain, mood, appetite, and memory.


Here’s where cannabinoids (natural compounds found in cannabis) step in. Two significant cannabinoids come into play during exercise – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC, the psychoactive component, is believed to mimic our body’s endocannabinoids. In turn, it works to ease pain and induce a sense of relaxation and euphoria. On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and is hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties, reducing pain and muscle soreness post-workout.


Now, have you ever experienced the uplifting and euphoric “runner’s high” after an intense workout session? Many theories suggest that this euphoria is not just due to endorphins, but also anandamide, an endocannabinoid.


Interestingly, THC and anandamide share a similar structure and effects, pointing towards an interesting intersection of cannabis, exercise, and our body’s natural responses.


a man smoking weed in grayscale photography


Benefits of Working Out While High

Cannabis and exercise are like the ultimate power couple as the combination has been touted to have a variety of benefits. These advantages come from how cannabinoids interact with our ECS, triggering various physiological responses that benefit our workouts.


Here’s what you stand to gain when working out while high:

  • Enhanced Focus and Mind-Muscle Connection: The influence of cannabinoids, specifically THC, can lead to a heightened state of mindfulness or “tunnel vision.” This improved focus can help you establish a better mind-muscle connection, allowing you to concentrate intensely on your form, movement, and muscle contractions during a workout.
  • Potential Pain Relief and Improved Recovery: The cannabinoids, both THC and CBD, are known for their pain-alleviating properties. THC is said to mimic our body’s endocannabinoids leading to reduced perception of pain, while CBD, with its anti-inflammatory aspects, could lower post-workout inflammation and muscle soreness. Together, they can potentially enhance muscle recovery times, allowing you to bounce back quicker from strenuous workouts.
  • Stress Reduction and Mood Elevation: Working out while high might also provide an emotional boost. Akin to the euphoria experienced during a “runner’s high,” THC can induce a sense of relaxation and elevated mood. This stress reduction can be particularly beneficial in combating workout anxiety, making your fitness routine more fun and ultimately more sustainable in your lifestyle.
  • Creativity and Variety in Exercise Routines: Being high might also inspire creativity and variety in your fitness regimen. Cannabis has long been associated with heightened imagination and divergent thinking, potentially motivating you to mix up your workout routines and try something new. This could keep you from getting stuck in a monotonous routine, thus maintaining your interest and commitment to a regular fitness schedule.


man in gray shirt holding a weight at the weight rack


Want to Get High Before Your Workout Routine? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Before you marry marijuana with muscle-building, there are several factors you need to consider.


For example, everyone’s response to cannabis is unique. Your experience depends on your body’s tolerance and sensitivity to THC and CBD, so it’s crucial to understand your response to cannabis before incorporating it into your workout routine. Always start low and go slow, noting how your body and mind react in different scenarios.


Additionally, not all strains are created equal. Sativa-dominant strains are usually associated with uplifting and energetic effects, potentially suitable for cardio sessions.


On the other hand, indica-dominant strains are known for their relaxing and pain-alleviating properties, potentially useful for recovery sessions.


Hybrids can offer a balanced effect.


Select the strain that aligns with your fitness goals and the type of workout you plan to pursue.


Types of Workouts to Pair with Cannabis

Different types of workouts can potentially get a boost from adding cannabis to the mix due to the versatile effects it has on both the body and mind.


Here’s a quick look at different workout types and how they can go hand in hand with cannabis use:


Aerobic Exercises and Cardio Workouts

Cannabis, particularly sativa-dominant strains, can potentially enhance cardio workouts. The plant’s invigorating effects can boost energy and motivation, aiding in endurance during long runs or high-intensity interval training.

Plus, the euphoric “high” could potentially make the workout more enjoyable, motivating you to push through challenging gym sessions.


Workout While High: Strength Training and Resistance Exercises

Cannabis could also boost strength training and resistance exercises. The increased focus from THC might enhance your mind-muscle connection while lifting weights or doing resistance training, allowing you to really nail your form and contraction. Plus, the pain-relieving effects of cannabinoids could potentially help with muscle soreness, making recovery after intense workouts a little easier.


Mind-Body Activities like Yoga and Meditation

For more serene activities like yoga and meditation, cannabis might help foster a deeper mind-body connection. A relaxed state induced by indica-dominant strains can potentially enhance the tranquility and mindfulness these activities aim to induce, helping you to unwind, stretch, and rejuvenate effectively.


Tailoring Cannabis Use to Specific Fitness Goals

Cannabis use can also be tailored to your specific fitness goals. For instance, if your goal is to build muscle, incorporating cannabis into post-workout recovery could potentially aid by reducing muscle soreness and inflammation. If weight loss is your target, the potential appetite-suppressing effects of certain strains of marijuana could be useful.


It’s important to note and remember that everyone’s response to cannabis is unique. Always start with low doses and observe how it impacts your workout performance, recovery, and overall well-being.


a woman in blue leggings practicing yoga


The Risks of Combining Cannabis & Exercise

While the potential benefits of combining cannabis and exercise are pretty appealing, it’s important to keep in mind that this combo also comes with its fair share of risks.


One thing to watch out for is the impact marijuana use has on coordination and motor skills when working out while high. THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, can mess with your balance, reaction times, and overall movement coordination, which could increase the chance of getting injured during a workout.


Also, everyone reacts differently to cannabis, so it’s crucial to know your limits and avoid going overboard. Going too far can lead to discomfort, paranoia, a faster heart rate, and other not-so-great effects that can actually hinder your athletic performance instead of enhancing it.


a person about to lift a barbel



To wrap it up, the combination of cannabis and physical fitness is an emerging field with few studies but lots of potential benefits and risks. From boosting cardio and strength training to deepening the mind-body connection in yoga and meditation, cannabis can have many benefits and a multifaceted role in our workouts.


However, like any supplement, it’s crucial to consider personal tolerance and use it responsibly. Integrating cannabis and exercise is a personal journey, so approach it with curiosity and responsibility.


As we strive for new fitness goals, let’s keep an open and informed conversation about cannabis in our workouts. Stay tuned for exciting developments in the fitness and cannabis world, and be open to new possibilities!


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it good to work out while high?

Response varies depending on the individual. Some people may find that smoking weed or popping an edible before exercising helps them stay motivated and enjoy their workouts more.


However, it’s worth bearing in mind that cannabis can affect coordination and reaction times, which could increase the risk of injury during a workout.


Always prioritize safety and start with low doses to understand how your body reacts to exercising while high.


2. What is the best exercise to do while high?

The best exercise to do while high largely depends on the strain of cannabis and its effects.


Sativa-dominant strains, known for their uplifting effects, might pair well with aerobic exercises and cardio workouts.


Indica-dominant strains, known for their relaxing effects, might enhance mind-body activities like yoga and meditation.


3. Does working out high burn more calories?

There’s currently no conclusive cannabis research to suggest that choosing to smoke weed before working out burns more calories. The calorie-burning effect of exercise is mostly determined by the intensity and duration of the workout, not necessarily the state of being high.


However, studies suggest some people may find that being high helps them to enjoy their workout more and potentially exercise for longer.