As a mother, friend, partner, and professional (to name a few of my roles!) it is difficult to find the time and energy to get to the gym. And even when I do workout, I can become sore and find it hard to go about my daily routine afterwards. How could cannabis help me with this problem?
Thanks for asking! Our recent VdP survey found that 1.5M Canadian are interested in how cannabis complements their exercise. Why are they asking? Because like you, these women know that the old-fashioned (and stigmatized!) stereotype of being a stoned + sleepy couch potato is a thing of the past. More women are learning that cannabis can be consumed with the intention of stimulating energy, equalizing your mood, and even relieving pain – all helpful when hitting the gym or beginning your yoga routine.
But how is this achieved?
If you haven’t experienced a runner’s high, you have probably heard of it. It is a moment in your workout when you get past the pain of pushing yourself and shift into feeling as though you can push your body even further – almost like you’re floating. Sound familiar? Well, a recent study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is suggesting the ‘runner’s high’ is more closely linked to a cannabis high than we may have thought. The study found that the euphoric feeling is actually regulated by your endocannabinoid system (ECS) – the same system inside your body that influences how you experience the “high” from cannabis. Furthermore, findings demonstrated that once cannabis was ingested, this increased endurance, pain-tolerance and reduced anxiety.
From a technical standpoint, it works like this: THC tends to accumulate in fatty tissue so as you burn off fat during a workout, incremental amounts of THC are released into your bloodstream. This triggers an effect that is akin to ingesting a little bit of cannabis, providing pleasant support without knocking you off your feet.
Professional athletes, such as Avery Collins, one of the fastest runners in the world, have taken note of these emerging findings and are findings ways to incorporate weed into their workout routine. In fact, according to the American Journal on Addictions, cannabis is the second most widely used drug among professional athletes. This is likely because there is increasing support for cannabis as a means of anxiety and pain relief–both vital benefits for an intense workout. As legalization spreads across North America, thankfully, more peer-reviewed studies will become available on this important topic!
Now, you don’t have to run a marathon in order to experience this ‘high’ – you can join a dance or Zumba class, try pilates or simply go for a good ol’ fashioned power-walk. It’s all about getting your heart beating and working your body towards its full potential, and for many, adding in cannabis only enhances this exercise.
However, pushing your body to its limits can result in sore muscles. Luckily, this herbal remedy can be used to aid your recovery process as well. This is where the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) become an important consideration! CBD – the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis – has anti-inflammatory properties that have been known to help reduce localized pain when applied topically and can provide soothing relief after a workout. In order to achieve lasting effects with topical products, you will need to reapply every few hours.
Finally, as always, start low and go slow! If you try incorporating cannabis into your workout routine, try less than you would normally consume, and if it’s your first-time ever, keep in mind: a little goes a long way! The goal is to enhance your workout, while still being able to work out (i.e. building stamina versus falling asleep).
By Sophie Naprawa
Van der Pop does not endorse or condone the illegal consumption of cannabis. This article is not meant as medical advice. Prior to using cannabis for medical purposes, please consult your physician.