When someone thinks of a stoner, they usually imagine a stereotype. One might envision someone laying on a couch surrounded by a haze of smoke and half-eaten snacks. It’s how we usually see stoners portrayed in the media, so it’s no surprise that you might think that as well. But the truth is that cannabis smokers can also be extremely active and productive. Many people who smoke live successful lives. Likewise, many people who work out incorporate cannabis into their routine. Cannabis can provide many benefits to a workout. Here are a few benefits of cannabis and exercise that may encourage you to include cannabis into your routine.
Cannabis research has proven that it can help with reducing muscle and joint inflammation. Many of these studies have shown that CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, helps to ease inflammation. Athletes, or average people who exercise, may find this as a helpful aid. You can smoke weed to receive these benefits. But for those who may not want to compromise their lungs, topicals and tinctures exist. Many of them are designed to serve as an aid for physical recovery and treatment.
Eases Soreness and Pain
Research has also been done to look into how cannabis helps with pain. Recent research has shown how cannabis can help patients suffering from chronic pain. Similar to anti-inflammatory, pain alleviation is a big reason why people choose to consume cannabis. Relieving pain and soreness help improve one’s quality of life.
By incorporating cannabis into your exercise routine, it may help you recover faster from those long hours at the gym.
Treats Muscle Spasms
Another benefit of using cannabis in your exercise routine is the treatment of muscle spasms. Muscle spasms are associated with diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. The benefits may also extend to athletes who suffer from spasms as well. Erich Anderer, M.D., chief of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Hospital, explains why. Anderer states the beneficial effect of reduction of muscle spasms is presumably due to the anti-inflammatory properties.
Anderer also emphasizes the importance of continuing research into this area of study. He believes more research needs to be done in order to fully understand how it impacts the exercising human body. But from the studies conducted so far, we’ve been receiving positive results.
Everyone knows that good sleep is extremely beneficial to one’s physical performance. It’s not news that cannabis induces sleep. Many people use weed as a form of relaxing and getting ready for bed. In fact, studies have found that cannabis can help people with sleep apnea. In other cases, it can help with suppressing dreams, which is beneficial to those suffering from PTSD.
Additionally, CBD can help ease REM sleep disorder. This is when people “act out” their dreams. It can also aid in daytime fatigue. Because CBD decreases someone’s stress levels, it can lead to a better quality of sleep and longer duration.
Improves Mental Health
Much like the stereotype people have of stoners, it is believed that marijuana can lead to low brain function. This is in fact not true. A 2017 study published in Nature Medicine shows how cannabis can actually help brain function. Low, regular doses of THC were given to old mice. This helped them restore their cognitive function.
There are also many fitness experts who believe that weed helps them get in the zone during their workouts. It allows one to remain calm and focused while reducing anxiety. It’s a great benefit of cannabis and exercise.
When it comes to most things that you consume, there are risks one should take into consideration. It’s important to weigh the benefits of cannabis and exercise and the risks as well.
First, if you are consuming weed in the form of smoke, it may affect your lungs. This can negatively affect those who exercise by limiting their cardio. If you’re a serious or professional athlete, you may want to reconsider smoking weed (or anything for that matter), and instead take it in the form of tinctures, edibles, or drinks.
Secondly, excessive consumption of cannabis can impair your motor skills. It can make decision making and motor coordination in physical activities a little difficult. You should be mindful of the exercise you are about to perform before ingesting weed. Doing a yoga or cardio session might seem more favorable than resistance exercises.
Lastly, there may be an increased heart attack risk. Smoking weed increases the risk of heart attack and so does sudden exertion, in this case, exercise. So the combination of these two factors can be potentially dangerous. Anyone with any history of heart problems should consult a doctor before beginning any fitness routine or smoking.