How to Safely Use Marijuana As Part of Your Fitness Routine
Cannabis is quickly becoming a popular supplement for athletes, and it can help you, too.
Published on September 15, 2016

Move over, supplement industry! More and more people are starting to utilize cannabis as part of their workout plan, and it’s no secret why. The herb is a natural anti-inflammatory and tends to help the consumer feel comfortable and pain-free.

Like-minded athletes are quickly finding each other through cannabis events and online forums. There’s even a California company that plans to open a chain of cannabis-friendly fitness centers in the next year. Already, they’re setting a great example and bringing newbies into the fold of this popular movement.

Getting fit is not fast or easy. It’s a lifelong process that begins when you set foot in the gym for the first time. Cannabis can be a great help to people hitting the gym for the first time, as well as for those returning to a fit lifestyle after injury, illness, or childbirth. These tips will help you become a self-assured athlete in no time!

Analyze Your Needs

Your fitness routine should be a balanced mixture of things you really like, and things that noticeably improve your well-being. Isn’t that the whole point of pursuing a healthy lifestyle?

While you may love getting baked with friends on the weekend, your actual wellness needs may differ slightly. Rather than irritating the lungs and feeling a heady high from smoking, you may end up preferring edibles to ease into your workouts. Or, you may find that you can’t get high before the gym, but you love to unwind afterward by rewarding yourself with a nice joint and cannabis-infused Epsom salt bath soak. Either way, you must continually analyze what you want out of your routine, and adjust accordingly.

Work Your Way Up

If you’re new to working out, you know that all the various machines—and bodies—at the gym can be intimidating. Imagine how much more paranoid you might feel under the influence of a dab, or a super-strong edible! In fact, you may not even make it to the gym if you dose your cannabis too high. It’s not possible to overdose on cannabis, but it is quite possible to have a horrible workout while under the influence.

Dosage is key when integrating cannabis as part of your fitness routine. Just like you start working out with basic moves and slowly work up from there, start your marijuana regimen with small doses and increase only when you feel ready. Many athletes find a 5–10mg dose of THC to be a great “microdose” for cannabis that enables them to stay clear and energetic while still feeling the effects of cannabis.

Don’t “Strain” Yourself

Typical advice from a friend or budtender would be to use lighter sativa strains to get energized before the gym, and heavier indicas for treating the post-workout soreness. However, experienced cannabis consumers know that the lines aren’t always so clearly drawn. Cannabis strains affect people differently, especially hybrids.

As you gain confidence and experience with cannabis, you should also become a discerning shopper. Look for edibles and topical products that fit in with your regime—whether that’s low-dose, vegan, or strain-specific.

While you journal your workouts to track your progress, include observations about the effects of new strains and products, so you can easily refer back to them and see what works best for you.

Drink Lots of Water

The human body needs water to function and thrive, and this is especially true when you’re working out. Regardless of whatever cannabis you may use, physical exertion will cause you to sweat a lot and will dehydrate you if you’re not careful to constantly replace that H20. Drink water before, during, and after your workout to keep your body running well.

Listen to Your Body

This last piece of advice is incredibly important: Always pay close attention to what your body is telling you. It will let you know if you’re pushing yourself too far, or if it’s not capable of safely operating machinery. If you find yourself flying too high, it’s a good idea to skip the squat rack. Take a walk or do some tranquil stoned yoga instead! The gym will still be there tomorrow; in fact, it will be there the rest of your life. Go get ’em, tiger.

Roni Stetter
Roni is a long-time cannabis advocate who has been involved in the community since her days with California's 2010 legalization campaign. A former high school athlete who successfully treated her sports injuries with medical marijuana, she now promotes the health movement on her own blog. When not writing or researching on the web, you can find her at a drum and bass show, hanging out with her dog and cat, or otherwise living the simple San Diego beach life. See what else Roni is up to on her website
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