Working Out With Cannabis

Oct 8, 2019 | Cannabis Therapy

If you are even a little bit familiar with bodybuilding or Arnold Schwarzenegger; you probably know the iconic scene from his 70’s documentary ‘’Pumping Iron’’, where he smokes weed, eats fried chicken, and sings happy birthday to Lou Ferrigno.

Marijuana has been linked to bodybuilding ever since Arnold smoked that joint back in 1975, but does it really help your workouts and fitness goals?

Working Out While High Will Improve Flexibility

Joints can relax your joints (pun intended). Indeed, ingesting THC or CBD can have a favorable effect on your flexibility. Because cannabis will lower your blood pressure, the blood flow will be increased in your muscles. Therefore, there will be more oxygen in your muscles, joints, and flexors, and this will improve your overall flexibility.

Working Out While High Provides Better Focus

There are many smokers and CBD enthusiasts who have reported that working out with cannabis in their system significantly improves their focus and concentration. When you are exercising, especially if you are doing complex exercises such as the deadlift or squats, it’s essential to have a mind-muscle connection.

That means when you are working out; you are not thinking about your boyfriend/girlfriend, your job, or what you’ll eat for dinner. Being focused on the proper form and putting your thoughts into the movement will actually make your muscles grow bigger than if you were lifting and thinking about something else.

Woman working out with focus

Why? Because the brain uses neurotransmitters to send the signal towards the muscles to create the movement, as well as for muscle growth. So the more you mind-muscle connection you have, the stronger will be the signal, and you’ll use more muscle fiber. The more you use it, the stronger you’ll get.

Appetite Before/After Working Out High 

Now, this may depend from one person to another, but many people are actually not that hungry if they use THC or CBD and that it suppresses their appetite. Also, while we are running or lifting weights; we activate our sympathetic nervous system, which employs hormones and activates the adrenal gland. Our heart rate increases, and so does blood flow, while digestion decreases.

A very similar thing happens with cannabis, which will also put the sympathetic nervous system to work. That’s why vaping a bit of CBD can be helpful before you work out because your body will already be in the right state, ready for action.

Of course, after the workout, the parasympathetic system gets activated, our heart and our breathing calm down, and the digestion enzymes start flowing. It’s time to eat! If you have ‘’the munchies’’, stay away from the sweets, though. Because you’ll erase all the good work you have done in the gym.

Working Out High Brings Relaxation and Pain-Relief

CBD is a proven solution to decreasing inflammation in the body, and a great natural way to help repair the micro-tissue in the muscles. CBD interacts with the human body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for the regulation of various functions in the body, including sleep, appetite, and pain.

Studies have shown that CBD interacts with ECS and acts favorably towards pain-relief and removing soreness after a workout.

Working Out High Reduces Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety or simply don’t feel best in crowded places, the gym can be a very hostile environment for you. There can be many people there, waiting for their turn to use the equipment, and the music is usually blasting loudly. It can be very stressful, and it’s one of the reasons some people avoid the gym in the first place.

CBD can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety from a crowded place like the gym. It can help you feel comfortable in your own skin and take all the time you need on a certain machine without feeling guilty. You also might enjoy the music more!

Working Out High Tips

When it comes to smoking weed before a workout, it’s probably better to use a Sativa strain, rather than Indica. Sativa is an ‘’upper’’ and will have you feeling energized and upbeat. Indica will likely make you mellow and drowsy, which are not good states to be lifting heavy in the gym.

Here are some tips from a professional bodybuilder who is using marijuana as a part of his fitness regime, read what he has to say on this topic here.

Finally, we recommend you enjoy your herbs, and enjoy your workouts, and find out what works for you.

Cannabis Therapy PotCast Co-Hosts Workout While High

Earl and Jen working out high

This week on the Cannabis Therapy Potcast, Earl acted as the “cannabis trainer” and encouraged Jen to “earn that puff!” After the workout Jen said, “it was nice to have the smoking as a reward. I don’t think it affected my overall performance but I do feel like it helped me be more motivated to workout because I could smoke during it.  It was an easy going workout so I’d give advice that if it’s your first time working out and smoking to do a light workout and not push yourself too hard.  But overall I’d recommend smoking while working out!” Watch the entire episode “Working Out While High” here.

You can catch a NEW episode every Thursday at 4pm EST on YouTube and Facebook. Please make sure and subscribe! Special shoutout to the Feedspot blog for featuring our Cannabis Therapy Potcast on their top 25 cannabis youtube channels list!

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Courtney Trzos</a>

Courtney Trzos

To Courtney, it’s always 420 somewhere… After attending Michigan State University and working in communications for over 10 years, she took her passion for cannabis, professionally. In 2017, Courtney began freelancing as a writer for cannabis brands across the globe, promoting the therapeutic and recreational use of the plant, while helping her partner cultivate crops full-time, and learning more about the industry from a seed-to-sale perspective. Get in touch with her and follow her journey at