It might seem counterintuitive to think of cannabis as a sports performance enhancer, but that’s just what some athletes are discovering. Professional athletes and weekend warriors alike report that consuming certain strains of marijuana helps with focus and endurance. Others swear by cannabis products for recovery after physical activity to mitigate aches, pains and inflammation.
If you’re curious about how cannabis can fit into an active lifestyle, read our three most popular questions on the subject from our Answers page. The answers were provided by knowledgeable members of our community. We hope their insights help you decide if marijuana is right for you when you’re working up a sweat.
Q: Is it true that marijuana will help my endurance when I exercise?
_ I am both a long-distance runner and swimmer and I have heard from several fellow athletes that they either eat an edible before an intense workout or vape. _
This is a tough one to really answer. However, some things to consider for yourself, since everybody reacts to marijuana and its side effects completely differently, are these:
- The dosage: Many edibles come in 30 mg up to 100 mg. Depending on the potency some may give you a push of energy while others may couch lock you. As always, start off small and work up.
- The strain: Indicas are what make you feel the couch lock and sleepiness that people often associate with marijuana; however, this isn’t always the case. Sativa on the other hand is said to be uplifting and more of a “head” high then a body high; which is what I would recommend using prior to a workout, like I said previously, indicas can cause sleepiness. Finally, there is a middle; called a hybrid which is often a 50/50 split between an indica and a sativa; these are often formed (and most common nowadays) when breeders cross an indica-dominate strain with a sativa; the rest is simple logic.
- Tolerance: Finally, your tolerance will play a big role. If you are a moderate to heavy smoker, I say you should be fine. However, if you are one of those people who smokes a blunt every once in a while, I would suggest no. However, this is really your call.
Overall, just be smart and be safe. I hope I helped!
Q: I am looking for a treatment for lactic acid in muscles after a workout.
_ Would a topical be a good option, or would an internal product be better? _
I believe a cannabis topical with a high THCA content would be a good option to try out since THCA is one of the most effective cannabinoids for reducing inflammation. There is limited knowledge available to date about THCA as opposed to CBD, so many products currently available on the cannabis market do not contain THCA. We purposely balance our Sweet ReLeaf topical formula to be a 40% THCA and 60% THC blend because it works so effectively to bring down swelling, puffiness, and soreness in the muscles related to inflammation. I think it would be worth trying to see how a topical might contribute to overall wellbeing after a workout.
Q: I developed tendinitis (golfers elbow) from doing CrossFit. Nothing seems to help.
_ I have already had two cortisone injections. The pain wakes me up at night, and I can’t do any grippy workout exercises anymore. I am looking for something to help with pain and sleep. Would you recommend a topical or is there something I can take internally that would take away the pain, but not make me so high that I can’t work out. I don’t want to feel drugged up. _
I would recommend trying a topical CBD salve, balm, cream or lotion applied directly on the skin over your elbow; there is no high associated with CBD topicals. You could also try a time-release patch. They release active product over three to six hours. Another option would be a 20:1 CBD:THC tincture on or under the tongue and these can provide three to five hours relief. If your pain is preventing sleep, I might introduce a different product such as a 1:1 CBD:THC tincture which would help with nighttime pain relief and sleep enhancement.
Remember THC is the psychoactive part of the plant that makes you high. CBD is not psychoactive but is anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo