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Many people believe that individuals who use marijuana are lazy and unproductive, often blaming the drug for this perception. However, there are a couple of issues with this common stereotype. Firstly, it's important to note that this stereotype isn't necessarily true for all marijuana users. Secondly, marijuana itself doesn't have the power to control our actions or behaviors. It doesn't make us inherently lazy or energetic.
While it's true that certain strains of marijuana, known as Indica, have a relaxing effect on the body, they don't necessarily force us to spend the entire afternoon on the couch. Marijuana can make us feel content and sometimes sleepy, which is why we enjoy using it. However, there's more to it than just relaxation. Other strains, such as Sativa, can actually provide an energizing effect, leading to an opposite experience from the typical "lazy stoner" stereotype.
Related article: 7 Key Tips to Break the 'Irresponsible Stoner' Stereotype
In several areas of the United States, marijuana is often seen as a substance that is not only "dangerous," but also a pathway to more severe drugs like cocaine, heroin, and meth. However, what many people fail to understand is that cannabis only became harmful and risky due to its illegal status, rather than the other way around.
Let's break it down: For nearly 80 years, marijuana has been illegal, starting with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. This criminalization led to the perception that marijuana was associated with criminals. However, in recent years, scientific studies have emerged, dispelling many misconceptions about marijuana. As a result, it has become more socially acceptable in many places. This shift in perception has led to people from various backgrounds, professions, and socioeconomic classes trying marijuana. It's important to note that consuming marijuana does not automatically lead to using harder drugs like heroin or meth. Many successful individuals use marijuana regularly, and it's not a "gateway" drug.
So, if you're considering trying marijuana for the first time or incorporating it into your workout routine, there's no need to be afraid!
Is it beneficial to smoke weed and work out? Well, the answer depends on various factors. It's important to understand how cannabis affects your mind and body and to consider your personal relationship with it. Each person's experience with cannabis can differ based on factors like tolerance level, mood, personality, and environment.
Before you decide to work out while high, there are three important things to consider:
Smoking in public: It may take time to feel relaxed and comfortable smoking weed in public. It's best to experiment on your own before putting yourself in an uncomfortable or embarrassing situation. Additionally, be aware of the rules and laws regarding recreational marijuana in your state. If it's illegal, it's not a good idea to light up a joint in a public place like a gym. Common sense should prevail!
Health issues: If you have heart problems or any other medical conditions that can be negatively affected by weed, it's not recommended to combine smoking and exercise. Smoking can temporarily raise your blood pressure for about 30 minutes, so if you already have high blood pressure or heart issues, it's important to keep that in mind.
Underage: If you're below the legal age for smoking weed, then it's not an option for you. Sorry, but don't worry, you'll reach that age someday.
It's crucial to make responsible choices and prioritize your well-being when considering the combination of weed and exercise.
I started getting high while working out just last year, and here is why I love it:
1. Zone-in and Zone-out
I used to find exercising boring, which is why I didn't start doing it until recently. However, I discovered that working out while high on cannabis can make it more enjoyable for me. When I'm high, my mind gets distracted from thinking about the time, and it helps me stay motivated and focused. Instead of worrying about the clock, I can focus on my thoughts, the things I'm listening to or watching, and it gives me a pleasant connection to my body. But remember, this feeling doesn't happen right away. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes of exercising to start feeling that driven and focused sensation. It's important to understand that cannabis is not a magical solution.
If you enjoy cardio exercises like running, it's interesting to know that many long-distance runners admit to using cannabis while training for marathons. They typically use vaporizers or edibles to minimize lung damage from smoking. Marijuana helps them eliminate boredom from the repetitive nature of running and helps them stay focused on their breathing. In a way, they achieve a state known as a "runner's high."
2. Fatigue and Pain
Using weed can potentially help you tolerate discomfort, allowing you to do more repetitions or push further on the treadmill. Cannabis has pain-relieving effects, acting similarly to a painkiller. However, it's important to understand that a study conducted by the University of Oxford suggests that cannabis changes how you interpret and handle pain, rather than directly reducing its intensity. In simpler terms, marijuana can distract your mind from pain or fatigue instead of completely getting rid of the pain, making it more suitable for a pre-workout boost compared to medications like Advil or Tylenol.
Additionally, when we exercise, our bodies naturally release endorphins, which interact with opiate receptors in our brains, lessening our perception of pain. These endorphins can be seen as tiny doses of something akin to morphine. Interestingly enough, exercise also stimulates the production of small amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
3. Runner's High/Cardio Exercising While High
Scientists have discovered that our bodies naturally store THC, the active component of marijuana, in our fat cells. When you exercise, your body can produce small amounts of THC, which contributes to the phenomenon known as a runner's high. This runner's high is your body's way of dealing with pain and fatigue, and it can enhance the enjoyable effects of marijuana. If you smoke a THC product while exercising, you continuously increase the amount of THC in your body, leading to a stronger high.
Related article: New Study Reveals Marijuana's Impact on Exercise: A Boost to Runners' High and Reduced Pain
All of this occurs within a system called the endocannabinoid system, which consists of receptors that interact with cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Your endocannabinoid system serves as a connection between your body and mind. It plays various roles, such as regulating appetite, influencing mood, and moderating pain, among other functions.
4. Weight Loss and The Muffin Top
According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine, current marijuana users have shown a 16% decrease in fasting insulin levels compared to both past users and a control group. Fasting insulin is a hormone associated with weight loss. Lower insulin levels can contribute to increased weight loss, meaning that smoking weed might aid in weight management. The study also discovered significant connections between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences.
Research suggests that cannabis can help the body regulate insulin more effectively, leading to improved metabolism and potentially assisting in weight management. However, it's important to note that if you have diabetes, your body may process insulin and cannabis differently. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it's crucial to be mindful of these factors.
In the past two or three years, I started smoking weed regularly and have been exploring different situations where I get high, whether indoors or outdoors. I've experimented with being high while exercising, sleeping, riding roller coasters, watching musicals or movies, attending funerals, and even praying to a "higher power."
Based on my personal experiences, I've come to a conclusion: being stoned can make any experience more meaningful. When I smoke weed before working out, I prefer high THC Sativa strains. They help me relax during pre-workout stretching and enhance my focus and body awareness. After my workout, I consume CBD, which reduces inflammation and helps me wind down from an intense exercise session. Finally, before going to bed, I find it beneficial to smoke some Indica weed for obvious reasons (to help with relaxation and sleep).
Related article: Marijuana Effects: THC and CBD, and the Entourage Effect!
My good friend Sasha, a pioneer in Stoner Fitness, says this:
"Before using cannabis with my workouts I was unmotivated, unable to push myself past my plateaus, and had no desire to be a better version of myself. After learning what strains were best for my needs, I have been applying them before, during and after exercise (depending on what my body and mind requires for the session). I have kept 45 pounds off for over 2 years so far by medicating and meditating with marijuana. It helps keep my anxiety in check and over-all has improved my quality of life tremendously!"
Mike Mercer, co-founder of Soulshine Cannabis, gave his insight about his first experience exercising while high. He's been doing Yoga and CrossFit for the past 7 years, and although he’s very new to smoking cannabis prior to a workout, he recently smoked one of Soulshine's Indica strains, Hindu Kush, before his Yoga class. Mike said:
"It was the absolute best yoga class I have ever experienced! I could feel every muscle fiber in my body. It felt so amazing to feel every muscle group relax and stretch. Everything was enhanced during the class: the teacher's voice, the music, the smell of incense burning. I mentally went into a very deep place that I had never been before, slowing my mind & thoughts for the entire 90 minutes. I plan to integrate this new way of experiencing Yoga from now on.”
And Louis Santiago, Director at CannaSense Total Wellness, described his experience with marijuana and exercise: "I concur with all those findings and add moderation is the key to almost everything in life. The same lame excuses that Cannabis makes people lazy can also be used to say it helps people focus and debunk the fable. It's all up to the individual and their commitment to good health. I have been smoking since I was 12 years old and at the pinnacle of my misuse, I was smoking a pound a month by myself. I eventually realized I had an addictive personality, but being a nonconformist at heart allowed me to get that down to one ounce per month… I’ve started and finished 23 marathons (4 for Team in Training), two N.Y.C. Triathlons and two 150 mile bike rides for M.S. Society...all while under the influence.”
This exercise can be great to practice when you're high, so we here at The BLVD thought we should share it with you! The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere (I do it a lot in the airport). Although you can do this in any position, we recommend sitting with your back straight while learning. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward. Here are the steps:
Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time, and exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio for three long breaths. With practice, you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply. This can help you slow down your breathing after a heavy cardio session, alleviate feelings of anxiety, or simply help you take a stronger hit from a bong!