Working Out High (& Not High) on Cannabis: Fact v. Fiction

If you look at the cold hard scientific evidence, cannabis and exercise do indeed go hand in hand. But to understand the ins and outs of cannabis for energy and working out, we have to clear up some misconceptions and dig into the actual data.

A recent University of Colorado-Boulder study published in Frontiers in Public Health examined the relationship between marijuana and exercise. Out of the 600 cannabis users surveyed, 8/10 said they consume cannabis in one form or another either right before or after exercising.

But here’s the interesting part of the study…

Those who reported mixing marijuana and working out got an extra 43 minutes of physical activity EACH week on average compared to those who said they don’t mix cannabis and exercise.

Plus, out of the cannabis users who reported combining weed and exercise:

  • 52% claimed it makes them MORE motivated to work out.
  • 70% said it boosts their enjoyment of physical activity.
  • 78% said cannabis helps with recovery.

The Myths & Misconceptions

The pros and cons of working out high have been highly debated recently. Some folks are even skeptical about the escalating use of the non-mind-altering phytocannabinoid CBD for fitness.

One predominant reason why such skepticism exists is that some people (incorrectly) think cannabis perpetuates low-energy, low-intensity activities like playing video games on the couch.

But, in reality, working out high or using non-psychoactive marijuana and hemp products can put you in the ultimate physical and mental state to achieve your fitness goals.

In fact, many marijuana- AND hemp-based cannabis on the market today are specifically designed for on-the-go, active lifestyles.

For example, cannabinoids such as CBD and terpenes such as limonene in cannabis have an uplifting and rejuvenating effect.

These exhilarating compounds help keep you energized and alert.

Even the psychoactive phytocannabinoid THC can mimic a natural runner’s high, according to Dr. Dayna McCarthy, a sports and regenerative medicine specialist at the Icahn School of Medicine.

For some, this can boost the enjoyment and productivity of exercising while high. We’ll dig into the details of this exercise euphoria concept in a second.

But does working out high burn more calories? NO. However, many folks find they work out longer and harder when using cannabis for energy and pain relief.

Let’s get into the science behind this phenomenon…

Science Behind Cannabis and Energy

CBD in hemp and marijuana is a non-psychoactive wake-promoting agent according to a 2014 scientific review in the journal Current Neuropharmacology.

One of the mechanisms by which CBD bolsters wakefulness and alertness is through the dorsal raphe nuclei (DRN) in the brain. By enhancing the electrophysiological activity of the DRN, CBD helps you ‘stay woke’ and feel alive.

CBD, THC and a number of other phytocannabinoids in cannabis have also shown time and time again to ease pain, inflammation, and delayed muscle soreness and stiffness. CBD also reduces anxiety symptoms for many folks, which can improve athletic performance.

What’s more, Dr. Dayna McCarthy says that cannabinoids activate certain brain receptors that mimic the release of feel-good endorphins and dopamine. So, in turn, working out high can heighten exercise euphoria.

Beyond phytocannabinoids, many terpenoid-rich essential oils in cannabis reduce inflammation according to a recent study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. These anti-inflammatory properties are immensely helpful for maintaining an active lifestyle. 

Cannabis-Infused Hydration Drinks

Did you know there’s also energizing cannabis-infused hydration drinks to turbocharge your mind and body for the next workout?

These refreshing drinks are specially formulated with antioxidants, electrolytes, and dynamizing cannabinoids and terpenes to maximize hydration and get you fired up and full of energy.Tablets of Marijuana for Energy & Vitality

Vitality-boosting fast tabs help invigorate the whole body to provide physical, mental and emotional strength.

These 100% wild-harvested, bioavailable tablets are high in antioxidants, nutritious terpenes, and other full-spectrum, symbiotic herbal compounds that boost energy.

For example, high CBD fast tabs containing daytime herbs and terpenes can provide sustained relief and wellness throughout the day.

And quick-acting (and long-lasting) CBD and CBG fast tabs can help you live your best self, full of life and energy.

But, what if you’re interested in smoking weed and working out? What are the best strains for energy?

Best Cannabis Products for Post-Workout Recovery

After a hard workout, muscle pain can be aggravating and even debilitating. New cannabis-based topicals are growing in popularity to improve post-workout recovery.

These therapeutic topical recovery creams penetrate deep into the skin to alleviate pain and discomfort in the muscles and joints without the psychoactive, intoxicating side effects of THC in whole leaf.

These post-workout creams are infused with capsicum, aloe vera, arnica, wintergreen and ginger to boost their anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

There are also on-the-go cannabis recovery creams that provide the same rapid localized relief. You can throw these mini jars in your backpack or workout bag and use them when and where you need it.

But if you don’t mind a good THC-induced high, there are also smokable cannabis products for post-workout recovery.

Many of these products contain indica and indica-dominant strains. These strains can help relax the muscles, soothe aches and pains, and prepare you for a good night’s rest.

Working Out High OR Not High on Cannabis: What’s Best for You?

Marijuana and exercise pair together like wine and cheese.

New psychoactive AND non-psychoactive cannabis products can help you get the most out of your workout, whether you prefer sober outdoor adventuring or going to the gym high.

But again, the feeling you get depends on the active compounds in the strain and how your body reacts to them.

Different strains and dosages can affect the relationship between marijuana and energy very differently from person to person.

Some folks respond better to non-mind-altering CBD for exercise. Others who don’t mind a good THC-induced high and pre workout boost may enjoy full-spectrum, whole-flower products.

But regardless of whether you’d prefer working out high OR not high, there are TONS of cannabis-infused products for energy and mind-body vitality. And compared to popular energy drinks and pre-work supplements, cannabis offers a natural (and therapeutic) alternative with minimal (if any) side effects.

Scientific evidence supporting the use of marijuana for exercise and recovery is mounting. As more and more research comes to fruition, it seems increasingly likely that the breadth and depth of benefits of working out high (and not high) on cannabis have yet to be discovered.