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Consuming Cannabis And Working Out: What The Data Says

Integrating cannabis into workout routines has become a topic of both curiosity and controversy.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on February 6, 2024

Person Holds Medical Cannabis In A Glass Container

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As more individuals seek holistic approaches to wellness and recovery, understanding the impact of cannabis consumption before or after exercise is paramount.

This article explores this intriguing intersection, aiming to shed light on the benefits, risks, and everything in between.

Before you head to your favourite cannabis dispensary, it’s essential to make informed decisions based on thorough knowledge and understanding.


Cannabis And Exercise


Cannabis’s interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system is a cornerstone of its effects on exercise and physical performance.

This system, comprising receptors found throughout the body, regulates numerous physiological processes.

Cannabis’s engagement with these receptors can modify an individual’s perception of effort and fatigue, potentially making workouts feel more manageable and less daunting.

This phenomenon is particularly intriguing for endurance athletes or those engaging in prolonged physical activities.

However, the subjective nature of these effects, influenced by the type and amount of cannabis consumed, underscores the necessity for cautious personal experimentation.

Notably, the entourage effect, where various cannabis compounds work synergistically, may also play a significant role in modulating exercise experiences, suggesting that whole-plant formulations could offer different outcomes compared to isolated cannabis forms.


Impact On Motivation And Energy Levels


The dual impact of cannabis on motivation and energy levels presents a paradoxical challenge.

On the one hand, anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies hint at cannabis’s ability to enhance enjoyment and motivation for certain individuals, turning routine workouts into more pleasurable endeavours.

This is particularly relevant for activities like yoga or hiking, where the enhanced sensory perception attributed to cannabis can amplify the connection to the activity.

On the other hand, the potential for reduced motivation and energy, frequently linked to specific cannabis varieties or larger quantities, is an important consideration.

The contrast between strains that tend to enhance energy and focus and those more likely to lead to relaxation and drowsiness underscores the challenge of forecasting how cannabis will affect exercise motivation.

Thus, it becomes vital to recognize individual reactions through meticulous and regulated trial and error.


Pain Management And Recovery


The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis, especially CBD, offer promising avenues for post-exercise recovery.

By potentially mitigating pain and inflammation, cannabis could support quicker recovery times, allowing athletes to return to training with less downtime.

This is especially appealing in the context of high-intensity workouts or sports that entail considerable physical stress.

However, the reliance on cannabis for pain management raises concerns about masking injuries or overuse, emphasizing the importance of a balanced approach that combines cannabis with conventional recovery methods and medical advice.

The holistic management of pain, incorporating cannabis as part of a broader recovery strategy, including nutrition, hydration, and rest, could optimize benefits while minimizing risks.


Cardiovascular Considerations


The immediate cardiovascular effects of high-inducing properties, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, warrant careful consideration, especially for those with cardiovascular conditions or a sensitivity to the compound.

These effects pose questions about the safety of cannabis use in high-intensity or endurance sports, where cardiovascular demand is significantly elevated.

The current research landscape suggests a complex relationship between cannabis and cardiovascular health, with long-term implications still largely unexplored.

Athletes and individuals interested in integrating cannabis into their fitness routine should approach this with caution, potentially consulting healthcare professionals to understand the risks fully.


Cognitive Function And Coordination


The psychoactive effects of cannabis on cognition and motor skills pose significant safety considerations.

Impaired judgment, delayed reaction times, and reduced motor coordination could dramatically increase the risk of accidents or injuries, especially in environments requiring precision, balance, or complex motor skills.

This highlights the critical need for individuals to familiarize themselves with their tolerance and the specific effects of different cannabis products on their cognitive and motor functions before engaging in physical activities.


Legal And Ethical Considerations


The legal status of cannabis, varying significantly by jurisdiction, directly impacts athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

For professional athletes, the distinction between permitted and prohibited products under anti-doping regulations is particularly pertinent.

Moreover, the ethical considerations surrounding fair play and the potential performance-enhancing or impairing effects of cannabis add layers of complexity to its use in competitive sports.

Staying informed about evolving regulations and making ethical choices aligned with the spirit of competition is essential for athletes navigating the intersection of cannabis use and sports.




The intersection of cannabis consumption and workout efficacy is complex, with data pointing to both potential benefits and risks.

While some individuals may find improved motivation, pain management, and recovery, others need to be cautious of the impact on energy levels, cardiovascular health, and cognitive function.

It remains critical to approach cannabis use in fitness with an informed and personalized strategy.

Ultimately, the decision to integrate cannabis into a workout regimen should be made with careful consideration of the latest scientific evidence and an understanding of one’s health and wellness goals.

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