How Cannabis Can Help You Get Fit

How Cannabis Can Help You Get Fit

Forget the tired trope about lazy stoners, couch-locked in their living room eating Zesty Cheese Doritos while watching SpongeBob SquarePants reruns. The new trend is combining cannabis with exercise.

“Marijuana relaxes me and allows me to go into a controlled, meditational place,” champion triathlete Clifford Drusinsky told Men’s Journal. “When I get high, I train smarter and focus on form.”

Don’t believe him? He’s not alone. Cannabis has grown in popularity among surfers, rock climbers, snowboarders, football stars, hoops heroes, mixed-martial arts fighters and perhaps the greatest Olympic athlete in history.

But you don’t have to be an elite athlete. Weekend warriors are finding that cannabis ingesting marijuana not only aids in the actual workout, it is also an amazingly effective post-workout tonic. Instead of drinking a post-race beer, try a low-dose edible or beverage. Your body will thank you … and you’ll likely be smiling a bit more.

As for weight loss? A 12-ounce bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has 175 calories. Let’s say you had two bottles of ale after an enjoyable 30-minute jog. Well, congratulations! You just added back all the calories you just burned off. Cannabis? Zero calories.

Marijuana and Exercise

Here are four ways cannabis may be helpful to keep your body fit:

Stay in The Zone

Have you ever experienced the runners’ high? What you’re feeling is your endorphins kicking in. Think of exercising with cannabis a different way of getting a similar feeling.

“The endocannabinoid system works like endorphins,” according to Andrea Giuffrida, an endocannabinoid expert at the University of Texas Health Science Center. A study at the university demonstrated that after high-intensity running, people have elevated levels of naturally occurring endocannabinoids in their bloodstream. So, if endorphins help you push through an intense workout, these endocannabinoids could increase your pain threshold to do the same.

Studies in mice have shown that even small doses of THC – the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis marijuana responsible for the euphoric “high” – increase motor activity. So, a pre-run toke or low-dose edible may result in a little boost in your pace. A French study discovered that when THC hits the brain, it produces more pregnenolone, the chemical that is a precursor to steroids produced by the body. This interaction may increase energy and reduce fatigue.

“It may help some athletes get into a zone and put their bodies through very tough physical activity,” says Mark Ware, a professor at Canada’s McGill University. “Many long-distance runners admit to using vaporizers or edibles before participating in a marathon, because the cannabis enables them to remove the monotony and stay in a steady rhythmic zone for keeping at a competitive running speed.”

Marijuana Raises Metabolism

According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the compounds in marijuana may help raise metabolism, speed fat loss, and lower cholesterol.

Researchers have discovered that cannabis consumers have 16 percent higher levels of fasting insulin in their bodies than those who abstain from marijuana. The study also indicated that cannabis users have 17 percent lower insulin resistance levels as well as significantly smaller average waist circumferences than their non-smoking counterparts.

Want more energy and increased weight loss? Then pay close attention to your controlled insulin levels.

Reduce THC For Anxiety Reduction

“We have cannabinoid receptors throughout our brains, and when THC hits those receptors, it triggers a system that reduces anxiety,” says Keith Humphries, a professor at Stanford School of Medicine and a former senior policy advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered that cannabinoid receptors, through which marijuana enters your body, assist in regulating anxiety and the flight-or-fight response.

Muscle Recovery

Cannabis is an anti-inflammatory medicine. Pure and simple. The U.S. government owns Patent 6630507, which describes the antioxidant, neuroprotectant qualities of cannabis.

Here is what ultramarathoner Jeff Sperber told Runner’s World:

“When you’ve been running for that long, you’ve got swelling muscles and aching joints, and you’re tired. You can take an Advil, which will help the swelling and inflammation, but it’s also very taxing on your liver. I can’t do that stuff and function as a normal human being. As a weed smoker, I can function.”

After a strenuous workout, you still will feel the burn. But cannabis marijuana will help ease the pain.

So, hit the trail. Go to your yoga studio. Play tennis. Do whatever gets your heart pumping. Stay hydrated. And enjoy your cannabis. It does a body good.

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