Experts in the field of physical fitness and clinicians hold a common view that cannabis can help create what is called the runner’s high. According to WebMD, runner’s high refers to the psychological wellbeing associated with those long-duration, rhythmic kind of exercises such as marathons. There are various theories that try to explain what happens during a runner’s high state, and they touch on changes in neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine or hormones such as endorphin. There is also another theory that links runner’s high effect to elevated body temperature. A research conducted by a team led by P.B. Sparling at the University of California has suggested that endocannabinoids may too be involved in the runner’s high phenomenon. In a runner’s high state, an athlete feels good- it boosts their mood, raises energy levels, relieves anxiety and makes an individual feel relaxed and calm.
This article examines some of the things that athletes should be aware of regarding getting high prior to indulging in a workout regime.
1. Individuals respond to effects of cannabis differently
Cannabis brings a bidirectional effect in a person meaning that people may respond differently to different dosages or one person may show an opposite effect compared to another individual. This is according to Dr. Dustin Sulak who is the founding member of Healer and an osteopathic physician. For instance, if you give cannabis to an anxious person, it may make them relax. Again, if a person who is not anxious takes cannabis, they become anxious.
2. Should take smaller amounts of marijuana before a workout
If you want to take cannabis before going out for a workout, you need to only smaller amounts. It is called microdosing and the reason is that you aren’t doing it for recreation, you just want to have a longer-lasting mild ‘high’ effect. Too much of cannabis when working out could make you fatigued and it may raise issues of lethargy.
3. Experiment first
Also, if you decide you are going to use marijuana before working out, experiment first to see if there are side effects you inhibit such as anxiety. Sulak suggests that you have a week of trying out and this should be able to get you out of the initial sensitivity associated with cannabinoid THC, which is responsible for making one feel high.
You should also determine the optimal dosage that is right for you to bring the most of your workout results. As a rule of thumb, try to start small then slightly increase the dosage until you get to the level of highness (mild) you want to be in.
4. It can help you withstand discomfort
If you are doing a marathon or a rigorous exercise, finishing the last leg or reps can be really cruel. Marijuana can make you push beyond limits thus going the extra miles or busting more reps in your workout. Sulak explains that our bodies have cannabinoid receptors forming the natural endocannabinoid system. Taking marijuana will affect how such receptors respond to pain. You may therefore perceive your workout as less intense.
5. Marijuana creates focus in what we do
Taking cannabis gets you to the zone faster. You will attain a state of consciousness where you feel energized. You are aware of your body and the surrounding environment. Being in the flow state or the zone makes you do an activity without having to think much about it. This is according to Jim McAlpine who is a marijuana expert and founder of Power Plant Gym and 420 Games.
6. It can create fun moments in a workout
Microdosing could make you enjoy your workout, which means that you do more. This way, you can take those challenging exercises.
7. May speed up recovery after workouts
The non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana plant known as CBD does not get you high. However, it enhances your immunity, stops or prevents muscle spasms and does away with seizures. Marijuana also decreases inflammation and pain. It also speeds up healing as well as recovery from the microtears you experience when working out. This way, you can improve your performance and the results you get from a workout routine.
8. Consider using just the CBD extract
You may not want to use the whole plant because you will have THC compound in your body. THC is targeted for testing in athletes, and you don’t want to be implicated with drug use in sports. However, when you take only the CBD extra, it is going to help you in recovery and provide a some bit of energy boost that you need before commencing your workout. This is according to Dr. Junella Chin, an integrative cannabis physician of MedLeafTx, which also serves medical marijuana to patients in New York.
9. Smoking marijuana is not healthy
When working out, your lungs should work effectively. Smoking marijuana isn’t healthy, it will cause carcinogens to attack your lungs, something that may result in pulmonary problems like bronchitis. You may consider microdose edible products.
10. Consider sublingual tinctures and vaporizers
You may think that edibles are a good option, however, it takes time for them to be digested and get in the bloodstream. It is also difficult to find the correct microdosing. That’s why herbal vaporizers or sublingual tinctures may work best. First, vaporizers do not burn the plant, they only cause the cannabinoids to evaporate by heating the weed. You will have reduced carcinogens in body.
Sublingual tinctures are absorbed fast into the bloodstream. If you have few drops put under the tongue, in a few minutes, the effects is felt. It may take about 15 minutes for them to be absorbed into body. Also, they don’t bring carcinogenic effects.
Now that you know a thing or two about getting high before workout, why not make your decision. Understand that taking marijuana before any rigorous activity or exercise isn’t same as using the weed for recreational purposes. Make sure you take very small amounts.