Ever considered consuming cannabis before you exercise? While it might seem counterintuitive, many people actually prepare for their workout with cannabis. It begs the question: what’s the connection between consuming cannabis and exercise? And why are more and more people making a routine of combining the two?
There are various reasons consumers have found marijuana and working out to be a worthy combination.
In fact, emerging research from the University of Colorado found that cannabis consumers “reported engaging in more minutes of aerobic and anaerobic exercise per week.” According to the study, consumers “who endorsed using cannabis shortly before/after exercise reported that doing so enhances their enjoyment of and recovery from exercise, and approximately half reported that it increases their motivation to exercise.”1
Whether you decide to consume cannabis before or after your workout is a matter of personal preference. It will depend on the effects you’re seeking and what you are trying to achieve. Mixing cannabis and exercise is different for everybody. Your routine will most likely take some fine-tuning, so be patient with yourself while you determine what is right for you.
Does cannabis help with weight loss?
Although it’s still early days, interesting findings have emerged connecting cannabis with reduced body weight. A 2013 adjusted epidemiological study found that “the prevalence of obesity […] is much lower in cannabis users compared to non-users.”2 Another study found that regular cannabis consumers had “16% lower fasting insulin levels […] and smaller waist circumferences” compared to those who did not consume.3
Terpenes – compounds that give strains their aromatic diversity – have also been found to affect appetite. In particular, Limonene, which has a sweet citrus odour and can be found within the peels of various citrus fruit, has been linked to a “decrease in food intake” in rats.4
Now before you ditch exercise and healthy eating for a steady diet of cannabis, it’s important to understand that the causality in these studies have yet to be determined. It’s unclear what role, if any, cannabis plays in reducing body weight; there simply isn’t enough data to draw any definitive conclusions.
The bottom line
Although the link between cannabis consumption and weight loss is still hazy, what we do know is that physical activity remains one of the most important ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Given that many people don’t exercise as much as they would like to, cannabis could play a role in how a person chooses to work out.
All this to say – if the stereotype that cannabis consumers are lazy is still prevalent, we hope this finally puts that misconception to rest!
Remember that doses will vary based on personal preference, and the same applies when pairing cannabis with exercise. It’s important to always “start low and go slow.” If you’re unsure what dose is right for you, please reference this Health Canada fact sheet for guidance.
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