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Does Marijuana Help You Exercise?

exercise marijuana

(via zip420.blogspot.com)

I like to exercise, especially playing basketball. Physical fitness is something that I have always tried to take seriously, although admittedly, I take it more serious at certain times compared to others. Currently, my physical fitness is not where it needs to be, but I’ll try to get that figured out sooner than later. A question I have received at TWB from time to time is ‘does marijuana help you exercise?’

I have lifted weights and played basketball after getting high, and it seems to put me in a zone that I don’t get into when sober. I feel more focused, and more in touch with my body. Marijuana doesn’t necessarily motivate me to workout, but once I’m at the gym, it helps me get a better workout, if that makes sense. Leafly recently published an article that talks more about marijuana and exercise. A few excerpts are below:

“It’s not news to the medical community that the human body stores tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the main psychoactive in cannabis, in fat. However, a study put out this August in Drug and Alcohol Dependence has shown that this storage process can give exercisers an extra boost, even up to 28 days after consumption.”

“Yet, contrary to popular thought, it’s not just the endorphins (the compounds which make you feel excited after activities such as exercise and sex) that make physical activity so great. A 2003 study found that exercise actually activates the endocannabinoid system in the same way that the cannabis plant does. The endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) bind to inside the body. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for easing pain, controlling appetite, and influences mood and memory. ”

“A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine has found that regular cannabis consumers have fasting insulin (insulin in your body before eating) levels 16% lower than non-consumers. The study also found that cannabis consumers had 17% lower insulin resistance levels and lower average waist circumferences.”

Next time, before you hit the gym, try getting high first. If that’s not your thing, then by all means don’t do it. But if you are looking to see how marijuana affects your workout, give it a try. Scientific studies suggest it could help you out!


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Marijuana has helped me eat healthier and since it helps me get out of depression. It also helps me think more positive about exercising and keep me focused on a new goal

  2. I believe we should all be more informed tokers at this point and stop referring to “weed” as one thing! There are 2 MAJOR types and the difference is IMPORTANT! Indica vs. Sativa! So for those who say mj makes them relaxed, sleepy, or what have you, you are smoking INDICA! For exercise, you want a good SATIVA which energizes you and gives mental focus. Also, not a good type to smoke right before bed or you will stay awake because it is not sleep-inducing! Educate yourselves and find the right type for YOU!! Also, if you are smoking a full joint, blunt, or several bowls at one time, you are OVER MEDICATING!!

  3. Matthew Zachocki on

    I’m 41 work with a personal trainer. I ingest activated oil 1000 mg I hour before gym. Then I’m vaporizing for fast effect on way to gym. Work out is focused controlled safe and I am able to attack it like nothing. This is not lime steroid effects and makes me attack workout. Rather it compliments my workout dilates my bronchiles, eases my mond, aids recovery etc. Read up on endocanabanoid system. Canabanoids are taking care of heart ad well. Research homeostasis and cannabis. This is real. My grandma, she’s beating alzheimets/dementia for 5 years. …

  4. Although marijuana has shown to improve workouts and numb your sensation of pain leading to more effective workouts, the health risks associated with getting high and working out are not nil. Strenuous exercise after smoking weed can lead to heart related disorders like heart failure and cardiac arrest due to overexercising. Older individuals are more at risk. A slight buzz before gym can always help. Do not exercise when you are at the tip of your high.(My previous experiences with cannabis)

  5. I definitely agree. For me I feel as if smoking cannabis really influence’s me mentally and empowers me to determine what I put my mind to when it comes down to “crunch time”, so to speak

  6. Love lifting after smoking! My heart rate peaks faster, I do not fatigue quickly, and I tend to focus better on perfect form. I’ve used this method for so long that when I want to smoke to chill out my body immediately flares with energy and I am completely motivated to workout lol

  7. Thank you for that information runner girl, I will look further into those medical details soon (MTHFR etc).

    I agree totally with the dietary changes you mention. I used similar advice just before 2006 (prior to starting the exercise period previously mentioned), I had been to a naturopath at the time and he basically put me on a different eating regime which included your diet tips and it helped greatly.

    I am generally looking to start a prolonged attack on my symptoms as soon as possible (which have been rather nasty over the last 12 months or so) with 1. Diet changes (like you mention) 2. Medical Doctor oversight as well as using some naturopathic methods (I found the advice on diet and some “treatment” useful last time with my local naturopath) and 3. When a supply of, preferably legal, cannabis is available going back to my walking/exercise program. I know from experience it will work having had residual relief of all symptoms in ’07 and about half of ’08. Cannabis is the “key in the lock” that lets me pass through the pain barrier without any lasting adverse effects. Seems to me that constantly pushing through the pain barrier essentially changed me bio-chemically for up to 18 months after ceasing the exercise program (I believe a “pain desensitization process” may have occurred because of the exercise program). I suspect I am really going to need a legal cannabis framework here before such medical/physical changes could be set permanently.

    Lately there have been a few hopeful signs of change here with the Medical Cannabis debate nationally. There is a legislative push to set up a Federal Regulator of Medical Cannabis by the Federal Parliament which would allow testing and treatments to be separated from the usual controls normal pharmaceuticals go through and also comply with UN treaties etc. Some better prospects at this stage; the sooner the politicians get a move on and pass this, the sooner I can start walking/healing/”getting back to work” etc.

    Best wishes to you and good luck with your treatment, take care :-)

  8. I’m so glad to hear you find relief with Cannabis but very sorry to hear of the political challenges that prevent you from getting your meds. I too have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and have chemical sensitivity to medication, Seasonal Affecrive Disorder (SAD), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and ADD. I was alerted to genetic testing and discovered that I had a genetic mutation for MTHFR 1298C and 677T. Basically, 40% of the entire population has one of these mutations. It’s very common! I’m heterozygous with one mutation from each parent; that’s in 10th percentile of population – less common but more of a LITERAL pain.

    An inefficient system leads to INFLAMMATION. In addition to your very important meds, I wanted to share there to be a dietary recommendation for those with MTHFR or anyone battling inflammatory related symptoms. Extensive research suggests an organic, dairy free, gluten free, no white flours or refined sugars diet. It’s recommended to take a probiotic, have D3 levels checked. Mine was low and migraines were frequent. I’m not part of any group but if you want to learn more, check out Dr. Ben and his expertise on thriving with MTHFR mutations.

    Best of luck to you!

  9. I love hiking after getting high, Cannabis helps me to focus, it’s a pain reliever and helps to breath better, since its a bronchodilator. So yes! You should all try it! :)

  10. While most posters are beneficially using marijuana before exercise, I am more inclined to use it afterwards. Pain limits all physical activity, as it not only hurts before movement, but the pain exponentially increases after movement. I know that when I get back from a walk, and the pain is screaming even louder, I will be able to distract myself from it with some good bud.

    Not having the ability to manage the pain, now that I am without regular access to “legal” bud, has caused me to cut back on walking — it’s not worth the additional pain, no matter how good the exercise is for me. After a year in the medical cannabis program, the leftover beneficial effects lasted only a few weeks, maybe a month.

  11. i have all ways found that if you have a task in you mind and you’ve got it all planned out getting high than doing it is awesome!
    especially weight training you have complete blinders on and your just lifting like a machine in your own little world!!

  12. I’ve had symptoms of Fibromyalgia since birth 50 years ago and have been diagnosed from my mid 30’s, exercising for me (unmedicated) is an exercise in excruciating pain resulting in depression/anxiety as a result of failure to be able to continue exercising . I have no tolerance for legal painkillers, particularly opioids, the side effects experienced with them are worse than the pain itself.

    I discovered in 2006, a year I found a regular supplier of good quality (illegal) cannabis, that I could walk 5 to 7 kms (3 to 4 miles) in a exercise session, and did so regularly that year. My weight dropped by about 3 1/2 stone, my tolerance to pain increased drastically along with my level of fitness. I have been unfit all my life and before 2006 had never been able to “break the pain barrier” whilst exercising. By smoking 2 joints before, 1 or 2 during the exercise and a few after was the only way I could tolerate an exercise session with NO negative effects from trying.

    Early in 2007 my supply dried up, due to the illegality and corruption in this area associated with cannabis, I had to step back from the source for my own safety. However as a result of the walking I did in 2006 (ending very early in 2007) I had NO symptoms of FMS all of 2007 and most of 2008. A residual effect from the exercise I did that lasted approximately 18 months. I lost all supplies for 22 months from early 2007.

    Cannabis can be used to snap the back of FMS symptoms while a regular supply (optimally that SHOULD be a legal one) of cannabis is available from my experience, through a desensitization process enabled by the exercising cannabis allows. Sadly the debate in my country (Australia) is being angled only towards terminal patients at the present, and my state sponsored case of medical torture looks like continuing for some time. Big Pharma’s influence here looks to be solidly and very corruptly entrenched.

    Kind regards to all, especially anyone unfortunate to suffer my condition or similar. Hold on to the hope that sanity will eventually prevail in Governments wherever you live.

  13. There will always be people who want a pill. Here’s to hoping that great cannabis pills show up in the future!

  14. I workout at the pool. When I smoke about 30 minutes before I go, my workouts are more focused and just feel better. I concentrate more on the muscle groups I am working on, and the water feels heavenly. I use hybrids for workouts. I can’t imagine even smoking on some indica before a workout, but to each his own!

  15. 15 Years? Your whole lifestyle has changed. You I am guessing are no where near as active as you were then.

  16. Stop calling it marijuana, a racist and derogatory term. Call it what it is: Hemp, Cannabis or Ganja. Take the concentrated oil from the most potent cannabis buds.

  17. I am a huge fitness enthusiast and have a body that most people would die to have and ALWAYS try to smoke before the gym. I wouldn’t say that it improves my lifts (although I do think my bball skills actually increase while high), but it does not affect me negatively. If anything it helps me get in the zone, especially ifi have my music blasting

  18. I used to be in a lot better shape when I smoked marajuana I was 187 lbs. and I kept busy I could run, I could lift weights, it was easy. But I gave up marajuana when my son was conceived because I could not and would not take a chance getting caught with marajuana. This was 15 years ago and now I weigh 238 lbs. I can’t wight for legalization so I can smoke again.

  19. I’ve been doing hot yoga for about 2 years now, and my favorite way to practice is stoned :) I always preferred cardio / weights high, but this is a new experience all together. The best way I can explain it is that being high makes it easier to focus more of my mental capacity on one thing: Balance. Besides that, it makes the heat more tolerable, even enjoyable (I understand how crazy this sounds, 2 years ago I called my sister crazy for willingly locking herself in humid 100° weather for an hour to work out, and then inviting me!). Now my body craves the heat and the medication to allow my every cell to release tension, realign, increase my strength and endurance, and increase my mental strength as well. Stoned people are usually very honest, which helps a LOT when one is working towards greater personal achievements both at the gym and in life :)

  20. Give me a break. You obviously don’t know much about “all pharmaceuticals” if you rally believe cannabis could pretty much replace them. You sound like a stoner trying to build some kind of conspiracy theory. As a physician who supports medical cannabis use and an individual with education I can say that comments like yours only hinder the public taking serious legislation to change cannabis laws.

  21. Yeah I blaze a bowl and do my cardio then weights and it feels amazing. Like you lift more and your heart pumps faster and the only thing on your mind is going that extra mile. Love it.

  22. I do fairly strenuous exercise 6 days a week: running, weight lifting, and calesthenics–plus a lot of walking. I like to toke up after rather than before exercising. If you’re looking for a post couch lock experience you should try it, but don’t have any plans for the rest of the day. I don’t do yoga, but think it and weed might enhance each other. Is it just a coincidence that, I believe, they are both rooted in India? Has anyone ever tried yoga while stoned?

  23. liftederryday on

    I smoke before training, Love it!!! Train much hearted and find my heart rates maintains a higher level more consistantly

  24. Weed makes almost everything much better , it all depends on the type of weed, the type of situation ,personality etc.

  25. In the near future cannabis will pretty much replace all pharmaceuticals ,that’s one of the reasons why the government is trying to stop legalization.

  26. Going by personal experience alone, I love smoking and then doing yard work, or walking, or cleaning house, etc. Absolutely puts me in the right frame of mind.

  27. M. R. Musick on

    So does the information from the American journal of medicine suggest that consumption of cannabis is good for diabetics, type one or two?

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