Here’s Why You Should Smoke Marijuana Before Working Out

Marijuana improves your exercise experience by helping you focus and boosting your mood. Here's why smoking and working out is a great idea.

Can cannabis enhance your exercise experience? Many people say that smoking and working out is a great idea For those who associate weed with the stereotype of the ‘lazy stoner’, this might seem counter-intuitive: how can something so relaxing help us work out better?

Lots of well-known sports stars have openly consumed weed, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Phelps, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nick Diaz and Ricky Williams. A number of these athletes have gotten into trouble for using marijuana – but sports code violations aside, it turns out exercise and weed is actually a really good combination. Here’s why.

1) Marijuana can reduce muscle pain and help treat sports injuries

Studies show that marijuana has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect, meaning that it can soothe swelling and pain. Because of this, many people with chronic pain use cannabis.

If you’ve pushed yourself too hard at the gym and your calves burn every time you climb stairs, a hit of marijuana can take the edge off. Similarly, marijuana can soothe and relax tight muscles during and after a workout. If you’re struggling to reach that thirtieth squat, cannabis might help.

Consuming marijuana can also help manage the pain associated with sports injuries, old or new. If you’ve recently injured yourself, smoking marijuana or using a cannabis tincture can ease your aches. You could also apply cannabis-infused lotions and muscle rubs directly to the affected area.


That said, the best cure for injuries and tight muscles is rest! Don’t simply try to ease the pain using cannabis – give your body time to recover. Soreness and tightness is a sign that you’ve had a great workout, but it’s important to take notice when your body has an injury instead of simply powering through it.

2) Smoking and working out can lift your mood

It’s a well-known fact that exercising causes your brain to release chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that are responsible for your mood. This is why working out can boost your mood and make you feel focused and relaxed.

And you know what else boosts your mood? Cannabis.

Marijuana has anti-depressive and anti-psychotic effects, especially on those with mood disorders like depression and anxiety. The endocannabinoid system – which is affected by cannabis as well as exercise – releases mood-boosting chemicals.

Many people say that weed improves their post-workout mood. The combination makes them feel happier, more confident, and more relaxed. Think of it as an extra-high ‘runner’s high’!

3) Marijuana can get you in the right mindset for exercise

The difference between a good workout and a failed gym day boils down to your mindset. Weed can make all the difference when it comes to psyching yourself up for your morning run or spin class.

Have you ever smoked really good weed and found yourself rocking from side to side? Have you ever gotten high and zoned out for hours?

Imagine using that hyper-focused, meditative state to exercise.

This is exactly what a friend of mine does. Every second evening, he smokes a joint and goes for a run. According to him, smoking marijuana just before running makes him run for longer.

“If I’m not a little high, I get bored. My mind wanders, I stress about work, and I enjoy the run less,” he explains. “When I’m high, I’m amused by the rhythm of my own feet. I feel more relaxed and more focused. If I’m running in the forest or through a park, I appreciate the beauty of my surroundings, and I feel more at ease.”

When it comes to rhythmic exercises like running or spinning, this makes sense. But the meditative effect of weed is also useful for people who do other sports and exercises, like yoga. According to fans of 420 yoga, combining marijuana with yoga results in a more relaxed environment. As a result, the participants deepen their awareness of their bodies and feel a sense of spiritual bliss.


If you struggle to get ‘into the zone’ before exercise, or if you find it hard to stay in the zone, try a few hits before your next workout.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of research on the relationship between sports and marijuana. Science can’t yet tell us if weed can help body-builders improve muscle growth, or if it can help runners sprint faster.

That said, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests marijuana and exercise is a great combination. So if you’re curious, it’s worth a try. Smoke a strain that makes you feel relaxed (but not sleepy!), lace up your running shoes, and take your body on an adventure.

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