Should you be smoking pot before working out? Here’s what doctors say.
Waltzing into the gym when you’re pleasantly high is a fun concept to consider. It’s almost as if you’ve just turned a chore into a whole lot of fun, and there’s no chance it could be boring at all. But fun and games isn’t the only reason a person may get on the treadmill after passing around a joint. In an interview with Women’s Health magazine, MMA fighter Kyle Kingsbury, who is also the co-founder of Cannabis Plant, the first “cannabis fitness and wellness center,” claims there are all sorts of benefits to working out high.
"It's easier to get into the zone and quiet my mind if I consume before a workout. I've also used it to help mitigate pain from fights. We all have some kind of discomfort that bothers us regularly—the plant is a natural pain reliever."
Kingsbury also says his muscles are “less tight and sore” when he smokes pot. However, he’s clear about the fact that he’s not getting high as a kite in these instances. He’s only using a vaporizer or consuming edibles that contain non-psychoactive cannabidiol. He encourages everyone to give it a shot (if it’s legally accepted where you live, of course) and see if it works for you.
Doctors have a few different words to say on the matter, though.
Nicholas Edwards is the director of exercise-medicine integration at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and he offered his expert opinions on the matter. He agrees that a lot of people who exercise when stoned feel like their stamina is much stronger and they can go for longer, but he’s wary about how that could affect you physically.
"Using cannabis to cover up physical pain can lead to injury... Any type of inhalant, regardless of form, will limit the amount of oxygen the body can take in and push to the muscles. If you limit oxygen from the start, you limit how hard you can work out."
So while it may feel like you’re the Energizer bunny, you could potentially be paving the way for injury and depriving your muscles of the oxygen, they need to get stronger. He concludes by saying that studies show that people who get high before or during a workout have a “higher risk for injury and burning muscle mass.” Maybe save that special brownie for a post-workout snack. Or don’t — you do what feels right for you.