Cannabis has undergone a huge transformation in recent years. Once viewed as a purely recreational substance, today cannabis products are recognized for a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Some of those benefits are big, like reducing seizures in children with epilepsy and relieving pain in cancer patients. Others are small but valuable, like easing minor anxiety and helping people get a good night’s sleep.


There may be a new reason to add cannabis to your self-care arsenal. Researchers are beginning to examine whether cannabis products could help increase physical activity rates and improve recovery after exercise. When only 22% of Americans get enough exercise, there’s no question that we need help getting active. But could cannabis really be the way to do it? Here are some things to consider from Natural Healing Care Center.

Cannabis and exercise: What does the research say?

People who use marijuana before or after their workouts get more exercise than people who don’t, according to a new study of adults in states where marijuana is legal. This link could help explain why cannabis users have a lower risk of obesity than the general population.


While most people use marijuana after their workout to relieve pain and inflammation, those who partake before exercise say that marijuana motivates them to get active and makes fitness more enjoyable.


Although scientists haven’t looked directly into marijuana’s effects on workout recovery, there is a strong body of evidence supporting marijuana’s use for pain and inflammation relief, and chronic pain is the most common reason people seek medical marijuana. And while the effects of marijuana may be less pronounced than popping an ibuprofen, it doesn’t carry the same risks as long-term NSAID use.


Exercise is important for one’s overall well-being. Like the benefits of cannabis, regular exercise is also effective at relieving stress. There are other stress-easing tactics as well, such as improved sleep and relaxation techniques.

What about CBD?

People who are interested in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis but don’t want the buzz should look into cannabidiol. Commonly known as CBD, this compound is found in both marijuana and industrial hemp, which means you can purchase CBD even if your state hasn’t legalized marijuana.


Since CBD is new, there’s not much research to support its use for post-workout recovery. However, the available evidence does hint at anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. CBD products are safe and legal when purchased from a reputable source, so consumers who are interested can experiment with various CBD products to see if it aids in their recovery.

How to shop for cannabis products

Before shopping for cannabis products to improve your workout, there’s some basic information you need to know.


You can only buy products containing THC if you live in a state with legalized recreational marijuana. THC is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, and it’s where you’ll find your pre-workout boost. You can smoke or vaporize cannabis flower, consume edibles, oils, and tinctures, or use cannabis concentrates in a vape pen.


If marijuana isn’t legal in your state, you can still try CBD for exercise recovery. Full-spectrum CBD products are considered best for fighting inflammation as they contain a complete terpene profile. Terpenes are compounds that work with cannabinoids to create cannabis’ therapeutic effects. You can consume CBD via oils, tinctures, or supplements, or get relief topically with creams and patches.


Confused by all the terms? You can learn more about THC, CBD, terpenes, and other cannabis terminology online, so you understand exactly what you’re buying when you purchase a cannabis product.


Cannabis isn’t necessary for a good workout. However, when so many of us struggle to get enough exercise or to get back in the gym with sore muscles, the promise of higher motivation and faster recovery is an enticing one. Ultimately, the best way to find out if cannabis can improve your workout is to try it for yourself once you’re fully ready.

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