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We can all agree that it’s probably not the best idea to get completely lit before you engage in exercise, but there are some benefits that come with lighting up a little it. Though it may seem counterintuitive to include weed as part of your workout regimen, it can actually be the secret weapon that boosts your fitness routine if it’s utilized correctly. Both THC and CBD (the two most well-known cannabinoids in cannabis) have therapeutic effects, even though one gets you high (THC) and the other one doesn’t (CBD).

In a recent study, researchers found a positive link between exercise and cannabis after interviewing people in states where cannabis is legal. Out of 605 respondents, 81.7% shared that they smoke both before and after they exercise. More than half of the group expressed that it made them feel more motivated to exercise. Additionally, 70% felt that cannabis made working out more enjoyable, while 78% said it improved how they felt after working out. Of course, what you choose to smoke, vape, dab or eat will make a big difference.

When it comes to working out and THC-dominant weed, you’ll want to go for strains that make you feel uplifted and energized. You will also want to limit the amount of cannabis you consume so that you don’t find yourself too tired or too high to commit to the workout you’ve planned for yourself.

The best advice when it comes to smoking or eating edibles before exercise is less is more. Consider starting with just a couple puffs or a low-dose edible to gauge your tolerance first before increasing. For those who aren’t into the idea of experimenting with the high, you can try CBD-dominant strains or products. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychotropic, meaning that it won’t get you high at all but you will still benefit from its ability to reduce inflammation and ease muscle soreness.

If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about how cannabis could be an asset to your fitness routine, check out some of these benefits to incorporating it into your workouts.

It Can Help with Pain Relief

Thanks to cannabis’ analgesic effects, you can smoke for overall pain relief or use infused topicals for targeted pain relief. Topicals come in various forms, from creams and lotions to oils and salves. If you’re working on your arms and know that you’ll be sore the next day, you can apply it to the area before and after your workout to help reduce some of the discomfort. If it’s really bad, you can try soaking in the tub with some cannabis-infused bath salts.

It Can Make You Last Longer

If you’ve ever had to cut a workout short because you just didn’t feel like continuing even though you already had a whole game plan, cannabis can not only help with making the time pass during a long run, but it can also help increase your motivation while you’re exercising. The right strain can boost your mood and focus while putting you in the zone for an extended session. This can be a good idea if you have a long workout with lots of reps ahead, especially if you and feel like you’ll need some extra drive to push you through.

It Can Help You Bulk Up

For those of you that are into gains and muscle mass, an increase in appetite could be the major key you’ve been needing to take you to the next level. After consuming weed, it’s common for your hunger to be stimulated, which can be useful if you’re looking to hike up your intake with extra meals or more calorie-dense foods. The munchies often get a bad rap, but it’s really all about what you’re choosing to eat when they hit.

It Can Help with Post-Workout Recovery

Do you usually need a few days to recoup after an intense workout before you can get back at it? Cannabis can help reduce the time you need to recoup by reducing inflammation and speeding up recovery in sore and tense muscles. This can be helpful if you regularly do intense or extreme workouts and find that you can’t keep up your high-performance day after day.