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What do cannabis indica seeds have to do with fitness? In states where the herb is legal, many individuals use it before exercising. This activity brings us to the question, “Does weed affect workout performance?”

Before legalization, there were limited marijuana studies as it was a Schedule 1 controlled substance, and researchers needed U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) approval to conduct trials. More findings are available today, showing the potential benefits of the herb on sports achievement. 

As there’s also evidence of possible adverse side effects, it’s vital to understand all the factors to incorporate weed into your workout routine.

Hemp and your workout

Does weed affect gym performance? We need more clinical studies on the subject, but cannabis research findings so far suggest it may offer benefits to people who exercise.

There’s evidence that delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), found in marijuana, have medicinal properties which might impact physical activities.

Consult your doctor before starting to work out and get approval if you plan to combine weed with exercise.

There are many ways to utilize cannabis to boost your performance levels:

  • Smoking
  • Applying topicals, including CBD oils and creams
  • Consuming edibles, such as gummies

8 ways weed might affect sports performance

Choosing to exercise is a significant health decision, and if you use cannabis, you might ask, “Does smoking weed affect workout performance?”

While the herb can potentially improve physical activities, there are risks, making it essential to weigh the following pros and cons before deciding.


Here are five reasons people choose to combine marijuana and fitness:

1. Makes working out fun

Studies show that the runner’s high you experience when exercising starts in the endocannabinoid system. As weed stimulates the same receptors, some researchers believe the herb might help individuals bring on the same euphoric sensation.

People who consume cannabis before physical activity report an increased enjoyment of exercise. These blissful feelings offer positive benefits as they may motivate individuals to keep working out.

As with everything, it’s best to consume the herb moderately.

2. Relieves pain

How does weed affect workout capacity?

Research shows many positive results that marijuana might reduce chronic pain, including muscle spasms. In addition, evidence suggests that THC may provide relief and help with recovery, making it an ideal natural alternative to prescribed medication.

If you don’t enjoy the act of smoking, use topicals and tinctures. They’re widely used for treating specific areas in highly concentrated dosages.

3. Reduces inflammation

Strenuous exercise causes stress in the body, activating cytokines that inflame muscles, making them sore.

Studies show that cannabinoids such as CBD suppress inflammatory response and could reduce disease symptoms. Athletes who use cannabis claim it helps them deal with pain and inflammation and recover from surgery or past injury.

Does weed kill muscle? Available findings suggest that it doesn’t have an adverse effect. Instead, the anti-inflammatory properties offer damage prevention. 

4. Enhances mental acuity

A study showed that regular, low doses of THC helped restore cognitive function in aging mice. These findings suggest that weed may improve your mental acuity, allowing you to focus on your activity and boost performance.

Marijuana’s cerebral effects depend on several factors, like strain potency, usage frequency, dose, consumption method, and the user’s age.

5. Induces sleep

A concern of many people who want to combine cannabis with exercise is, does smoking weed affect stamina? 

Getting adequate rest is vital for recovery from intense exercise and avoiding fatigue, which may affect future performance. The THC in weed helps users relax and drop off into a deep sleep, helping them rejuvenate.


With everything there’s good and bad, here are some things to consider before mixing cannabis and exercise.

6. Impedes motor skills

While cannabis has medicinal properties that benefit those who work out, some doctors don’t recommend using it before certain activities. Like alcohol, weed can potentially impede your motor skills and decision-making ability.

High THC can reduce reaction speed and stability, rendering it dangerous when performing resistance exercises like lifting weights.

7. Damages lungs

One of the dangers of smoking or vaping cannabis is that the smoke can inflame the bronchial tubes and lungs, causing respiratory problems.

As healthy lungs are critical to sports activity, the answer to the question, “Does weed affect workout performance?” is that it may pose a risk. Due to the fitness problems that may arise, some top athletes don’t smoke.

Using topical and edible forms of marijuana may mitigate the possibility of pulmonary disease.

8. Increases heart attack risk

Weed may cause tachycardia, which raises your pulse rate above 100 beats per minute. In addition, there are claims that cannabis increases heart attack risk within an hour of consumption. These factors make strenuous exertion potentially dangerous for users.

Should you combine marijuana with physical activity?

While cannabis may make exercise pleasurable, relieve pain, enhance mental sharpness, and improve sleep, it’s vital to be aware of the risks. Weigh the benefits and possible side effects to help you decide.

Consult your doctor before combining weed with physical activity, and always consume in moderation.

Kyle Kushman

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Kyle Kushman is an American writer, educator, activist and award-winning cannabis cultivator and breeder specializing in veganic cultivation. He is a representative of Homegrown Cannabis CO company, has been a contributor for over 20 years, and has taught courses in advanced horticulture at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California and across the United States. Kushman also hosts a cannabis podcast called “The Grow Show with Kyle Kushman”.

Chris Evan was born in Quebec and raised in Montreal, except for the time when he moved back to Quebec and attended high school there. He studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. He began writing after obsessing over books.


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