Despite the popular lazy stoner stereotype that depicts cannabis users camping out on the couch to watch a marathon of their favorite show rather than run in one, it turns out that marijuana and exercise have a deeper relationship than many believe. If you have ever wondered why so many active surfers, skaters, snowboarders, and even body builders smoke marijuana, the answer is in the fact that getting stoned can be extremely conducive and supplemental to exercise. If you are seeking ways to increase your overall health, read on to learn some interesting facts that prove smoking weed can still lead to an active and healthy lifestyle with the right motivation.
FACT: Exercise Can Seriously Boost Your Buzz
According to a recent study published within the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers at the University of Sydney discovered that engaging in exercise can provide you with a stronger buzz and increase the potency of the marijuana. Rather than needing purple strains or wax, the fact is that working out for just a half hour will trigger an additional stronger high for marijuana users. Within the study, 15 cannabis smokers were asked to complete 35 minutes of exercise on a stationary bike while the researchers measured the level of THC in their blood. The study found that levels of marijuana’s active ingredient were 15% higher on average after the participants had engaged in exercise.
Although it was not news to medical experts that the human body is able to store THC within the fat of the body, this breakthrough study was the first to demonstrate that this storage process can actually give smokers an extra boost. In fact, the research shows that this extra buzz can last for up to 28 days beyond the initial consumption! This comes as a result of the fact that small amounts of the THC are released back into the body’s bloodstream as the exercise burns off fat. Therefore, marijuana users will feel the same effects while exercising as when they are consuming a small dose of cannabis for literally a “runner’s high.”
FACT: Exercise Also Activates the Brain’s Endocannabinoid System
We are all well-aware of the fact that exercise is extremely important for the human body. Not only is working out a major key to preventing obesity that can cause the health concerns of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and many other illnesses, but exercise is also linked to a dramatic decrease in stress with a rise in self-confidence. Contrary to previous belief, it is not only the endorphins that are released in the brain that make exercise activities feel so rewarding both physically and mentally. In a 2003 study, researchers uncovered the truth that marijuana and exercise both activate the same endocannabinoid system in the brain.
As a group of lipids, fats, and cell receptors that THC bind to when smoking weed, the endocannabinoid system plays a prominent role in the neurological system for maintaining homeostasis for overall human health. In short, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for easing our pain, controlling our appetite, relieving our stress, influencing our mood, and even regulating our memory. In order to help our body cope with pain from rigorous physical activity, our brain will naturally produce its own version of cannabinoids to stimulate this system during exercise. Just like taking a hit of marijuana, the natural cannabinoids will begin to circulate through the endocannabinoid system when you exercise to produce a high.
FACT: Marijuana Helps Keep Exercisers in the Zone
Around the world, thousands of fitness experts have gone public with the fact that getting high before exercising will allow them to have a more successful workout and help them focus more deeply on targeted muscle groups. We all understand the relatively boring tedium of having to work down the line of machines in the gym, but taking a few tokes of marijuana can be extremely beneficial for staying focused on your workout goals. In fact, many long-distance runners admit to using vaporizers or edibles before participating in a marathon because the cannabis enables them to remove the monotony and stay in a steady rhythmic zone for keeping at a competitive running speed.
As you probably know, the most essential three components to exercise include stretching, strengthening muscles, and building stamina to truly have a successful workout. However, it is common for us to completely neglect stretching before and after exercising because we are simply uninterested in wasting time on this step. Many yoga experts today report that smoking marijuana has a tremendous impact on stretching because it is the ideal kinesthetic to integrating the mind, body, and spirit into exercise. Under the influence of cannabis, the discomfort and stiffness that is commonly associated with stretching lessens significantly.
FACT: Marijuana and Exercise Eliminate Your Muffin Top
Engaging in moderate exercise each week is a smart way to burn off the extra calories in your diet to maintain a lean body shape, but it turns out that calories burned in exercise is not the only method for losing weight. According to a recent study from the American Journal of Medicine, researchers have discovered that pot smokers actually have 16% higher levels of fasting insulin in their bodies than those who abstain from marijuana. In addition, the study indicated that cannabis users have 17% lower insulin resistance levels as well as significantly smaller average waist circumferences than their non-smoking counterparts.
Since insulin is an important hormone that signals your body’s cells to take in glucose for energy, having too much unused sugar floating around in your cells will lead to weight gain, especially in the tummy region. As the ultimate enemy to fight against the notorious muffin top, the cannabinoids that are found as active ingredients in marijuana will help handle insulin properly and facilitate more efficient metabolic functioning. Therefore, beyond the obvious pleasurable effects of a high, marijuana and exercise go hand in hand in improving health.