Limited direct clinical research has been done to determine whether cannabis improves cardiac exercise. However, according to one survey, 81% of respondents support consuming cannabis while exercising.
Other cannabis users claim that the herb promotes motivation and enjoyment while aiding in post-workout healing.
Contrarily, some populations may experience cardiovascular hazards from mixing aerobic activity and marijuana. According to research, THC produces abrupt, dose-dependent elevations in blood pressure and heart rate.
As a result, marijuana and cardio may enhance a person’s risk of having a heart attack if they already have one. As a result, certain groups may have cardiovascular hazards from mixing marijuana and aerobic exercise.
What Is Cardio?
Cardio is defined as any activity that causes a sustained rise in respiration and heart rate. Cardio exercises force the respiratory system to work harder since the blood vessels dilate to supply more oxygen to the muscles. The body also produces endorphins, which are natural painkillers that elevate mood. Anandamide, an endocannabinoid, also plays a role in the feel-good effects of exercise.
Cardio increases the cardiovascular system’s ability to take in oxygen, pump blood to working muscles, and expel carbon dioxide and other waste products from the body while also testing and strengthening it.
Cardio workout examples include:
- Fast walking
- Rope Jumping
- Organized sports
Effects of Marijuana on Cardiovascular Fitness
Cardiology and marijuana have an intriguing interaction. Contrary to the clichÃ© of the lethargic stoner, cannabis users report enjoying aerobic activity when high and are physically fitter than non-users.
How does cannabis affect a person’s mood to the point that they love aerobic exercise? Well, cannabis’s inherent methods of action cause these mood-enhancing effects.
Cannabinoids, which are present in large quantities in cannabis, interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system of the body. The main psychoactive substance that interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the immune system, central nervous system, and brain is THC. Cannabis can affect behavior, mood, coordination, and pain response because of this THC interaction.
What does this signify in terms of heart health? Overall, evidence shows that using cannabis does not significantly enhance cardiac function. It might potentially worsen performance in some circumstances.
Conversely, in other circumstances, marijuana with cardio can unleash a variety of fitness-related advantages that could result in a more positive overall experience when participating in cardio-centric activities.
Let’s examine some of the impacts of marijuana on the cardiovascular system and the body as a whole in more detail.
Improves Mood and Motivation
According to some theories, cannabinoids like THC cause the endocannabinoid system to become activated in a way that resembles the “runner’s high.”
According to research, running enhances the body’s endogenous (naturally created) cannabinoids, like anandamide, which is why the runner’s high usually happens. Anandamide interacts with the brain receptors that cause euphoria and alertness in users. It’s interesting that THC has a stronger affinity for the same receptors, suggesting that marijuana may heighten the joyful state.
According to anecdotal evidence, marijuana inspires people to work out more, possibly due to enhanced enjoyment. In a 2019 survey, almost half of respondents claimed that using cannabis helped them exercise more frequently, felt less monotonous, and kept them in the zone.
Reduces Inflammation and Pain
Running and other high-impact aerobic activities can inflame connective tissues, especially in elderly individuals. Combining cannabis and exercise may help older people or wounded people get over their perceived physical limitations.
Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of THC and CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana, in reducing the signs and symptoms of inflammation and pain. People who use weed and exercise can tune out exhaustion and feel less discomfort, which makes it easier for them to focus on their activities and stay active.
More research demonstrates that cannabis reduces the multiple sclerosis-related muscle stiffness, discomfort, muscle spasms, and sleep quality, all of which can aid in the recovery process after exercise.
Marijuana May Boost Performance
Choosing the correct cannabis might improve your ability to work out. In general, choose sativa-dominant cannabis strains, ideally ones with low to moderate CBD concentrations and high amounts of energizing terpenes.
Your gym performance depends equally on mental toughness and physical strength.
How To Safely Combine Weed And Cardio?
The time and intake methods (route of administration) are important considerations for anyone hoping to profit from the positive effects of cannabis and cardio, such as improved motivation, pain relief, and muscle repair. Here are a few suggestions for mixing marijuana and exercise safely:
Avoid Smoking Pre-workout
Avoid smoking anything before engaging in a cardiac workout. Healthy lungs are necessary for aerobic fitness, and smoking can harm them. Additionally, the majority of the research connecting marijuana use to heart attacks and strokes happens an hour following marijuana use. Therefore, it may be challenging to distinguish between the dangers posed by the carcinogens and pollutants in smoke and the effects of cannabis chemicals on the circulatory system.
Cannabis, thankfully, comes in a variety of forms. Before a cardio workout, it may be best to consume non-smoking edibles, infused beverages, and tinctures to improve mood and control pain. This chart shows how long it takes for each product to enter the body so you can schedule your workout accordingly:
The benefits of edibles often last six hours or longer, but they can take an hour or longer to begin working.
Tinctures work more quicklyâwithin 30 minutesâand persist for a few hours.
For runners searching for instant effects, infused beverages may be the ideal choice since they have the fastest onset times (between 10 and 15 minutes).
However, it should be emphasized that, regardless of the route of ingestion, cannabinoids like THC may raise heart rate even when not smoked, thus people at risk for heart disease may wish to avoid heavy doses of THC before an exercise.
No recent studies on marijuana and cardio demonstrate that cannabis enhances aerobic performance. Cannabis use does have a number of benefits that can be advantageous to a cardio workout, including its euphoric and muscle-relaxing properties.
Significant anti-inflammatory qualities are also present in both cannabis and separated CBD, which can aid with sleep, muscular discomfort, and workout recovery.