Reaching your peak with cannabis and exercise
If you grew up, as I did, in 20th century America, you most likely perceived cannabis not by what it could do, but who used it.
Weed-smokers were seen as herb-obsessed burnouts, not the ultra-athletic jocks, and you’d probably never see them anywhere near a gym. This, of course, changed with the rise in extreme sports, but by and large, the stereotype of the lazy stoner watching adult.swim in his mom’s basement and eating Doritos persisted.
But all of this is changing. Check out any Crossfit discussion group, go to any major urban center, and you’ll find people giving their testimonials on cannabis and its place in an active lifestyle. The rise of 420 yoga has led to classes taught in all legal states as well as a book on the practice by San Francisco yogini Dee Dussalt. And since 2014, the 420 Games has held an annual fun-run in nine towns and cities – including our very own Lake Tahoe – which has proved successful enough to be acquired by Civilized. None of this would be happening if cannabis wasn’t being embraced as a health and wellness tonic for our ages. So of course that would mean bringing it into the workout world.
At Medicine Box, we have recently talked a lot about Equanimity and how it can calm and soothe its users. But we’re also strong proponents of an active lifestyle, so to aid you in your pursuit, here’s three pointers for integrating cannabis into your exercise routine.
Match the consumption with the task
If one can enter into “the zone” of a given task, particularly in exercise, you’ve gained access to a state of effortless mastery. And I’ve known plenty of people on the slopes and elsewhere who use cannabis to do this. My own personal recommendation is 3.5-5 mg of whole plant extract before one’s workout. Once you’ve synchronized your mind-state with your physical routine, you can achieve a consistent, connected and undistracted flow state that approaches an active meditation.
Match your intension (and your movement) with the medicine
Certain types of preparations, however, might make more sense for certain activities than others. Needless to say, there are some activities you might prefer to take on without cannabis at all. I myself couldn’t imagine hitting the slopes with anything augmenting my senses, but that’s not to say there aren’t plenty out there who do take a puff of a vape pen before they do. When it comes to less intense and more placid forms of exercise such as Qi Gong, yoga or pilates, a sublingual tincture will often generate its sensations in the body more quickly and heighten the relaxation you’ll enter into.
Ultimately, it’s all about one’s intention and what you bring to both the plant and the activity. Does cannabis inspire people to sit on the couch and eat bon-bons and watch Netflix? Yes, but perhaps that was also the intention going in. Conversely, one can use the plant to motivate towards meeting one’s goals, whether physical or mental. Our current moment allows WE as a society and as individuals to recalibrate our relationship with cannabis. By mindfully answering WHY we take cannabis and HOW we will use it, we can bring it into our own individualized scope of wellness.
Save the best for last
A recent study on cannabis and physical activity found not only that 81.7% of survey respondents endorsed co-use of cannabis with physical exercise, but 77.6% agreed that cannabis assisted in recovery. The authors saw this as a plus, since rough recoveries, along with lack of enjoyment of exercise, are key reasons why people remain sedentary and susceptible to all the diseases brought about by passive lifestyles. (Incidentally 70.7% of respondents also agreed that cannabis aided in enjoying their exercise as well. Which makes sense.)
For this reason, we at Medicine Box are currently in pre-production on a new product called Movement Medicine. We’ve especially designed it to align with the active Tahoe lifestyle that we at Medicine Box live and love. Of course, the HOW of how one will use cannabis during workout changes from person to person, so Movement Medicine can be applied before your exercise as well as post-workout.
For news on when and where you can purchase Movement Medicine or any of our other products, be sure to sign up for our mailing list.