Smoking cannabis before and after a workout

Published Feb 24, 2019 09:00 a.m. ET
Is it okay to smoke weed after working out?

The effects of smoking marijuana are widely used for both recreational and medicinal purposes all over the world, but most people don’t readily assume that THC and exercise would go together in any manner. New research is pointing towards a massive amount of both health and mental benefit that can be obtained by smoking weed after a workout. To understand how cannabis reacts with your body once it’s been consumed you will need to learn how it is absorbed and how it is utilized.

How THC is absorbed when it is smoked

When marijuana is smoked, it is inhaled into the user’s lungs which delivers a significant amount of THC to the Alveoli which are small receptors in the lungs. From there it is sent to the bloodstream and eventually the brain. The entire process takes mere seconds to complete which is why the effects are felt so quickly after the first hit.

How THC is absorbed when it is eaten

When THC is ingested through the stomach, it takes a slightly longer route. The user’s blood will absorb the THC from the stomach lining which will push the THC through the liver and then into the brain. Edibles take much longer to kick in, sometimes up to two full hours. This is because of the difference in the body’s ability to absorb the active component through the lungs rather than the stomach.

How THC is stored in the body

No matter which method you use to consume cannabis the chemical THC is stored in fat cells throughout the body and is slowly released over an extended period. THC stored in fat can last months after an individual's last use.

Smoking weed during a workout

Most people aren’t going to be trying to smoke a joint while using a workbench at the gym.  This article is more for those interested in how THC is released through the body during a workout which would require smoking before the actual exercise takes place. Ever hear of a runner's high? If not it’s that pumped feeling you get once you push your physical limits. That feeling is the body releasing endorphins using the cannabinoid system which releases chemicals that act similarly to THC when released in the body. When THC is smoked it almost immediately stores the THC in fat cells that are cell receptors of the cannabinoid system. This system’s primary purpose is to control pain, stress, state of mind, and appetite. The release of THC can act as a performance-enhancing drug by providing the athlete with higher pain tolerance and better mood enabling them to push harder than they normally would.

Smoking weed after a workout

Now that you know how using THC during a workout can give you a bit of an edge. Is it ok to smoke weed after working out? The answer is yes and most definitely. THC can provide many benefits to an athlete as they are healing from a workout including pain relief, mood stabilizing, and inflammatory treatment. Sore and aching muscles are common after a good bout of exercise and are hurting because of an inflammation which is a natural response that’s been triggered within the body around the hardest worked joints and muscles. THC can help to relieve that pain, while also supporting the user while they come down from their runners high in a relaxed state.

Does THC Burn Fat?

As of now, there is no evidence that proves THC has any magic ability to melt away extra pounds. Instead what it does is control a person’s appetite. One study, done in 2013, compared cannabis smokers to their non-smoking counterparts and found that those who consumed small irregular doses of THC or none at all had a higher BMI than those who consistently used the drug. This is because small doses of THC used by an individual with a low tolerance is more likely to induce appetite, while those who use THC in more significant amounts on a regular basis maintained a lower BMI. It seems that those who smoked weed regularly can control and suppress their appetite with the drug. No, it won’t magically get rid of fat, but THC can help to control appetite leading to a lower amount of weight gain if it’s used regularly.

Other benefits of smoking weed

We covered many of the benefits above however there is one that has yet to be mentioned. That is the fact that THC can produce higher levels of insulin. Insulin is used by the body to process sugars. The endocannabinoid system does the same thing after vigorous exercise which is why certain types of diabetes can be managed through a regular fitness regimen. THC does the same even when it is used without the assistance of the bodies normal boost of endorphins, making it a useful tool in managing blood sugars.  

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