If you’re an athletic person, you know the wear and tear that sports and working out, can do to your body. Sore backs, damaged knees, aching muscles. And all the hot showers, sauna experiences, cold packs, Band-Aids, Ace bandages, and tape, used in the process. Perhaps the best addition is cannabis. So, here’s a little about working out, and the best cannabis products for your after-workout experience.
Are you an athlete looking for cannabis products for an after-workout remedy? Cannabis is the new word when it comes to athletics, with old ideas going out the window, and new information replacing them. Cannabis is no longer an enemy to working out, but an aide for it. And delta-8 THC is one of the best options, providing less psychoactive effect, and a clear-headed high. If you want to try it for your own post-workout remedy, or to assist you in your physical activities, check out our awesome Delta-8 THC deals, and we’ll send it to you in your preferred delivery system, so you can enjoy all the benefits.
Cannabis and athletics
The first thing to consider is that cannabis has often been researched only in terminal populations, or to investigate negative qualities. The idea of researching it for positive benefits is a newer invention, and as of yet, not many subjects in this area have been well-funded. But that doesn’t mean nothing exists at all. Before even getting to the athletic research, let’s get into what we already know about cannabis. We know it reduces inflammation (incredibly important when stressing out the body, tiring out joints, pulling muscles…)
We also already know it’s good for pain management, as this is one of the pre-eminent characteristics of cannabis at the moment, especially as an alternative to the opioid crises. We know it can treat muscle spasms because it’s used for spastic disorders like epilepsy. We know that it can improve mental acuity (though this does depend on what product is being used, as not all cannabis products will do this). And we know it can help with sleep, an extremely important factor for athletes who are stressing out their bodies. So, what does the research say?
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Research on cannabis and athletics
In 2019, this study came out: The New Runner’s High? Examining Relationships Between Cannabis Use and Exercise Behavior in States with Legalized Cannabis. The study investigated how cannabis can effect things that keep people from working out as much as they should, like lacking motivation to do it, not getting enjoyment from it, or not being able to deal with recovery after it. Not much research had previously been done to assess if smoking right before or right after, could positively affect these things.
The questionnaire study took place in legalized states, for exercising adults over 21 years of age, and took a look at general attitude and behavior related to exercise and cannabis use. Of the respondents, approximately 81% were all for using cannabis with exercise. Younger participants were more likely to feel this way, as well as male participants. With age and sex both controlled for, it was found that those who consume cannabis with exercise, were more likely to report exercising (both aerobic and anaerobic) more minutes per week.
Another major finding, was that those who reported using cannabis shortly before or after a workout, expressed more enjoyment with exercise, and better recovery, with about half reporting it also gave them more motivation to exercise in the first place. This ties in to something else.
In 2003, a study came out called Exercise Activates the Endocannabinoid System, which highlighted exactly what the title says. The study used male college students, and had them run on a treadmill or cycle on a stationary bike for 50 minutes, at approximately 70-80% of maximum heart rate. It was found that this moderate exercise activated the endocannabinoid system, with participants showing elevated levels of anandamide in the blood. As cannabis targets and binds to the same receptors, it implies the ability for cannabis to essentially ‘jumpstart’ this system.
This is not a direct connection, and still requires more research, as study investigator Angela Bryan (of the New Runner’s High study) explains. However, simply enjoying doing something creates a positive feedback loop that increases motivation, since people are more likely to repeat something they enjoyed.
Why would we think otherwise?
One of things about cannabis, is that it’s associated with smoking, even though in this day and age, much safer methods like vaping and edibles, give better ways of ingestion. The idea of smoking anything, and athletics, don’t really go together, which is why in athletic competitions, you don’t usually see many people lighting up.
While the US government trips over itself to try and make vaping sound like an epidemic that’s killing people off – a silly notion when comparing 68 deaths since the inception of vaping (to the beginning of 2020), to 480,000 deaths yearly due to smoking. Now, this smoking number is related to cigarettes, but we also know (whether we like applying the knowledge or not), that breathing in anything burning is bad for us, and that would put smoking cigarettes and smoking cannabis, in the same boat, regardless of the extra detriments of one, or the health benefits of the other.
In this way, smoking cannabis by lighting it on fire, most certainly isn’t the best way to use it for exercise, but that doesn’t mean that using cannabis with exercise has to be negative. In fact, with all the research coming out which deals with cannabis for pain management and oxidative stress, you’d think gyms would be selling the stuff.
In this systematic review from 2020, Chronic Cannabis Consumption and Physical Exercise Performance in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review, you can see the lack of detriment smoking cannabis has on athletic performance. The review used cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies, that investigated things like maximal oxygen uptake, and physical work capacity, using the following resources: PubMed, CINAHL, Medline, PsycArticles, PsycInfo, SPORTDiscus, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, and Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition databases.
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In the entirety of what they were analyzing, the research investigators only came up with one point of measurable difference, and this was in resting heartrate, which was only seen in one study. In fact, cannabis use (even heavy use), was not an indicator for differences in terms of peak workout ability, cardiorespiratory fitness, endurance and strength, pulmonary measures, blood pressure, or perceived exertion. Of the three studies that reported on resting heartrates, one did find significantly higher resting heartrates among cannabis users, than non-users.
This can’t be disregarded, but further research should be done to find out if this difference was related to smoking as an ingestion method. After all, one of the main effects of smoking is elevated blood pressure and heartrate. Plus, it wasn’t seen in the other studies, which indicates it might only be relevant in certain situations.
In yet another study from 2021, The Relationships Between Marijuana Use and Exercise Among Young and Middle-Aged Adults, study investigators used two different waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, and looked at variables like any form of exercise completed, exercise within the last seven days, and number of days participating in seven different kinds of exercise. Cannabis use was looked at in terms of frequency of use in the past month. Results showed cannabis didn’t substantially affect exercise, with the only noted relationship being a positive one between the two, even for the heavier users. There was no indication in this study that using cannabis would stop a person from exercising, or inhibit their ability to do so.
Best cannabis products for after workout success
CBD seems to be the more go-to component for cannabis products meant for an after-workout experience. This could be relevant to CBD being better for exercise, or it could be related to CBD being more legal and available. Regardless, there are plenty of good products to try, with both THC and CBD. Papa & Barkley is a leader in cannabis products, putting out several products for workout recovery, in both the CBD and THC domains.
THC Relief Patches: These single application skin patches offer up to 12 hours of pain relief through transdermal delivery. Patches come in several options, with different concentrations of cannabinoids, though each one has a total of 30mg of cannabinoids each. Patches also contain menthol and camphor for cooling, and can be put on the inside of a wrist, inside or outside the bicep, on the shoulders, back, back of neck, or inside the ankle. These patches are made from fresh-pressed rosin, and don’t contain solvents or chemicals (apart from mineral oil).
THC Relief Body Oil: Papa & Barkley also offers a lightweight, fast-absorbing, cannabis oil in a THC:CBD concentration of 3:1. Each 60ml bottle contains 400mg of cannabinoids, and is good for use all over the body. This oil can be used for localized pain in a joint, or across broader areas, like sore backs or shoulders. The oil is made from a coconut oil infusion, is solvent and chemical free, and also includes eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and lavender.
Releaf Capsules: Papa & Barkley offers yet another way to help with your post-workout recovery with its Releaf Capsules, each containing 30mg of CBD sourced from hemp, in vegan capsules. This is the more ideal remedy for those who want full-body support, and don’t want to lather a product all over themselves.
Another product style that is making it big, is the ‘sport stick’, a deodorant-like balm that can be allied just like deodorant, but anywhere on the body. Bloom Farms Wellness puts out its CBD Sport Stick. The Sports Stick provides immediate cooling to damaged areas, before warming up to provide healing relief. It can be used either before or after a workout, to help the recovery response, or get the juices going in the first place.
MyRemede also puts out an entire line of Active products, like CBD Balm Stick, CBD Skin Cream, CBD Active Gel, and CBD Active Spray. All products use full spectrum hemp extracts, and are made for easy use, either in targeted areas, or over the whole body.
For those with very intense issues, who require a stronger medication, Myaderm puts out its Advanced Sport Cream line with CBD. This cream can be used before or after workouts, and comes in different strengths, with the strongest version containing 2,400mg of CBD in a 1.7oz bottle. For those who require less, 350mg in a .5oz bottle is enough. But don’t worry, there are different strength options in between.
Delta-8 THC cannabis products for your after-workout remedy
We’ve been talking about cannabis as a whole, but there is one specific thing worth mentioning, delta-8 THC. Delta-8 is both an analogue of delta-9, by being molecularly almost identical, and its an isomer of delta-9 because it has the same chemicals structure, but with a different configuration of atoms. This different configuration of atoms (minor as it seems) makes quite a difference. While they share many of the same qualities, delta-8 comes with a few specific characteristics that are slightly different, and which point to delta-8 cannabis products as being the overall better choice for workout recovery.
There are three reasons for this. 1) It produces less psychoactive effect, meaning that a user won’t be quite as high as with traditional delta-9, but still high enough to feel something. 2) It doesn’t produce anxiety and paranoia like delta-9 does for many people. This is important as anxiety and paranoia are not friends of working out, and can lead to injury. And last, 3) It produces a clear-headed and energetic high, meaning it allows the user to think quickly and critically, which is integral for fast-moving sporting activities. For these reasons, and coupled with all the great benefits THC offers in general, delta-8 THC might be the pre-eminent cannabinoid for cannabis products in the workout field.
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Cannabis isn’t just for stoners who want to watch TV and eat cookies. It’s also for active people who are using their bodies and their minds. Cannabis products for workout recovery are becoming more popular, and its easy to see why. Not only can they increase enjoyment of hard physical activities, but they can also help repair the damage caused from them.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.