Most people think of the typical pot smoker as a couch potato, eating junk food while watching reruns of Star Trek, but it turns out that even elite athletes enjoy cannabis from time to time. In fact, a recent study conducted by a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School found that marijuana use was associated with a smaller waist size, and a decreased risk for diabetes. So can weed take your workout to the next level? The answer is still a bit hazy.
The jury is still technically out when it comes to cannabis and cardio, although research like the study conducted at Harvard is helping to fill the gap. Meanwhile, fitness buffs are already cashing in on the emerging cannabis industry. Power Plant Fitness, a weed-friendly gym, will open soon in San Francisco.
McAlpine said cannabis helps him focus his mind and motivate himself through his workouts. “The most important muscle or piece of an athlete’s body is their mind,” he said in a recent interview with The Stranger. “That last rep or that last mile, it’s not the muscles that get you through, it’s your mind.”
McAlpine adds that exercising while high may help the mind to stay motivated, even if their bodies are getting tired.
“You need to focus mentally when you’re working out, and you have a greater degree of focus (when high),” he said.
Power Plant Fitness will feature an area approved for medicating and cannabis-infused edibles. McAlpine isn’t the only person exploring the connection between marijuana and exercise; Puration Cannabis Extractions recently introduced a new line of CBD-infused water for athletes. CBD – or cannabidiol – is another component of the cannabis plant and has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger famously used marijuana after winning a 1975 bodybuilding competition in order to aide in the cool down process.
As marijuana continues to grow in popularity in the US, there is certain to be more research regarding the subject of exercising while stoned. Until then, feel free to smoke a joint before hitting the gym – just make sure you have a spotter.