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Weed for Your Workout: The Best Cannabis Strains for Exercise


Is cannabis the new pre workout? Many more consumers are lighting up, popping a gummy, or hitting a cannabis vape before running, swimming, walking, or lifting weights. 


We already know the lazy stoner stereotype is dead. Now, there’s a growing section of the population posting to forums or social media about their personal journey with cannabis and exercise. 


Many report that weed makes them enjoy a workout more, stay more focused throughout, and feel less sore and more relaxed after.


This post dives into the science behind cannabis and exercise, along with the benefits of weed for workouts, and the best strains for working out in 2024. 


science behind cannabis and exercise

Science that links cannabis and exercise

While there haven’t been extensive studies that link the effects of cannabis with specific outcomes for exercise, there is compelling scientific research out there. 

Here are some studies that show marijuana use can improve exercise and recovery:


Cannabis and exercise enjoyment

The new study was Conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder and published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. It found that weed before a workout can boost motivation and make exercise more enjoyable.


Findings from the study:

  • The use of cannabis prior to running is associated with greater feelings of enjoyment and tranquility.
  • While cannabis use may make workouts more enjoyable, it does not enhance physical performance.



  • Cannabis can positively impact the mental state during exercise, making workouts more enjoyable.
  • Despite the increased enjoyment, cannabis is not a performance-enhancing drug. 


Cannabis and exercise performance

The 2021 study was published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 2021. It explores the effects of cannabis on exercise performance and presents mixed results, with some participants reporting a reduced perception of effort during exercise, while others experienced negative effects such as increased heart rate and decreased coordination. 


The study highlights that cannabis can alter the subjective experience of exercise, potentially reducing perceived effort but also introducing physical side effects that could impact performance and safety.


Cannabis and recovery post-exercise

The Pubmed study was published in 2023. It examines the connection between cannabis use and the runner’s high, finding that cannabis may enhance the pleasurable sensations associated with running. Participants reported greater enjoyment and tranquility when using cannabis before running, though no significant improvements in physical performance were observed. The study highlights cannabis’s potential to make workouts more enjoyable, which could encourage regular exercise by reducing perceived effort and increasing motivation.


How can cannabis help with exercise? 

Cannabis can have various benefits for exercise, impacting both the mental and physical aspects of workouts. 


This is primarily caused by the way cannabis interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates various physiological processes, including mood, pain, appetite, and memory. 


Cannabis contains cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which interact with ECS receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the body to produce several beneficial effects.



cannabis and exercise results

Data: University of Colorado

Let’s look at what participants in the University of Colorado study reported cannabis improved for their exercises: 


  • Increased enjoyment (91%): Cannabis can make workouts more enjoyable, creating a positive feedback loop that encourages regular exercise. Many users report a more pleasurable exercise experience, which can help in maintaining a consistent fitness routine​.
  • Decreased pain (69%): Cannabis, particularly strains high in CBD, is known for its pain-relieving properties. It can help manage both acute and chronic pain, making it easier for individuals to engage in and recover from exercise.
  • Increased focus (60%): Certain strains of cannabis can enhance focus and concentration. This can be particularly beneficial for activities that require mental engagement and precision, such as yoga or weightlifting.
  • Increased motivation (57%): Cannabis can provide an initial boost of euphoria and energy, which may increase motivation to start and continue exercising. However, the effect on motivation can vary based on the strain and individual response.
  • Makes time go by faster (45%): Many users report that cannabis alters their perception of time, making workouts feel shorter and more manageable. This can be helpful for those who struggle with the mental endurance required for long exercise sessions​​.


Additional cannabis benefits for exercise include: 


  • Reduced inflammation: Cannabis, especially CBD, has significant anti-inflammatory effects. This can be beneficial for reducing inflammation in muscles and joints post-exercise, aiding in recovery and reducing the risk of injury​.
  • Terpene-specific support: Different terpenes in cannabis can offer specific benefits. For example:
    • Myrcene: Known for its sedative and muscle-relaxing effects, myrcene can help with recovery and improving sleep quality.
    • Limonene: With its uplifting and anti-anxiety properties, limonene can enhance mood and reduce stress before and after workouts.
    • Beta-Caryophyllene: This terpene has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making it useful for post-exercise recovery​.


Takeaway: Incorporating cannabis into an exercise routine can offer various benefits, from enhancing the enjoyment and motivation to reducing pain and inflammation. As more studies are conducted and more cannabis research is completed, we’ll see more proof of the value of cannabis and the entourage effect.


best weed strains for working out

The best weed strains for working out

Based on a number of factors, including; cannabis user insights, attributed effects, study findings, internal trial and error, cannabinoid (THC, CBD, CBN, etc.) and terpene content, and more. 


We listed the 8 best cannabis strains for exercising below. Take a look at the effects for each strain and determine what fits your workout plans best — whether you’re smoking weed, taking edibles, or hitting vapes.


Some may be better for a relaxing yoga session, while others will give you the added energy and focus for heavy weightlifting. 




Green Crack

Green Crack is a sativa strain known for its invigorating mental buzz. It’s perfect for those needing an extra push to power through a demanding workout.

Strain effects: Highly energizing, uplifting, and focus-enhancing.

Benefits: Provides a strong boost of energy, ideal for intense workouts.

Great for: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) or running.


Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is a classic sativa-dominant hybrid strain known for its quick-acting, dream-like cerebral effects. It’s great for maintaining stamina and mental clarity during long workouts.

Strain effects: Energizing, uplifting, and mentally stimulating.

Benefits: Enhances mood and focus, making it suitable for prolonged exercise sessions.

Great for: Long-distance running or cardio workouts.


Jack Herer

Jack Herer is a sativa strain with a well-balanced high that combines the best of sativa’s mental stimulation and a light indica body buzz. It’s perfect for maintaining focus and energy during weight sessions.

Strain effects: Clear-headed, creative, and energizing.

Benefits: Promotes mental clarity and sustained energy.

Great for: Weightlifting or cycling.


Durban Poison

Durban Poison is a sativa strain known for its sweet smell and energetic effects. It’s perfect for those looking to enhance their performance in high-energy, endurance-based workouts.

Effects: Energizing, uplifting, and focus-enhancing.

Benefits: Provides a long-lasting energy boost without fogginess.

Great for: CrossFit or endurance training.


Blue Dream

Blue Dream is a popular hybrid strain with balanced effects that’s ideal for exercises that require both focus and relaxation, helping you stay engaged and calm.

Effects: Relaxing yet euphoric, providing a calm energy boost.

Benefits: Balanced effects for both mental stimulation and physical relaxation.

Great for: Yoga or pilates.


Acapulco Gold

Acapulco Gold is a celebrated sativa-dominant hybrid strain with potent and invigorating effects. It’s great for starting the day with an energetic athletic performance.

Effects: Energizing and mood-lifting.

Benefits: Enhances mood and provides a clear-headed high.

Great for: Morning runs or outdoor activities.


Amnesia Haze

Amnesia Haze is a sativa strain known for its uplifting and creative effects. It helps maintain motivation and enthusiasm during aerobic workouts.

Effects: Energizing, euphoric, and focus-enhancing.

Benefits: Increases mental clarity and motivation.

Great for: Aerobic exercises or dance classes.


Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express is a world-famous hybrid strain that provides a long-lasting energetic buzz with a touch of relaxation. It’s ideal for a wide range of physical activities.

Effects: Energizing, uplifting, and creative.

Benefits: Offers a balanced high that boosts mood and focus.

Great for: Hiking or moderate-intensity workouts.


Closing thoughts: Cannabis and sports

As cannabis gains acceptance and legalization spreads, its role in sports and exercise is evolving significantly. There are important benefits to cannabis use specifically for athletes.


And many athletes are now turning to cannabis to manage pain and speed up recovery. CBD tinctures and creams are becoming a more regular part of athlete recover thanks to its analgesic properties. 


Additionally, cannabis can help reduce anxiety and stress, helping athletes’ mental health when they’re under considerable pressure.  


However, the intersection of cannabis and sports is not without controversy. For example, U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was banned from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for THC. Richardson’s case sparked widespread debate about the fairness and relevance of these bans, especially in a time when many states are legalizing cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use.


In response to the changing landscape, some sports organizations are reconsidering their stance on cannabis. The UFC has lifted its ban on cannabis, no longer punishing athletes for THC use unless it is explicitly intended for performance enhancement. Similarly, the NCAA recently lifted its ban on cannabis use for athletes in championships.


Beyond the policy, cannabis holds promise for athlete recovery. Its analgesic properties help manage pain from injuries or intense training. By reducing inflammation, cannabis aids in faster recovery and decreases muscle soreness, allowing athletes to maintain rigorous training schedules.


Cannabis also shows potential benefits for brain health. Emerging research suggests that cannabinoids might offer neuroprotective properties, potentially protecting against brain injuries like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is common in contact sports. This could revolutionize how athletes recover from concussions and other high-impact injuries, supporting healthier brain function and long-term career longevity.


The future intersection of cannabis products and sports is an exciting, uncharted territory that we hope to see much more of in the future.

weed and workouts

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