Since the legalization of marijuana in some states in America and countries like Canada, many people are now smoking it. Even Mexico is considering legalizing marijuana, which would make it the world’s largest market. There is a stigma regarding those who smoke marijuana; they are usually thought to be lazy, unmotivated and unemployed. However, more than 200 million people smoke marijuana globally, from bankers, doctors and top business people to athletes.
You may be wondering whether or not it will be bad for your new year’s fitness goals. Admittedly, inhaling any kind of smoke is bad for the lungs, however more and more research is showing that it is not comparable to smoking cigarettes. Surprisingly, marijuana may actually offer some benefits in relation to exercising.
Increased lung capacity
There have been many studies done on the effects that smoking marijuana has on the lungs. It was always assumed that since the smoke from marijuana contains similar harmful substances as that of cigarette smoke, it would affect the lungs in the same way. However, the results showed that it made no difference to lung function. The results also showed that lung strength increased in the first 10 years of smoking marijuana, as well as lung capacity. That being said there are various ways to smoke weed, so choosing an option like a water bong from Smoke Cartel which cools the smoke before it hits your lungs, avoiding the dry heat irritating your lungs.
What this means for you is that occasionally smoking marijuana will not harm your lungs enough to prevent you from exercising, it may actually help, since you are able to breathe more air, which will increase your endurance. It should be noted though that heavy use over a long period of time has been linked to bronchitis, so in the other words, try not to overindulge.
Will you get the munchies?
Many people have assumed for many years that smoking marijuana to aid weight loss might hinder their progress. The fear is that by smoking it you will get the munchies (a term meaning becoming very hungry), and then eat more.
This depends on a few things, but the general consensus among the scientific community is that the fear is not based on any empirical evidence. The first thing it depends on is the strain of marijuana you are smoking. Weed with high THC content will promote your hunger, but weed with high CBD content will actually suppress it. Fasting insulin and carbohydrating metabolism are the two benefits CBD offers in relation to hunger, and essentially what those two benefits do is suppress your appetite.
So, what this means is; if you are going to smoke weed when trying to lose weight, choose a strain that is higher in CBD than THC to reap the benefits the herb provides.
It helps with recovery
One of the reasons medicinal marijuana has been legalized in countries around the world is because it helps to treat muscle related pain. Cannabis naturally contains anti-inflammatory properties and is being used to treat chronic pain, muscle spasms, acute pain and more. This is because it changes the way pain receptors interpret pain. This is a great alternative for those who are required to take painkillers which can become addictive.
The benefits of this in relation to exercise is that you can work out, smoke and then not feel the pain associated with the exercise the next day. It is important to note though that your body does develop a tolerance to the THC in marijuana if it is smoked often.
To avoid this, you could either smoke less often or only when needed, or find a strain that is higher in CBD.
Helps with focus
Another misconception is that if you smoke marijuana, you will lose the ability to concentrate and be forced to lay around staring at the ceiling. Again, this depends on how much you consume. If you have a few puffs before exercising, it can actually help you to concentrate.
This is because exercise can become quite repetitive and boring, however smoking marijuana beforehand makes the exercise itself more enjoyable. In addition to this, low doses of THC may actually help to improve cognitive function.
Many athletes speak of how marijuana removed their anxiety and allowed them to focus on the task at hand, and some speak of it allowing them to enter a meditative state, or a flow if you will.