Traveler, Digital Nomad, and Cannabis Connoisseur
Contrary to the longstanding and pervasive stereotype that regular cannabis users lead inactive, sedentary, and sluggish lifestyles, it turns out that cannabis actually contributes to an active lifestyle. According to recent studies, regular cannabis users report as much physical activity, and in some cases more weekly physical activity, than non-users. Who would have thought!?
Regular cannabis users have been able to see through this myth for a long time, as experience is the greatest teacher. And even without scientific studies to back up our observations, we know that cannabis can not only support, but often encourage us to get up, get moving, and exercise our bodies.
Of course, using cannabis doesn't guarantee an active lifestyle either. And not everyone who uses cannabis has the ability to stay active physically. Some people also prefer a less active lifestyle physically, and there's definitely nothing wrong with that! That said, there are some elements of the cannabis experience that directly relate to an active lifestyle.
So what are the main ways that cannabis contributes to an active lifestyle?
Enhances Focus on Physical Movement
Cannabis can induce a single-minded focus when exercising, from lifting weights to running to playing basketball. It helps us attune to the energy of our bodies, to feel our physical movements in their entirety. Cannabis helps us block out the distractions around us and deeply connect with the feeling of physical exertion during exercise. And this helps us get into the flow of an activity, and be fully present with the movements of our bodies.
With a sharper focus and awareness we can exert more fully into the physicality of our activity. In this way cannabis can enhance our performance, giving us the single-mindedness that's necessary to engage at a high level.
As we focus more of our awareness on the movements of our bodies and the sensations of interacting physically with our environment, we can find more enjoyment in the activity as well. We can lose ourselves in the activity, feel a state of "no-time", and really sink into a rhythm that contributes to pleasure as well as better performance.
Natural Pain Management and Soreness Relief
Cannabis is a non-toxic way to manage aches and pains associated with an active lifestyle, plus provide relief for stiffness and soreness that's common after a hard workout. The cannabis plant produces therapeutic compounds known as cannabinoids, which interact with the body's internal system of receptors known as the endocannabinoid system. This system is spread all throughout the body, which means that cannabis has an impact not just in one area. The positive impact of cannabis can be felt deeply from head to toe.
Inflammation, like soreness, is another common side effect of strenuous physical exertion. Cannabis, and specifically the cannabinoid known as CBD, is effective in reducing inflammation. Not only can cannabis help relieve physical soreness, it can mitigate the inflammation that often accompanies the post-workout recovery time.
Cannabis is effective for pain management, and it's also natural and non-toxic. Unlike many pharmaceuticals which can provide significant health problems if overused or overdosed, cannabis presents a very low risk. It's a forgiving medicine that won't cause serious injury or death if its overdone. The downside of medicating too heavily with cannabis is minor in comparison to what can happen if you take too many pharmaceuticals for pain management.
Restorative Sleep for Better Energy
We know that cannabis can enhance our enjoyment and engagement during physical activity, and reduce pain that often comes alongside aggressive exertion, but it also helps us stay active in another major way: by contributing to the energy we need to maintain an active lifestyle.
Cannabis can be a great tool in helping us get the deep, restorative sleep our bodies need to heal and recover after intense workouts.
There are many studies that point to the effectiveness of cannabis in helping people get a good night of sleep. Whether it's falling asleep or staying asleep, cannabis can help our bodies and minds remain in a deep state of restfulness overnight. One thing that may contribute to our maximum amount of recuperative sleep is that cannabis reduces the REM cycles of our sleep patterns. The REM cycle is when we're dreaming, and when we're the most restless over the course of the night. Less REM time means sleep in a restorative state of rest for the body.
Cannabis use can be a significant benefit to those people looking to maintain an active lifestyle. It can make physical activity more enjoyable, provide the focus to push harder and stay committed for the duration of the session, and inspire us to get up and move!
It's also common among professional athletes, whether it's officially permitted or not. The benefits to athletes are too real to be buried by years of propaganda and baseless stereotypes. If something works, people will use it. The upsides to cannabis use for an active lifestyle towers above many alternatives like pharmaceuticals.
As a motivator, focus enhancer, pain reliever, and sleep inducer, cannabis can be a powerful partner in your active lifestyle. Enjoy!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the endocannabinoid system?
Our bodies' internal system of neurotransmitters that binds to cannabinoids and through this interaction impacts various functions including cognitive processes, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, sleep, and immunity.
What is REM sleep?
REM stands for rapid eye movement. Your brain is more active during the REM phase of sleep, which happens about 90 minutes after falling asleep. Both body and mind are more stimulated during the REM phase.
How long is recovery time after a workout?
For a lighter workout your muscles may only need 24 hours to recover. After more intense workouts, your body may be in recovery mode for 2-3 days. Cannabis can help relieve some of the discomfort of the recovery period. How much sleep you get also affects recovery time.
Is it better to smoke or eat cannabis for an active lifestyle?
Since smoking cannabis can be taxing on the lungs (yet not nearly as much as smoking tobacco), it's better to eat cannabis for an active lifestyle. You can also take capsules made with MCT oil for high-doses of cannabis with low calorie intake.
What are the best cannabis cultivars for an active lifestyle?
It depends mostly on your personal preferences, and which effect you're pursuing. For example, cannabis strains that stimulate activity and mental focus are great for using just before the physical activity. Strains that induce a deep physical relaxation and sleepy eyes are great for taking before bed. Strains high in CBD can be best for inflammation.