Before we get into the crazy idea of why anyone would workout after smoking pot, I'm going to give you a quick story to prove that, yes, this is actually a thing—just in case you're skeptical.
About four years ago, I moved to Seattle to live with my cousin for five months. Both avid runners, the second night I lived with him, we both decided to go pound some pavement together. As I slipped into my running gear and started setting the playlist on my iPhone, the scent of marijuana came from underneath his bedroom door, creeping into the hallway where I was now waiting for him. Confused, I had to ask if he was still coming.
He responded with an equally confused reply of, "Yeah, man, why wouldn't I?" And that's the first time I had ever even heard of someone smoking weed prior to working out. Since then, there have been dozens of friends who do the same as my cousin, proving that it's more common than you might think.
Of course, we had to get to the bottom of this. It can't be good for you to do, can it? To answer this, we reached out to some of the top marijuana experts in the industry—who, in the past, told us how weed affects sex—so we're hoping they can help us understand if smoking weed before working out really is that bad for your body.
"While I prefer consuming cannabis after my workouts, it is believed that there are a number of benefits to consuming cannabis before working out. Cannabis has been shown to relieve pain, speed up muscle recovery and increase metabolism. When consuming cannabis before workouts, I prefer salivas as they provide a head high and get me excited to start moving." — Serge Chistov, Business Advisor to Honest Marijuana
"Although it feels contrarian due to general public perception; cannabis and exercising have long been intertwined. While I may not exercise as regularly as I'd like, I have found that using cannabis before working out allows me to overcome mental barriers and, after a workout, allows for relaxation and recovery. Anecdotally, I have countless friends ranging from figure modeling to martial arts to long distance running that swear by cannabis as an element of their health regimens." — Mike Bologna, CEO of Green Lion Partners
"My workout philosophy is based on breathing. While high on cannabis, the breaths I take are longer & deeper, and as a result, my focus on the exercise at hand is higher (thus done with more precision and effectiveness). I've always found that working out while high on cannabis was fun, but in recent years, I've come to find it leads to higher-quality workouts as well." — Uri Zeevi, CEO at Seedo
"I enjoy using cannabis before working out because it gets me in the zone and allows me to focus. It gives me a sort of tunnel vision that I can use to drown everything else out. Cannabis allows me to focus only on the workout that I'm performing, and helps to reduce some of the anxiety I get from working out around other people." — Tyler Knight, Co-Founder of MassRoots
"Using marijuana with fitness offers a few great ways to tackle pre-workout all the way through post-workout recovery. Cannabis use before and during is a great way to stay focused on your technique and approach, while truly getting the best out of your workout. Not only do these properties help increase the effectiveness of the workout, but when combined in post-workout, can help muscle relief, has unit-inflammatory properties as well pain relief." — John Bailey, Affiliate Program Manager for DaVinci Vaporizer
So, while you or I may be a little weirded out by the whole concept of getting lit before getting fit, the experts anonymously agree that using cannabis prior to working out isn't just OK, it can actually help you get a better workout.
But, if you're the type of person who takes our weed experts' opinions and roll your eyes, believing they're too objective, Gregory Gerdeman, an assistant professor of biology at Eckerd College, actually supports their claim, via Medical Daily:
Athletes may enjoy incorporating marijuana into their workouts because it mirrors the natural euphoria, or “runner’s high” experienced by long-distance runners. Along with giving a feeling of euphoria, the THC in marijuana also affects the part of the brain responsible for regulating appetite, pain-sensation, and emotions, all important factors for serious athletes.
It might not be for everyone, but, according to our experts and Gregory Gerdeman, smoking weed prior to a workout isn't doing any damage to your body.