There are some classic activities that pair well with weed: watching funny movies, listening to music, raiding the kitchen. But let’s not forget that it’s also possible to run or stretch while high, if you do so responsibly.
Why you should (maybe) try exercising while high
As one redditor put it in a thread about running while high on edibles: “It made my music sound better, it made me feel more connected to nature, it added miles and took away pain. terrible. Now I can’t help but prefer having an edible before running.”
Other runners chimed in, agreeing that cannabis makes long runs less boring, aches and pains fade into the background, and the sights and sounds of a run, especially a trail run, more enjoyable. One added: “It’s great when you are on the trails just connecting with nature or running the streets at night in December checking out the Xmas lights.”
The fabled “runner’s high” (not a true high, just a good mood experienced during or shortly after a run) was once believed to come from endorphins released during exercise. More recent research, though, points to endocannabinoids, our brain’s own homemade versions of the chemicals found in weed. If this is true, cannabis is just enhancing the feeling that many of us get from running anyway.
Weed is also popular among yogis, although one recent discussion thread was split between those who felt that being high helped them to meditate and relax, and others who felt it got in the way of truly being in touch with their body. That said, if you enjoy doing yoga while high, there are “ganja yoga” classes meant specifically for this experience.
Lifting weights while high doesn’t seem to be as popular as rhythmic or meditative activities, but there are definitely people who swear that cannabis helps the mind-muscle connection when doing bodybuilding-style workouts (where you do lots of reps with dumbbells, for example).
How to exercise high, if you want to try it
For safety, it’s important to think everything through before you begin. Definitely don’t drive to (or from) the gym while you’re high. If you’ll be on foot, choose a route that you can run without getting lost or wandering into an unsafe area. And consider doing your workout with a friend who isn’t high. With those safety tips covered, let’s discuss some of the finer points of having an enjoyable workout.
Start working out then get high
The biggest obstacle many of us have to exercising while high is that, when you’re high, often the last thing you want to do is get off the couch and expend any energy whatsoever. The runners of Reddit have a simple solution for this problem: Time your consumption so that the effects hit you nach you begin your workout. If you’re planning on a long run where you’ll be out for a few hours, you can have the edible, then get dressed and maybe have that pre-workout meal, and by the time you’re hitting your second or third miles, you’ll start to feel the high coming on. Or use a vape pen as you’re warming up for your next session on the stationary bike or the yoga mat. You get the idea.
Try it at home first
Another important point, underscored by redditors on many different threads, is to make sure everything is familiar the first time. Don’t plan on taking a weed gummy at the marathon start line if you’ve never been high before.
Use a method or product you’ve used before, and stay in a familiar environment (like your home), especially if you’re prone to anxiety. Once you know how you react and how you like the experience, you can get more adventurous.
Use a lighter dosage
Many of the cannabis-loving runners noted that they use less weed to exercise than they would if they were just hanging out. Half the dose seems to be a good rule of thumb. So if you would normally take a 5mg gummy, try 2.5 for your next trail run.
Traditionally, sativa strains are considered to be better for activity. But the sativa/indica split isn’t always a reliable indicator of how you’ll feel. Some redditors recommend using something with a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD. Your experience may also vary from one product to another; Edibles are notoriously variable. Bottom line, use something familiar.
Plan ahead for munchies and dry mouth
Especially if you’ll be out on a run, you’ll want to make sure you can get water if your mouth gets dry. (It’s also even more important to plan ahead if it will be hot or if weather conditions are otherwise potentially dangerous; you may not be with-it enough to notice signs of dehydration, for example.)
If you’re exercising for health related reasons, and you worry that you’ll dig into a big bag of Cheetos and throw your diet off track, you’ll be glad to know that fruit can be a heavenly experience when you’re high . Make sure you have a ripe mango ready to go. Or to quote another redditor: “Have you ever eaten a super ripe mandarin orange while you’re high? Juicy, sweet, tangy perfection. Get you a strawberry. Down some cherry tomatoes in balsamic vinegar and salt. That’s good.”
Why you might not want to exercise while high
While many redditors endorsed the experience, some had tried while exercising high and didn’t recommend it.
One common complaint was that altering your perception of time is a double-edged sword. While many folks find that the miles fly by, others felt like they were running for hours when it had only been a few minutes. If you’re doing a workout where it matters exactly what pace you’re going or exactly what technique you use, cannabis can interfere with that, too. Some runners said they enjoyed being high when doing easy runs or long runs, but that they wouldn’t be focused enough to run their best race.
And just as cannabis can help you to connect with your body, some people felt they were too aware of their body and their surroundings, unpleasantly so.
Even if you have a fun time exercising high, another potential issue is that you may get so used to it that you can’t (or don’t want to) exercise without it. Judging by the number of people who said they always get high when they exercise, that seems to be a valid concern.
If you compete in a drug-tested sport, that’s another reason you might want to be wary of exercising high. The World Anti-Doping Agency considers THC to be allowable outside of competition (so it’s fine to get high on your own time) but athletes have been busted when they use weed close enough to competition that it still shows up on a drug test.
And finally, you may want to be aware of the effects that showing up high could have on other people. One redditor complained about their partners in brazilian jiu-jitsu practices being so stoned that they weren’t able to participate fully. So if you’re going to exercise high, remember to be considerate of others.