As cannabis grows more socially acceptable, we see the herb pop up in all sorts of industries. While we hear on a daily basis the benefits of cannabis for our health, perhaps an area less associated with the plant is physical fitness.
So often marijuana is associated with laziness, extreme snacking and low levels of activity. However we know that this isn’t strictly true; while some strains will leave you in a state of comfort for hours, many of the plant’s offerings can result in extreme levels of motivation, euphoria, and activity that can enhance a workout better than many of your popular pre-workouts!
In this article, we are going to look at the best cannabis strains, with a focus on sativa vs. indica for getting you that perfect workout!
What Is a Cannabis Strain?
Before we delve into the best strains for working out with, it makes sense to start from the beginning. Those who may be new to the cannabis industry may have heard of a cannabis strain, but surprisingly so few cannabis users recognise how important it is to know the differences between strains.
Whether it is sativa, indica or a hybrid of both can determine what sort of reaction you are likely to experience from consuming cannabis. Some strains are naturally higher in THC, which is the psychoactive compound within the plant. While others are packed with CBD, the cannabinoid best known for its potent medicinal properties.
What’s The Difference?
The ways Sativa and indica differ are pretty vast, from the way they appear to the way they grow there are a variety of differences between the two. However, the most recognizable differences to most are the effects; do you want to have a productive day of getting things done or an evening in watching TV on the sofa? Choosing the right strain can be the difference between one and the other, so knowing your strain basics can save you some unwanted experiences!
- Treatment for chronic pain
- Increases focus & creativity
- Increases serotonin (mood, sleep, appetite regulator)
- For daytime use
- Mental relaxation
- Muscle relaxation
- Decreases pain
- Decreases nausea
- Increases appetite
- Increases dopamine
- For nighttime use
So, Can Cannabis Work For a Workout?
First of all, it is important to mention that while cannabis may not be typically associated with exercise and physical fitness, the flower can be more effective and is, of course, more natural than most pre-workouts. While most athletes and those about to exercise rely on some form of pre-workout, the reality of most of these is that they are expensive, full of chemicals and sugars and are much less healthy and natural than you may think.
When we compare this with the all-natural cannabis, it is no surprise that so many athletes turn to weed as a healthy accompaniment to their exercise regime.
Of course, the typical consumption methods tend to vary between those using cannabis to get high at home, and those using it to enhance their workout. With smoking cannabis being fairly uncommon amongst those using it for fitness, edibles, topicals and vaporizing tend to be the go-to methods for those who are health conscious- the fact is that smoking of any kind doesn’t lend itself to exercise!
Choosing The Right Strain
It goes without saying really that the way a strain will affect us can vary from one person to the next, we are all different and may not all experience the same effects from a strain of cannabis.
That being said, there are particular strains that will benefit a specific workout more than others, and while Sativa dominant strains tend to be more popular for those using it to exercise, indica strains can be the perfect post-workout recovery!
While you could probably benefit from a Sativa strain for most physical activities, you are likely to get much more out of your workout if you do your research first. While one sativa may be great for running, another could be perfect for dance; so choosing the strain to match the activity is always recommended.
Great Sativa Strains For a Workout
There are simply hundreds of varieties of Sativa strains out there, so to assess them all here would be impossible. To keep things simple we have taken a look at our top recommended strains perfect for some of the most common workouts!
Running – Whether you run professionally or for fun, the high impact sport can be both a mental and physical struggle. However, don’t despair a great sativa will see your motivation sky high as you take on your personal bests remain hyper-focused for the duration!
- Green Crack: The unmatched motivation this stimulating sativa will bring matches perfectly with the activity of running. Not only will you be ultra-focused, but the fruity strain will give you ridiculous levels of energy
Dance – Not only is dance great for the body, but it is also wonderful for the mind; this light-hearted and energizing workout can leave you saying goodbye to your daily stress as you get moving.
- Sour Cheese: This Sativa dominant strain is high energy combined with the ability to relax the mind, making it the perfect option for those who love to dance. With your mind letting go you can become one with the music as your inhibitions slide away, and the energy kicks in!
Weight Lifting – Slightly different to cardio, weight lifting can be both a physical and mental struggle and requires a special sort of sativa to tackle both issues so you can remain highly focused without growing tired.
- Harlequin: This 75% Sativa dominant strain is low THC, high CBD making it a great choice for those pumping iron. After consumption you will be able to tune your focus into your reps, making it great for perfecting form and improving your personal best! Super mellow high that will allow for a great session.
Great Indica Strains For a Workout
There is a slight trend forming in that the majority of great workout strains tend to be Sativa dominant. The sativa group of strains lends itself perfectly to so many workouts, with its high focus and even higher energy.
However, there are many indica strains perfect for post-workout, which is as important as the rest of your routine for the most effective recovery!
Girl Scout Cookie: This indica dominant strain is a perfect strain to relax and chill out with, and makes an effective post workout for its highly euphoric effects, and unmatched body relaxation!
LA OG: Perfect after an intense workout, this indica dominant strain relaxes muscles and leaves you with a long-lasting feeling of calm. A delicious fruity flavored strain that will keep you feeling relaxed for hours.
Whether you are choosing a high-intensity workout or a low impact activity, there is guaranteed to be a strain waiting for you to enhance the experience. While sativa may lend itself to the more high-impact workouts, with indica concentrating on the comedown, there is a natural solution there for everyone.
The general rule is to always do your research, start off with low amounts until you are confident in the way your body will react, and have fun with it!
If there is one thing guaranteed to make you enjoy the burn, it is cannabis!