Your next big lift might be a puff away.

Not in the sense that if I took a hit, and got under a bench, I’d suddenly crank out 315 lbs like Popeye on spinach. Sore muscles, achy joints, and fatigue happen after your workout – they’re a part of the weightlifting game, but don’t have to be for long. I took a hit after my workout and sped up my post-workout recovery.

With benefits like natural pain relief, reduced inflammation, and deeper sleep, how could the devil’s lettuce not help you recover faster, lift heavier, and achieve personal bests?

I’m going to share three tips revolving around using the ganja to improve recovery after your workouts.

From bouncing back faster to having better sleep, I’ve found that there are undeniable benefits of using cannabis for anyone who wants to optimize their fitness, especially when it comes to their post-workout recovery process. It was something I used to ignore up until now, and has helped me make tremendous progress in the gym.

So, whether you’re a casual gym rat, or a dedicated athlete, read on to figure out how you can use cannabis to make your recovery as effective as the workout (disclaimer: this worked for me & I’m speaking anecdotally – before trying the tips make sure you talk to your healthcare professional).

When it comes to pain relief, not all strains are created equal.

After an intense workout, the last thing you want is a strain that barely helps you recover. While most cannabis strains help reduce pain, some are more effective than others. The best strains for muscle relaxation are the ones known for pain relief or their anti-inflammatory properties.

Strains that are high in CBD and low in THC fit the bill.

CBD is the world-famous anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving cannabinoid and THC is the euphoric cannabinoid.

Strains to Consider:

  • ACDC: This strain is a CBD powerhouse, with a CBD to THC ratio as high as 20:1, making it perfect for those who want relief without a strong high.
  • Harlequin: Known for its 5:2 CBD to THC ratio, providing a balance that eases pain while keeping your mind clear.
  • Cannatonic: With a CBD to THC ratio that usually hovers around 2:1, it soothes soreness while helping you to stay functional and alert.

And remember, everyone reacts differently to different strains, so experiment; start with small hits or doses to see how you respond to different types of reefer and whether they fit your recovery needs.

Image created by Joel Darkwah using deal.ai

Image created by Joel Darkwah using deal.ai

Having a good night’s rest consistently is an underrated way to build muscle.

A recent study looking into how not getting enough sleep can prevent muscle recovery proves this. It reveals that, overtime, sleep deprivation can hurt your muscle recovery because it disrupts your stress hormone levels and increases your inflammation. Guess what doesn’t disrupt your stress hormone levels negatively and decreases your inflammation.

Pot.

Adding pot to your pre-sleep routine can enhance muscle relaxation and promote better sleep quality (assuming that you approach it with mindfulness and awareness of your body’s response to different strains and dosages). Start by experimenting with low doses of different strains to figure out exactly how much you can handle, especially if you’re new to using cannabis or sensitive to its effects. Once you’ve got that figured out, you’ll be able to figure out which strain has the effects you like the most.

Bringing you one step closer to fully optimizing your post-workout recovery.

Here are some strains to consider:

  • ACDC: known for its high CBD content and minimal THC; a great choice for relaxation without the “high”.
  • Harlequin: Another CBD-dominant strain, offering a gentle, clear-headed experience that can soothe both the mind and body.
  • Granddaddy Purple: If you prefer a slightly higher THC content, Granddaddy Purple can provide deep relaxation and help ease you into good sleep.

Remember, your timing matters.

Try to use the herb about an hour before you intend to sleep to allow its effects to fully manifest. And in general, you should avoid using high-THC strains close to bedtime – they may ruin your sleep quality and lead to grogginess when you wake up.

But, by using the right strain at the right time, you can speed up the time it takes to recover.

Being less stressed, and more relaxed helps with muscle recovery after an intense workout.

And the herb can both reduce stress, and increase relaxation, making it a must have after your workout. Experiment with different ways to consume it, like vaping, edibles, or herbal teas infused with cannabis to find what helps you unwind effectively. Start with low doses and gradually adjust based on your tolerance and desired effects.

Then, once you’ve found what works for you, you’ll see gym progress in no time.

Strains to consider:

  • Indica-dominant strains: known for their relaxing and sedative effects, making them ideal for unwinding after a hard workout session. Look for strains high in myrcene, a terpene known for its calming properties.
  • CBD-rich strains: offers anti-anxiety and stress-relieving benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC, making it better for promoting relaxation without impairing your ability to think.

You can take your use of cannabis for muscle recovery much further.

For example, you can add mindfulness practices such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle yoga to your cannabis use and enhance your speed of muscle recovery. By leveraging the relaxing properties of marijuana, you can reduce stress and tension in both the mind and body.

Whether picking specific strains or integrating mindfulness practices to your routine, using weed as part of your post-workout recovery process can be a valuable part of your overall wellness strategy.

Joel Darkwah is a marketing writer. He is obsessed with working out, eating right, spirituality, and his little siblings.

This article and the opinions expressed, are for entertainment purposes only. Head Magazine recommends getting approval from your medical practitioner before using any psychotropic substance. Always obey the law in your area.