Cannabis is an invaluable tool for managing medical conditions and maintaining health — but did you know that you can also use it in your pursuit of fitness? Many athletes are discovering applications for cannabis to increase their performance and promote faster recovery, and because cannabis is becoming legal on a recreational basis, they don’t need a medical reason to utilize cannabis in their workouts.

Whether you smoke a joint or apply a THC topical, you can also benefit from weed while working out. Here are the best ways to take advantage of THC as you build strength and endurance.

Before a Workout

Though cannabis is on almost every sports organization’s list of banned substances, there is no indication that using weed will result in superior athletic performance, especially at the professional level. It is no surprise that given the shifting legality of the drug, activists are vigorously campaigning to change sports rules to allow recreational and medicinal cannabis consumption for athletes.

However, for the amateur athlete or fitness enthusiast, cannabis could be an invaluable tool in making workouts easier and more enjoyable. Research has found that cannabis users tend to exercise more than their peers, perhaps because the drug eliminates anxiety about working out and makes the experience quite a bit more fun. Before you hit the gym, you might want to stop at a dispensary in Reno to stock up on your newest pre-workout, weed.

During a Workout

 If you are sufficiently motivated to start your workout but suffer from fatigue or lack of focus somewhere in the middle, you might benefit from some marijuana. This is especially true for endurance workouts, like long-distance runs or extended yoga sessions, in which the monotony of the exercise can cause you to quit before you are truly done. A good number of endurance athletes utilize cannabis during their training because the drug helps eliminate distractions and keep them focused until they fully complete their workout. To do this effectively, you should try to take smaller doses of strains known for energizing and focusing effects, like Green Crack or Cinex.

You might also want to use weed during your workout if you begin to feel achy. Pain can be a signal from your body that you are doing something wrong or causing harm, but often it is merely a side effect of certain types of exercises. For example, during strength training, lactic acid might build up in your muscles, causing a burning soreness. Cannabis can help you push through this kind of pain to finish your workout strong.

After a Workout

While getting high before your workout or taking small doses of weed in the middle of a training session can both be beneficial, there is no denying that the best use of cannabis in exercise is during the recovery process. When you work out, you are causing your body stress; you are tearing the muscle fibers, stretching your veins and arteries, pushing your lungs to their limits. After your training is through, your body gets to work strengthening those systems to make them stronger and more efficient before they are needed again.

Cannabis can help greatly in rest and recovery. Various compounds in cannabis assist with alleviating pain and inflammation, which can speed up repair and reinforcement. Cannabis also has compounds that can relax muscles, which can become tense with repetitive exercise. A high-protein meal, a good dose of high-CBD weed and a warm bath could be exactly what your body needs in the evening after a hard sweat session.

Then again, you might want to indulge in cannabis after exercise for a completely different reason: as a reward. Weed is fun — it makes you happy and feel good, even if you are stressed or in pain. Instead of celebrating your workout with decadent food, you can stay on top of your fitness goals and feel special by partaking of some good herb when your exercise regimen earns it.

Cannabis is a safe and useful drug, even for those looking to exercise and get fit. By using weed at certain times during your workout, you can experience different beneficial effects, which will ultimately make you better at getting buff.