People always seem surprised when I tell them I get high before I work out, which is totally understandable — there’s a huge misconception that smoking cannabis makes you lazy. That stigma can be true for some strains, but smoking the right type of weed can actually enhance your workouts (and many other activities). I’ve found sativa-dominant strains can be particularly helpful in keeping you focused and energized and can be the perfect supplement to a fitness routine.
Here are my picks for the best strains for different workouts, available in your legalized state or with a medical marijuana card. Just a note that beginners should start out slow. I’d suggest only taking a few puffs of a joint or vaporizer until you know how it’ll affect you.
Cannabis makes lifting exponentially better, in my opinion. Harlequin is a perfect strain to smoke before weightlifting — it helps with focus and patience, so you can fully dedicate yourself to form. It’s a mellower high for a sativa-dominant strain, so you won’t feel overstimulated or like you have a ton of extra energy you need to burn. After smoking Harlequin, I’ve noticed myself getting lost in my reps. I’m so zeroed in on my form, and I focus more on what I’m doing in the moment instead of counting down the minutes until it’s over.
I personally am not a huge fan of cardio, so I need something that will really keep me going. Green Crack is hands down my favorite weed for running (and any cardio, really). It’s very stimulating and is a huge mood booster — perfect for anyone who needs extra motivation to get through their workout. It will keep you uplifted and hyperfocused, taking your runner’s high to the next level! For cardio specifically, I’d suggest smoking out of a vaporizer; it’s not as harsh on your lungs as other methods, so you won’t get short of breath. Since Green Crack is a really potent sativa, you’ll want to start slow with this strain.
There are so many strains that are perfect for yoga, my favorite workout! Through trial and error I’ve found certain strains that help keep me grounded, focused, and totally connected to my body; smoking before class has improved my practice immensely.
I love Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) for Hatha yoga. It gives you a chill, introspective high — perfect for connecting with your mind and body. Even though it’s an indica-dominant strain, it’s not debilitating. I smoke GSC specifically to help with my lower-back pain, and I’ve noticed that it’s extra helpful for making my body feel more fluid during my practice. It just feels good to move through a sequence.
I’m a Vinyasa junkie, so gentle flow classes can make me anxious, but Blue Dream helps keep me patient during Yin yoga classes. It’s sativa-dominant but gives you a pretty heavy body high that isn’t ideal for fast-paced practices, but it has tons of mental benefits. My mind feels clear, and I’ve noticed that I settle more deeply into my poses with this strain.
For Vinyasa, I stick with my tried and true: Sour Diesel. It’s heavy in sativa so it keeps you energized, but it doesn’t send your brain into overdrive. I can put more focus on my breathing and on silencing my mind, and I’m more in tune with every part of my body. My practice make more sense instinctively; I feel my way through the poses instead of thinking my way through them.
Boxing is another one of my favorite workouts and another type that benefits greatly from smoking. Cherry Lime is my favorite to smoke before stepping into the ring; it’s energizing and powerful and will definitely keep you motivated. It has amazing euphoric effects, so throwing punches is fun! You’ll be steady and focused, without losing strength or getting lazy. It’s a strain that’s famous for releasing tension, and it helps my body feel more fluid and ready to move. Since boxing can be demanding on your lungs, I’d suggest smoking with a vaporizer for this workout.
Dancing is a superfun workout, but classes can sometimes be intimidating. (I’ll admit I’ve never taken a Zumba class, out of fear of looking like a total jackass.) Before class, you should smoke something that helps lower your inhibitions so you can let loose! Purple Haze is a sativa-dominant blend that gives you a euphoric and lighthearted high. It’s a feel-good strain that will encourage you to let your guard down and not take yourself too seriously. The best part? It makes music sound incredible, so you’ll be extra motivated to drop it low.
After an intense and rewarding workout, you’ll want to rest up with an indica-dominant strain. LA OG is one of my favorites to wind down with. It’ll relax every muscle in the body and help your mind slow down. You’ll feel a really heavy, calm high and get possibly the best (most deserved) sleep of your life.
Image Source: OurStyle Photography / Diggy Lloyd