The funny thing about putting cannabis and distance running together is that it’s not about getting high. In fact, running itself releases “anandamide,” a chemical that’s like THC to give a ‘runner’s high’. It’s that tiny voice telling us that our legs hurt, that we’re tired and that we should stop.
Training is hard. Weed makes it bearable.
Most athletes will use the CBD in lotions to treat inflammations around sore joints only after a run, but most runners use cannabis for its THC to enjoy runs a little more.
Does cannabis help or hurt our training and lungs?
Why Vaping is Better than Smoking Cannabis?
Who doesn’t enjoy infused-edibles? The trouble with edibles is they are too unpredictable. You don’t want to wonder if it’s working two hours later. With smoking or vaping, you know immediately and feel its peak after five-minutes.
Then again, smoking – even cannabis smoking – is usually associated with bad lungs. It is. We know smoking increases heart rates, blood pressure, and in some leads to dizziness. When you smoke cannabis, you release carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and tar.
Cannabis is not like smoking tobacco. A study from researchers at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine showed that “heavy cannabis smoking” did not increase cancer risk. It could be weed’s anti-inflammatory properties working.
Five key differences between smoking and vaporizing cannabis:
1. Health benefits of fewer carcinogens
One big difference between smoking and vaporizing is the potential to remove harmful toxic carcinogens such as benzene, naphthalene, and toluene away from the cannabis. Benzene damages the reproductive system, naphthalene destroys red blood cells, and too much toluene can lead to irritated eyes and upper lungs.
Vaporizers overcome these carcinogens. A report by the University of California, San Francisco, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology in 2007, showed “there was virtually no exposure to harmful combustion products using the vaporizing device”. By heating cannabis at lower temperatures, you keep the active medical ingredients without bringing along the harmful by-products.
2. You can use vape pens and vaporizers more discreetly
Colorado’s Avery Collins is one of the best-known ultramarathon runners in the world for his cannabis advocacy. He usually carries a vape pen to use at the start and then later at the halfway mark takes another inhale.
Runners sometimes feel anxious at the start of a race, which for some can feel like wasted energy. Collins uses cannabis to balance his mind and body, psyching himself up without the stress.
One big challenge at the start is to find the right spot to puff up without disturbing anyone else. You could run into a portable toilet to light up. With a handy portable vape that uses oil or wax, you can carry it almost anywhere without notice like an undercover secret agent. Although some portable vapes do let out a noticeable smell, vaporizer pens are much more discreet than smoking a joint.
3. Time to love the fragrances and flavors
Vaping is cleaner, clearer, and a tastier experience from your cannabis flower or oil. You’ll notice the “flavor notes” of the terpenes more, like peppery beta-caryophyllene or lavender-scented linalool that smell quite nice.
How about tasting Lemon Haze, best known for smelling like fresh peeled lemon slices and carrying along with a similar taste? While you’re at it, take a look at the greenness and yellowish buds with its amber trichome hairs, giving the entire bud a yellow tint. Or take a look at Blueberry Kush, a strong indica strain that slowly brings on a heavy body relaxed sensation. Originally from Oregon, this strain has a fresh berry aroma with notes of earthy herbs.
4. Greater cannabinoid efficiency
A study by Marilyn Huestis and Michael Smith found that smoking immediately destroys 30 percent of THC. That’s a waste. Do you want to fix that? Then adjusting the temperature controls of a cannabis vaporizer can help with that.
Here’s are some guidelines on the boiling points for vaporization:
- 154°C to 165°C (310°F to 330°F) for mild euphoria, focus, productivity, subtle relaxation
- 165°C to 187°C (330°F to 370°F) for moderate euphoria, enhanced sensory awareness, mood elevation, functional relaxation
- 187°C to 221°C (370°F to 430°F) for intense euphoria, sleep, heavy relaxation, meditation
By adjusting the temperature, you get to keep more of your THC and get the affects that you are looking for.
5. Runs become more fun
Have fun! That’s the whole point of cannabis and running, to enjoy the run. The most important thing you can remember is to start low and go slow.
When it comes to cannabis and running, what works for some might not work for others. Anyone who is considering cannabis to use for exercise should consult a health professional first.