Cannabis for Cyclists: Everything You Need to Know
With the overall stigma surrounding cannabis shrinking year after year, more and more athletes and fitness junkies are starting to incorporate cannabis into their lives as a helpful supplement to use both before and after exercising. In the world of cycling, where endurance and focus are essential to having a productive workout, cannabis has been used to help athletes get in the “zone” for long-distance training, as well as for pain relief and muscle recovery after some heavy pedaling.
In this article, we cover the benefits that cannabis can offer for cyclists and give you tips on how to use the plant to get the most out of your ride!
How Cannabis Can Impact Cycling Performance
Cycling can be a great way to get from point A to point B, but it can also be a great way to build up cardio and endurance strength, especially when you push yourself to ride longer distances or at a faster pace than normal. When doing long-distance training, mental strength can be just as important as physical strength, with a good deal of focus required to continue pedaling and maintain a high heart rate for an extended period of time.
In situations where the body is active for 30 minutes or more, cannabis can effectively increase an athlete’s pain tolerance and allow them to withstand one type of exercise for much longer than usual. Not only will this help cycling junkies enjoy their ride for longer, but they’ll also be free of distraction, entirely focused on the present moment, and completely in control of their breathing and pace. This mindset, where the athlete is completely focused on the exercise and nothing else, is sometimes referred to as getting in “the zone.” Marathon runners also experience this phenomenon and often refer to it as a “runner’s high,” where the body becomes filled with endorphins, helping reduce anxiety and pain after a workout.
It’s important to keep in mind that cyclists must follow the same rules as drivers when riding on the road, so if you plan on smoking before a bike ride, try to map out a route in a park or public bike trail to stay safe and avoid vehicles!
Post Workout Recovery
One of the biggest strengths of using cannabis as a cyclist is the multitude of recovery benefits it can provide after you get off the bike.
When it comes to post-workout recovery, the plant has been used medicinally for years to reduce inflammation throughout the body, particularly helping strained muscles and joints repair themselves after being put under heavy stress. Studies have actually shown that THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, has twenty times the anti-inflammatory potency of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone, making it an excellent replacement for over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. CBD, another primary cannabinoid, has no psychoactive effects but is also regarded for its therapeutic qualities that help athletes recover. For those who are looking for help with muscle soreness but are not interested in smoking or feeling a euphoric high, CBD products like tinctures and body balms can be a great option!
Another essential part of the recovery process that often gets overlooked is sleep. Getting at least 7-9 hours each night not only helps an athlete stay focused and energized throughout their day, but it also gives the muscles an appropriate amount of time to repair and rebuild themselves. For years cannabis has been studied for use as a sleep aid, aiding people with insomnia and anxiety conditions to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Using cannabis before bedtime, especially indica-dominant strains with a higher THC content, can give you a sedating effect that relaxes the body and relieves muscle tension, allowing you to get enough rest to recover fully after a day of cycling.
Cannabis and Cycling Tips
Don’t Over-Do It
If you’re looking to vape or eat an edible before a ride, remember not to go overboard with your dose! Just a puff or two is all you need to get in the right mindset and get focused for your ride.
Plan Your Routes
Keep in mind that smoking before a bike ride can be intoxicating and might not always be the best option, especially if you’re planning on riding a new route or on a busy road. To stay safe, try to ride in a quiet area or park, or plan out your route, so you always know where you’re going.
Try Smokeless Options
For cyclists who are concerned about smoke inhalation and potential lung damage that might occur from combustion, products like edibles and sublingual tinctures are great for those still looking to get the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Our tinctures come in a variety of strengths and flavors that are easy to add to any food or drink and are a great way to fight pain and inflammation throughout the body.
Hit the Road!
Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know about cannabis for cycling, it’s time to hit the road crush those KOMs/QOMs! Visit our online store to see our full range of City Trees cannabis tinctures, vapes, oils, and for more information on how our products can help you live an active lifestyle, take a look at our blog on Cannabis for Hiking.