I know the best cannabis strains for working out sounds like an oxymoron with couch-lock stereotypes still prevalent, but hear me out. The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), whose code is used by the International Olympic Committee, recently removed cannabidiol (CBD) from its list of banned substances. This means WADA believes CBD can provide value to world class athletes. This follows WADA’s 2013 decision that raised the threshold of THC allowed in an athlete’s body from 15 nanograms (ng) to 150 ng. A simple Google search will yield dozens of results of athletes at the top of their game swearing by their cannabis-infused routines. If it’s good enough for them, surely it’s good enough for your next 10k, right? Now that you’re thoroughly convinced, let’s get into the best strains for exercising.
Before you start your search for that perfect workout strain, it's important to note cannabis must be worked into your fitness routine and not the other way around. Like any other supplement, research, planning, and experimentation are key. Other important factors are gender, dose, tolerance level, and mode of administration. Get to know each strain and how it will affect your mind and body in a controlled environment. That Kush strain might have been great for movie night but may induce paranoia in a crowded gym. Test runs are highly recommended — combine short workout sessions and microdosing until you work up to your normal routine. With that said, below are five strains that are proven to fend off fatigue and push you to the next level of fitness and focus.
Read also: Athletic Performance and Cannabis Use
Coming in with one of the highest CBD to THC ratios (20:1) on the market is ACDC. This sativa-dominant strain is perfect for those seeking energy and pain management without the intoxicating effects of THC. Its fragrant, earthy aroma is a pleasure to take in, complementing its back-end piney flavor profile. CBD-rich strains such as ACDC are an excellent choice for beginners and contain many of the cannabinoids that can aid in muscle recovery and post-workout fatigue. Whether used before or after workouts, ACDC will leave users feeling level-headed, revitalized, and motivated to go that extra mile.
This strain is a personal favorite of mine. XJ13 will have you humming with energy while providing the concentrating effects that can make time travel a reality. Intense workouts become enjoyable as feelings of euphoria slowly creep in from head to toe. Although sativa dominant, XJ13 provides an equal head/body high and is great for new users as its THC levels rarely top 18 per cent. You can thank its parent, Jack Herer, for XJ13’s sweet, limeade aroma and flavor. A great all-around strain, XJ13 will make you forget the pre-workout supplements and have you opting for a toke instead.
In a sea of cannabis hybrids, finding a pure sativa strain in today’s market is harder than it seems. But look no further than the famous landrace strain Durban Poison. This pure sativa is all gas and no brakes. Its invigorating high is one that few can match and can take some working up to. Often described as the espresso of cannabis, it is the perfect wake ‘n’ bake strain. Notes of anise, spice, and vanilla are a pleasure to take in and can be just as satisfying as a cup of joe. Durban Poison will have your body buzzing with life, providing the laser focus necessary to push through that last rep.
Also known as White Fire OG, this classic strain has gained many fans over the years due to its potency and high resin content, which many (including myself) say can resemble the snowcapped mountains of Mt. Everest. A hybrid that leans toward indica, WiFi OG is one of those strains that can adapt to your activity. Training for that 10k? Sore muscles keeping you up? WiFi OG has you covered. In addition to its versatility, WiFi OG’s aroma is one that will have passerby’s looking around to make a new friend. If having a functional buzz is important to you, then WiFi OG should be in your daily arsenal.
Read also: Cut & Dried Strain Review: White Fire OG #5
The last strain on this list is the strongest of the bunch, and oftentimes the strongest at your local dispensary. A truly medicinal strain, Sour Bubble is my top choice for relaxing after a strenuous workout. Heralded for its pain management, Sour Bubble is a great choice to combat aches, spasms, stress, and insomnia. THC levels regularly exceed 25 per cent, which make it a strain for the experienced connoisseur. But those with lesser tolerances can microdose. Sweet, creamy, fruity notes will stimulate your taste buds and provide a high that will have you crawling to bed. So, relax, decompress, and exhale with some Sour Bubble.
There you have it, five strains that can help aid in your fitness goals. But don’t limit yourself to just this list. Truth be told, there is no perfect strain, and that’s what makes this new green landscape exciting. New strains are developed all the time, and old ones are improved upon daily. More than likely you’ll find several strains that work for you and opt to keep these in your rotation. Do what works for your mind and body. Whatever strain you choose, remember to inhale and keep the good vibes rolling.