Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid that has been shown to have many potential therapeutic benefits, from pain relief to stress reduction to mood regulation. Some people are now even using Delta 8 to enhance their workouts, and there is evidence that it may be effective. Studies have established a link between increased endurance and consuming cannabis and hemp-derived products, like Delta 8 THC (D8). In this post, we are going to discuss the science behind it all and how you can get in on this joy-inducing workout in a safe way.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
With cannabis now becoming legal across the country, more and more Americans are becoming curious about it. Two of the most talked about compounds found in cannabis plants are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They are found in all cannabis plant strains in varying percentages.
Both THC and CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant, which includes both marijuana and hemp plants. However, it’s important to note that the average marijuana strain contains more THC than a hemp plant, at around 12%. Even so, contrary to what some believe, hemp plants do contain THC in a very tiny percentage; usually no more than 0.3% of Delta 9 THC. This amount of THC is federally legal in the USA, meaning most hemp-derived products are legal as well.
The main naturally-occurring chemical compound in cannabis plants that has psychoactive effects on the brain and gives you a high effect is known as Delta 9 THC (D9). Delta 8 THC is similar in structure to Delta 9, but it is less potent and does not produce psychoactive effects to the same extent. Delta 8 (much like Delta 9) binds to the endocannabinoid system in your body, giving you that euphoric feeling. It has a double bond in its chemical structure, which is thought to create an intoxicating effect.
Can THC Really Enhance Your Athletic Performance?
The effects of Delta 8 THC need to be studied further, but from what we know so far, they include:
- Euphoric or high feeling
- Appetite stimulation
- Memory loss when consumed in high doses
- Nausea suppression
- Pain relief
- Slower than normal reactions
D8 THC mimics the effect of natural chemical compounds of the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the motivation centers of the brain. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Delta 8 THC interacts with the CB1 receptors within the brain, which impact the brain’s reward center as well as the brain’s perception of pain.
More research needs to be done for us to fully understand how consuming THC and hemp-derived CBD products can help enhance workouts, but the evidence so far is promising. A 2020 analysis of 11 studies representing more than 46,000 athletes indicated that over 23% used some form of cannabis products during that year alone.
While specific performance-boosting effects of THC are inconclusive, its use to reduce anxiety and facilitate relaxation may indirectly improve athletic performance.
Many people often claim that THC helps them concentrate and focus better. Some athletes also believe that it has a relaxing effect that could help reduce stress and possibly assist with recovery.
A Boost of Energy On the Go
How does it help with recovery? Cannabis is a vasodilator, which means it can widen your arteries and improve blood flow, leading to reduced soreness in the muscles.
One common belief shared by many runners is that smoking cannabis before their run helps enhance the runner’s high, a feeling of euphoria that comes after a couple of minutes of running. It has always been associated with the release of endorphins, but the latest research shows that endorphins may not be able to reach the brain. It may be more likely that endocannabinoids are the true reason for that runner’s high.
People who consume Delta 8 THC also have been shown to have a higher pain tolerance. Cannabis use has also recently been identified as helping athletes’ muscle recovery and sleep time, which can impact performance when you are doing rigorous workouts every day.
This is where the difference between Delta 8 and Delta 9 comes into play. As we mentioned earlier, the stuff that makes you high or wants to take a nap is mostly Delta 9 THC. The Delta 8 compound’s psychoactive effects are milder.
The effects you’ll feel after taking D8 depends on which strain it’s been extracted from and the method of ingestion. Indica and Sativa are two kinds of cannabis strains. Indica produces feelings of sleepiness and full-body relaxation, making it the preferred choice for people dealing with insomnia, pain, and nausea.
Sativa, on the other hand, has an energetic effect that helps you fight fatigue and focus on the task at hand. If you‘re looking for something to help you get in the zone and push through that burning sensation of a particularly hard workout, we recommend trying Delta 8 THC products derived from Jack Herer, OG Kush, Pineapple Express, Blue Dream, or Tangie.
That being said, we’d like to say that smoking or consuming Delta 8 THC in any form is not a good idea before a heavy lifting session as it might be dangerous.The loss of coordination, however, highly depends on the dose and your tolerance. Having a really high tolerance to THC or smoking only a small amount may not be as bad for your performance and coordination cognition.
Key Benefits of Delta 8 THC for Fitness Enthusiasts
Now that you have an idea of what D8 can do for you, let’s discuss these benefits in more detail.
D8 acts as a blood-brain barrier, interacting with the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, which is what makes it a psychoactive compound. It also sticks to the CB2 receptors in the rest of the body, which are associated with pain.
This is why using Delta 8 on a consistent basis makes you less sensitive to pain over time. If you constantly find yourself with muscle strains, sprains, and aggravated old injuries that hinder your training, all-natural D8 products might be taken to reduce these discomforts.
Delta 8 THC targets the dopamine receptors in the brain, which can help to heighten its ability to focus for a long period of time. This becomes particularly useful when you need to maintain good form to prevent injury. However, you should do your research on which type of D8 product to use as some (like edibles) may take too long to work through your system.
Many gym enthusiasts use a variety of supplements to help them recover after a workout. These often include some type of protein to repair and rebuild muscles, as well as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) to help with muscle stiffness. Although these products may not be harmful per se, some brands use “filler” ingredients such as detrimental preservatives.
D8 THC’s anti-inflammatory properties help the body to recover naturally by actively managing its inflammatory response to pain. As THC suppresses these inflammatory responses, you will be able to recover far more quickly. This means less physical discomfort, plus shorter rest and recovery days required between workouts.
How to Use Delta 8 THC the Right Way
Once you have decided to try D8 to slay your workouts, you’ve got to think about the right dosage and dosing method.
Determine the Right Dosage
The amount and the way you take D8 affect how it hits you. Vaping Delta-8 produces almost immediate effects, tinctures and oils take around 30 minutes, and edibles usually take an hour or more to start working.
Start with a low dose, especially if you’ve never used cannabis or D8 before. Remember, your goal is not to get really high, but to elevate your exercise experience without disrupting it.
You should also consider your weight when calculating the dosage. If you weigh between 100lbs and 140lbs, start with 3–6 mg for mild effects. If you weigh between 150lbs or more, 8–10 mg is a good place to start.
Test It on a Rest Day
For beginners, consider testing using Delta 8 THC on your rest day. You don’t know how it’s going to make you feel, so it’s best to take it at home and not at the gym. You can take this day to tweak the dosage if you think it didn’t give you the results you were anticipating.
Figure Out Your Pre and Post-Workout Dose
Some people take a pre-workout dose to boost their endurance and focus, while some take it afterward to help with rest and recovery. You can try one or the other, or both, and see what suits you best.
Avoid Taking It Near a Drug Test Day
If your workplace conducts regular drug tests, you have two options: either steer clear of Delta 8 THC altogether or get their approval before start using it. Delta 8 THC will show up in a drug screening. Don’t be fooled by products that advertise themselves under the label of hemp; all hemp products contain some THC.
Be Mindful of the Munchies
Cannabis with a higher percentage of THC stimulates appetite. If your goal is to lose weight, make sure you have healthy snacks on hand to deal with those hunger pangs. Not all strains increase appetite; some can suppress it as well, depending on the product chosen.
Other Important Considerations
- Never drive while under the influence of D8; assign a sober driver or take public transportation to get you to and from the gym.
- Don’t use heavy lifting equipment or machinery while under the influence.
- Don’t combine Delta -8 with other stimulating pre- and post-workout supplements, like creatine or caffeine.
Get Lab-Tested Delta 8 Products Online from Laughing Buddha
At Laughing Buddha, we offer an extensive selection of Delta 8 THC disposables, smokeables, capsules, tinctures, and edibles. Each product undergoes testing at an independent, third-party lab to provide unbiased feedback on its quality, potency, and safety. You can find lab reports for all our products on our website here.
Fast-track your fitness goals by adding D8 to your daily regimen. Call us at 877-420-8420 or contact our team online if you have any questions or safety concerns.
Please Note: Speak with your doctor before taking Delta 8 THC. Your doctor can evaluate your current health and medical history to determine whether D8 is right for you, especially if you work out a lot or take any prescription medications.