6 Myths About Weed and Working Out

6 Myths About Weed and Working Out

July 20, 2021

By Emma Grace

The cannabis world often seems to be shrouded in mystery, with different rumors and speculations concealing the truth about this magical little plant. Some of the biggest myths about cannabis are about how it impacts your health, and the unfortunate stigmas associated with it are no help. 

Many avid gym-goers, runners, and athletes use cannabis every day without negatively impacting their workouts, however, media tends to tell a very different story. I’m here to tell you about six weed myths that you can ignore next time you pick up a blunt (or a set of dumbbells).

Myth 1: It Dehydrates You

Ever get cotton-mouth when you smoke? It’s okay, we all have. It’s a very natural response to smoking, especially when your weed has a high THC content. But it's a very fixable problem--simply drink water, suck on some hard candy, or chew some gum.

Because weed gives you cotton-mouth, some people assume that it dehydrates you. That is not true! While smoking weed and being dehydrated share some similar symptoms, they do not always go hand-in-hand. In fact, if you do get cotton-mouth, you’re actually more likely to stay hydrated, since you’ll be drinking water to combat that.

There’s no need to worry about your hydration levels when you smoke, but if it is something that bothers you, consider keeping some electrolyte water or a sports drink on hand. 

Myth 2: It’ll Ruin Your Diet

Even if you get “the munchies,” smoking weed should have very little impact on your diet. At the end of the day, it comes down to self-control and what you have in your pantry. If you’re worried about reaching for the bag of potato chips when you smoke (a valid concern, since they’re delicious), consider meal-prepping or keeping a healthier alternative on hand.

And, if you’re trying to build muscle mass, smoking can actually help you. The best way to bulk is to eat protein, so embrace your munchies by grabbing a protein-full snack or meal. With healthier alternatives all over the shelves these days, you can experience the joy of the munchies while sticking to your diet (ex: make mac n’ cheese with protein pasta and vegan cheese). 

If you really don’t want to let the munchies win, there are tons of alternatives to take your mind off your cravings. Read a book, listen to a podcast, or watch one of your favorite shows. You can also drink lots of water or chew a piece of gum. And remember, you’re in charge, not your stomach! 

Myth 3: It Makes You Lazy

Do certain strains of weed make you sleepy? Yeah, of course. Weed can even help to ease insomnia, however, that’s Indica. Indica-dominant strains tend to encourage relaxation and sleep, while Sativa strains are energizing. 

It can be nice to smoke some Indica and relax in bed or on the couch, but Sativa strains are just as fun to smoke. If you’re worried about your weed making you lazy, try some of the following strains:

  • Sour Diesel--energizing and smells of gasoline (just the way I like it!)
  • Jillybean--citrus-y and great for social butterflies   
  • Lemon Bean--fresh and energizing, perfect for a wake ‘n bake
  • Harlequin--relaxing without being sedative, smells of mango and earth  

Myth 4: It’ll Make You Sleep Through Your Morning Workouts

While weed can make you sleepy, as mentioned above, it’s not a horse tranquilizer. When smoking, you typically feel high for 1 to 3 hours. When it comes to edibles, that feeling can last quite a bit longer, anywhere from 8 to 24 hours max. 

That being said, the relaxed and sleepy feelings produced by Indica strains won’t last into the morning if you smoke before bed. In fact, if you wake up in the middle of the night, you’ll probably notice that you don’t feel high anymore. 

Weed won’t make you sleep through your alarm, and should have no impact at all on a morning workout. If it does, try scaling back on how much you’re smoking, or switch to a strain with a bit more Sativa. I don’t recommend smoking straight Sativa right before bed, but a hybrid strain might suit your perfectly.

Myth 5: You Won’t Be #1 In The Gym

Whoever said that smokers can’t be the best athletes is a liar! There are tons of NFL and NBA athletes who smoke weed, not to mention Olympians. We all know that Sha’Carri Richardson was suspended for 30 days for a positive cannabis test, and she’s still one of the fastest women in the world

Other famous cannabis-using athletes include Michael Phelps (who I’m not convinced isn’t half-human, half-fish), Cliff Robinson, and Ryan Tucker. 

Clearly, cannabis had no negative impacts on their performances. I mean, Cliff Robinson played in the NBA for 18 years, and Michael Phelps has a whopping 28 Olympic medals, 23 of which are gold.

If you’re worried that cannabis is negatively impacting your success in the gym, it’s time to look at other factors of your workouts. Blaming cannabis for your plateau isn’t the answer--evaluate your workouts on their own and make the necessary adjustments. Weed isn’t the problem though!

Myth 6: It’s Only For Getting High

This is another one of those myths that perpetuates the stereotypes surrounding cannabis. This awesome plant has a frankly ridiculous amount of medicinal benefits and can be used in so many aspects of our lives. Although research is limited, CBD can be used to help reduce muscle soreness, and it won’t make you fail any drug testing. Why we still test for marijuana in sports is beyond me, but CBD for soreness is a great way to utilize cannabis without getting into any trouble.

Weed can also reduce anxiety or depression that comes as a result of the gym. I know that when I get injured or need to take a break from working out, I get really antsy and frustrated. Smoking weed can help to alleviate those uncomfortable feelings, and speed up recovery time if you’re coming back from an injury.

That being said, making sure you consult your doctor if you’re receiving any kind of physical therapy or treatment for an injury. With the increasing research surrounding cannabis, most doctors recognize the many benefits it has, so definitely talk to your doctor if you’re using it to come back from an injury!

Marijuana has tons of benefits for athletes, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it fits into the world of sports in the future. And even if you’re just a guy who likes to stay in shape, nothing crazy, it can still help you recover from your workouts and allow you to live the lifestyle you want.


Unfortunately, there are still many myths and rumors surrounding marijuana. However, as a wider range of people take advantage of its’ plentiful positive properties, those rumors are dissipating. Plus, you can see for yourself that these top six common myths are just that--myths!

Consuming cannabis won’t ruin your workouts, nor your diet, nor your sleep schedule. It can actually elevate your gym sessions and help you to achieve your goals. So get out there, enjoy this awesome plant, and crush your next workout!


Emma Grace is a full-time student, writer, and lover of Marvel movies. She spends most of her time ignoring her responsibilities in favor of reading, learning global geography, and finding new ways to prepare instant noodles. She lives with her parents and sister and a very needy dog named Eloise.

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