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Exploring Benefits of Delta-8 THC for Workout Regimens

Delta-8 – legal cannabinoids has become an increasingly popular wellness supplement in fitness communities. This minor cannabinoid from hemp plants is federally legal in the United States and offers a range of potential benefits for both exercise performance and recovery. While research is still limited, many athletes and weekend warriors are experimenting with delta-8 effects to enhance their workout regimens. In this article, we’ll explore what science says so far about Delta-8 and exercise and provide tips for safe, responsible use.
Chris Dorcey
Inheal Editor
Post date
February 6, 2024
Time to read
8 mins 07 secs
Delta 8 for better workouts

Key Takeaways

  • Delta 8 THC provides a clear-headed, energizing high that can boost workout motivation and endurance.
  • Proper dosing and timing are crucial – use low doses pre-workout and higher doses post-workout.
  • While promising, research on Delta-8 for exercise is still very limited.
  • Approach cautiously and follow all laws regarding the compound’s legal status.
  • Delta8 is not a replacement for proven training strategies – combine with proper nutrition, hydration and rest.
  • Start with 1-5mg pre-workout, or 10-15mg post-workout, and increase dosage gradually as needed.
  • Avoid using it if you need to operate heavy machinery or drive when impaired.
  • Discuss D8 use with your doctor, especially if you have medical conditions.
  • Do not use it if you are subject to athletic drug testing policies.

What is delta 8?

cannabis leaves amidst-gym equipmenth

Delta-8-THC is one of over 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis plants. It is chemically similar to the more common Delta-9 THC but produces milder psychoactive effects. While they share many similarities, there are some key differences between these two cannabinoids:

  • D8 has a double bond on the eighth carbon chain instead of the ninth. This small distinction leads to differing effects within the body.
  • Δ8 binds to CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system but with less affinity than Delta-9 THC. It provides a lower intensity high that many describe as clear-headed and energetic.
  • Δ8 is approximately 50-75% as psychoactive as Delta-9 THC, making it less potent overall.
  • Most delta 8 products today are derived from federally legal hemp, not marijuana. Delta 8 derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.

With a more balanced CB1 binding affinity and lower psychoactivity than Delta-9, Delta-8 offers therapeutic effects without strongly impairing cognition or motor function. This makes it an appealing option for enhancing workout performance and supporting recovery.

Scientific Perspective

While anecdotes about Delta-8 for workouts abound, published research specifically on Delta-8 and exercise is still very limited. However, studies on cannabis in general can provide some scientific insights.

For example, a 2021 literature review looked at the ergogenic and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoid research on athletic recovery and performance. The authors noted anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anxiolytic properties that may benefit exercise performance and recovery. However, they also acknowledged the need for further research, especially on individual cannabinoids like Delta-8.

Another 2021 study in Frontiers in Physiology investigated the effects of inhaled cannabis on exercise performance and recovery. While cannabis seemed to decrease exercise motivation, the authors noted faster recovery of muscle force and decreased muscle soreness post-exercise inflammation.

Overall, current research neither confirms nor denies that Delta-8 can enhance athletic performance and recovery. But based on what we know of its mechanisms, user anecdotes, and preliminary cannabis studies, Delta-8 shows promise for:

  • Increasing exercise enjoyment and motivation
  • Lengthening endurance and stamina
  • Reducing inflammation and accelerating recovery
  • Easing sore muscles after intense workouts

Let’s explore some of these potential benefits in more detail.

Potential Benefits for Workouts

fit woman

While individual results will vary, Delta-8 may offer the following workout-related benefits for many users:

Energy and Stamina

Many users report a sustained boost in energy, alertness, and ability to push through fatigue during exercise from Delta8. Unlike Delta-9 THC, Delta-8-THC tends to provide an energizing, motivating lift without strongly impairing motor function.

By stimulating the CB1 receptors, Δ8 appears to enhance the release of dopamine in the brain’s reward pathways. This helps increase feelings of motivation and pleasure during physical activity. The good vibes from D8 can make your workout fly by faster.

Anecdotally, the increased energy and euphoria from Delta-8 improves athletes’ endurance and stamina during cardio and endurance training. With the right dose, Delta-8-THC may help you power through those last crucial reps or miles.

Recovery and Muscle Soreness Relief

Intense exercise causes microscopic tears in muscle fibers, triggering inflammation as your body repairs and rebuilds. While inflammation is a normal part of the recovery process, too much can hamper healing and cause lingering soreness.

Here’s where the anti-inflammatory properties of Delta-8-THC could come in handy. The latest research shows that cannabinoids like D8 can limit excessive immune responses, reducing exercise-induced inflammation.

Many athletes use Delta8 after workouts to relax, reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, and promote better overnight recovery. The relaxing effects help you rest deeply so you can wake up reenergized and ready to conquer your next workout.

Mood and Motivation

Consistent training requires dedication even when you’re not feeling your best. Luckily, the feel-good effects of Delta-8-THC may provide a much-needed boost to your mindset before hitting the gym or trail.

By stimulating the release of dopamine and endorphins, D8 delivers an uplifted mood and heightened workout motivation. Pre-workout delta-8 can get you feeling pumped and positive for your fitness session ahead. This mood enhancement from Δ8 can help you consistently follow through on your workout routine.

The relaxing effects of Delta8 post-exercise are also great for relieving stress. This allows you to maintain a positive mindset around your training over the long term.

How to Use for Fitness Goals

movement athletic

If you decide to incorporate Delta-8 into your fitness routine, tailor your approach based on whether you want to use it pre-workout or post-workout. We can’t give you a delta-8 workout routine, but we can give you tips on how to use it

Pre-workout supplement

When using before exercise, consider these tips:

  • Choose quicker delivery methods for faster effects – inhalables like vape cartridges, fast-acting edibles, or sublingual tinctures work best
  • Time it right – Delta-8 kicks in within minutes if inhaled or up to 1-2 hours for ingestibles, so plan accordingly
  • Start low – Try 3-5 mg at first to assess effects, then increase your pre-workout dose gradually as needed
  • Avoid over-intoxication – Large doses can impair coordination and cognition during exercise
  • Hydrate well – Combat dry mouth and prevent dehydration during your workout
  • Have a plan – Don’t drive or use heavy machinery when under the influence of Delta-8

Post-workout recovery

If using d8 for recovery, consider these tips:

  • Use longer-acting methods like edibles, capsules, or tinctures to maintain effects
  • Dose after exercise – Take D8 within 30-60 minutes post-workout for maximum relief
  • Take it slow – Start with 10-15mg delta-8 dosage until you find your ideal dose for recovery
  • Avoid mixing with alcohol or other substances that increase drowsiness
  • Refuel – Be sure to replenish protein, fluids, electrolytes and nutrients after your workout
  • Rest up – Let Delta 8 ease your body into deep, restorative sleep to conclude your workout day

No matter how you choose to time your dosage, tailoring your intake methods and amounts is key for optimizing results.

Safety and Dosage Guidelines

fit woman in kitchen rolling Delta-8

While Delta-8 shows promise for exercise, responsible use practices are a must. Keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Start low, go slow – Increase your dosage gradually over time to find your minimal effective amount.
  • Avoid over-intoxication – Higher doses can impair motor function and coordination.
  • Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water before, during, and after workouts. D8 can cause dry mouth.
  • Use caution with equipment – Avoid heavy weight training, intense cardio, or motor vehicles when first trying D8.
  • Check local laws – While Δ8 from hemp is federally legal, some states restrict it.
  • Talk to your doctor – Discuss Delta 8 use with your healthcare provider, especially if you have any medical conditions.

For most people, taking 2-10mg of Delta-8-THC before exercising is enough and considered safe and effective. Always start on the lower end before increasing your dosage as needed.

Final thoughts

Early anecdotal reports indicate strategic use of delta 8 THC may provide certain benefits for workout and fitness enthusiasts like reduced pain and inflammation, improved motivation and faster building muscle recovery. However, individual experiences vary widely.

While a promising natural fitness supplements, more controlled studies on delta 8 THC’s impacts on exercise performance and safety are still needed. Those who experiment with workout use should approach cautiously, following all laws and starting with ultra low doses under medical guidance. With responsible use, building muscle with delta-8 offers intriguing potential as a workout-enhancing cannabinoid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Delta-8 THC is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that naturally occurs in low concentrations in cannabis. It differs from the closely related delta 9 THC in its chemical structure and milder, less impairing effects. More information about Delta 8 vs Delta 9 >

While research is limited, some evidence suggests delta 8 THC may help increase energy, motivation, focus and post-workout muscle recovery when used responsibly. It is not a performance enhancer but may provide wellness benefits.

Use very low microdoses (1-5mg) 30 minutes pre-workout for light effects. Higher doses (under 10mg) work better post-workout for relaxation and recovery. Avoid inhalation methods after exercising. Start slow and monitor effects closely.

Delta 8’s legality depends on state laws, as it remains federally unscheduled. While considered non-toxic, research on athletic safety is limited. Avoid use before intense cardiovascular exercise, and consult a doctor about any concerns.

At higher doses, delta 8 THC may cause impaired coordination, altered perception, anxiety and increased heart rate – especially dangerous during exercise. Dry mouth and red eyes may also occur. Delta 8 THC has few side effects when used cautiously in small doses.

Disclaimer

The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. FDA has not evaluated statements contained within the blog. Information on this website or in any materials or communications from Inheal is for educational/informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions, correct dosage or for guidance about a specific medical condition.

by Chris Dorcey

A connoisseur of cannabis creativity and true contemplation with more than 20 years of experience, Chris extracts deep thoughts from getting lightly baked and shares his wandering mind. He blends cuisine and cannabis culture into nutritious, delicious recipes and insights for other hemp lovers.

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