Get Lifted: 3 Inspiring Entrepreneurs Combining Cannabis and Fitness

As cannabis use becomes less stigmatized and more legal, there’s been a shift in the way people have been using it. For some, it’s the perfect time to show what many of us have known for a while — Using cannabis while engaging in exercise or other fitness activities can be beneficial! Cannabis can help increase stamina and endurance and can help alleviate stress or pain that prevents you from giving it your all.

Also, exercise can be one way to lengthen your cannabis high. A study from the University of Sydney showed that regular cannabis users got a little high “boost” while exercising as stored THC is released back into the bloodstream while working out. While combining exercise and cannabis may not be the right fit for everyone, it’s definitely something worth exploring if you’re already a fan of cannabis and getting your sweat on.

There are already a bunch of folks who have hopped on this fitness trend, offering classes, retreats, workshops, races, and more that combine fitness and cannabis. From yoga to running to golf, check out a few of the trailblazers who are changing the game when it comes to this trend.

Stacey Mulvey, Founder of Marijuasana

Seven years ago, Stacey Mulvey decided to get serious with the mind/body practices that she had been enjoying for years before. At the time, she was also a regular cannabis user. Interestingly enough, while Mulvey currently teaches cannabis infused yoga workshops across the country, she did, at one point, purposefully abstained for a while. “Then about 6 years ago I went through a period of THC abstinence,” Mulvey explains. “During that time I started a Pilates teacher training program and taught yoga and Pilates on the side.”

She started consuming cannabis again toward the end of her teacher-training program and noticed some rather profound shifts in her practice. “I connected the sudden advancements I was making to my renewal of cannabis consumption,” Mulvey explains.

Mulvey, who offers yoga and cannabis retreats across the country (upcoming ones are in Boston and DC), says that her favorite aspect of combining two of her favorite things is proprioception” — essentially body awareness and how our bodies and limbs are positioned in a given space. And, when it comes to her yoga students, she says that for many, it’s the cannabis that draws them to the studio for the first time. “I mostly get newbies for yoga and their reaction is very positive. Most of them have never tried yoga before but were persuaded to come try it because of the cannabis use.”

Jim McAlpine, Founder of 420 Games

An athlete his entire life, and an avid consumer of cannabis, it’s not that surprising to find out that Jim McAlpine ended up creating the 420 Games, a series of athletic events advocating healthy living while also de-stigmatizing cannabis. McAlpine found his way to combining athleticism and cannabis during his college years when he would partake before going to the gym or mountain biking. He found he was more engaged and felt less pain, so it helped keep him exercising harder and longer.  

In addition to allowing participants to get their run/walk/skate/bike on for 4.20 miles, McAlpine thinks his events not only help fellow athletic cannabis users connect, but they also aid in reducing the stigma surrounding cannabis. “The 420 Games is a place for people to come and interact with other like minded athletes,” he says. “For those that ‘get it’ already it’s a great place to meet a lot of other athletes that use cannabis as a supplement for focus or recovery. I think it is also a great tool to teach those who don’t yet understand cannabis is not a bad drug and that it has been lied about for decades. Using athletics speaks a lot louder than words so I think that for the many people that don’t use cannabis it gives them a new way to look at it and hopefully allows them to open their mind on the subject a bit.”

McAlpine does stress that he also makes sure that the first thing he mentions is that cannabis is different for everyone, and that not everyone may love the sensation of working out while high. And, while not for everyone, McAlpine wants everyone to know that cannabis does have a place within the athletic world. In fact, there are two upcoming 420 Games coming up — one in Denver and one in San Francisco — if you’re interested in checking it out.

In addition to the leaders above, you can often find enthusiasts talking about combining cannabis and fitness at various cannabis events or festivals. In fact, if you’re in the area, the upcoming Emerald Exchange in Malibu, CA will have an entire wellness village you can check out!

Matt Enos, Founder of Fore Twenty Sports

Combining low key sports with Cannabis, Oregon-based Fore Twenty Sports is a business to business networking event that helps de-stigmatize the lazy stoner stereotype with their super fun events like CannaBowl (cannabis bowling tournament) and the recent Fore Twenty Golf Tournament. For founder and entrepreneur Matt Enos, bringing cannabis onto the golf course felt like a natural fit.

“Golf tournaments have been around for years,” Enos tell us. “Golf cultivates a level of business to business interaction and creates opportunities to develop relationships, especially within a burgeoning sector like the cannabis industry. In other industries, golf tournaments are second nature for sales and business development, as well as marketing and brand development, while adding an element of competition.”

In addition to stoned bowling and golf, Enos hopes to bring more sports into the Fore Twenty Sports fold, including disc golf, kickball and possibly even paintball.

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Author: Avital Norma Nathman

Avital Norman Nathman is a freelance writer and editor who writes about everything from parenting to pot and pop culture. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, VICE, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, and more. She writes a weekly cannabis advice column for Snoop Dogg's site, MerryJane, and a weekly Feminism 101 column for Mayim Bialik's site, Grok Nation. Find her tweeting at @TheMamafesto.

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