Morgan English felt pulled by a stationary bike as he sat on the fire escape of his Portland State University apartment smoking weed.
So she went across the street to the gym. For the first time in her life, she said her exercise didn’t feel like punishment.
“It’s not “How many miles can I ride my bike?” How much resistance can you put in? Can I do this for an hour? ” I was just happy. Just moving my body, like I was doing it for myself…and really unlocked a whole new world. “
English then started smoking weed by sneaking in the car before exercise class. She wondered if anyone else had done the same.
As it turns out, yes.
“You have this feeling of, ‘I’m not alone, other people are doing this,'” English said.
English now owns and teaches classes stone + tonea fitness company that blends cannabis and fitness in pursuit of community and more enjoyable workouts.
The Los Angeles-based company is one of the companies betting big on the legal cannabis boom that brings fitness. San Francisco has a “cannabis gym” that encourages visitors to get in the mood and get lifted. The “Pelostoned” Facebook group has thousands of members who smoke cannabis and ride stationary bikes.
English, who founded Stoned+Toned with her husband in 2019, said, “This is a huge market and I think it’s going to change the fitness conversation again. This really needs to be done.
Researchers are also noticing this trend.
2021 study from the University of Miami and the Brookings Institution We tested the “lazy stoner” myth and found that cannabis had no significant or even positive effects on exercise.
Michael French, director of the Department of Health Care and Policy at the University of Miami Business School and author of the study, remembers telling some friends about the findings. Friends who are all marathon runners said they use cannabis to recover after long-distance training.
“So they kind of chuckled and said, ‘No surprises there,'” French said.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are looking into the same thing. Angela Bryan, a professor of psychology and neuroscience there, said her speculation that cannabis reduces motivation to exercise is stunned by the findings, which tell a more complex story.
“I’m not ready to make a conclusive recommendation to start using weed to increase physical activity, but I think it’s clear that it won’t do any harm,” Brian said.
Bryan says her study didn’t show any performance improvements. Instead, cannabis users report more pleasure after blending cannabis with aerobic exercise.
But it’s not yet known if people will turn to cannabis or exercise first, Brian said.
“I think it’s the former. People who live in places where cannabis is legal are people who exercise. So they decided to try it in conjunction with physical activity,” she said.
That effort to combine pleasure and exercise, she said, drives English’s work.
From yoga to Pilates to cycling, pre-recorded classes start with an introduction. It’s what the instructor smokes and why. English recommends eating on your exercise mat. When you’re already dressed and ready to go, Netflix makes it hard to be tempted.
The instructor then takes a sip of a selection of weed sold at the local pharmacy that is paired with each class and smokes throughout the warm-up. (In English, we leave it up to the participants to decide how they want to consume the cannabis, but advise against edibles due to the time lag.)
“We don’t need the whole joint,” said English. “It’s like, you’re going to be very surprised. You’ll get there in one or two hits. And also, along the way, you’ll be reminded, ‘How are you feeling?'” Check in yourself. how about high Want another hit? Grab that joint and grab the bong. Hit whatever is nearby again, find a child pose, and then come back. “
According to her, exercise is not mandatory.
“If you want to lie on your mat or go out for pizza, you can do that. None of us are going to judge you,” she said.
She has seven instructors, including herself, some of whom are new to the cannabis training space. English is planning a face-to-face workout.
Bree Deanine, who teaches high-intensity and spin classes at Stoned+Toned, says she never thought of combining cannabis and exercise. But cannabis can help motivate you to work out, she said.
“People say, ‘You’re totally insane. You don’t know how to smoke and ride your bike and do a hard cardio workout.’ pain and discomfort,” says Deanine.
Hilary Clark, taking an online class, learned about Stoned+Toned through Instagram. They smoked weed and attended regular exercise classes, but like Dineen, he never considered combining the two.
“When I used cannabis in my workouts, I had less inhibitions about trying to do something that seemed really difficult,” Clark said. But without cannabis, you might say, ‘That’s too hard for me to do.
That’s exactly the goal of English. It’s about removing hurdles to exercise and strengthening the mind-body connection.
“And part of it is cannabis, which releases blocks you have for yourself and eases anxiety,” said English. I really think it’s something that sticks with you.”