Marijuana Users (THC)

I see we have a CBD discussion here, but I know I’m not the only person who smokes the old fashioned! I’ve been a heavy daily user for over a decade and don’t really know cycling (or daily life) without it, but don’t know how it affects me as a cyclist. I know it’s supposed to help with inflammation, but wondering about other effects it may have, both positive and negative. Sometimes I’ll smoke after a ride, sometimes before a ride (although not a hard ride), no real method to the madness here.

I’ve gotten to a decent fitness level as is, and I don’t intend to stop smoking anytime soon at least until I have kids in a few more years, so just wondering to hear from others about their use or perhaps what they found when they stopped using. I know some of you higher level guys and gals probably have to get tested for certain events, so curious about that as well.

Of course not everyone will want to openly engage in this type of discussion, but I’m sure we all have “a friend” who we can reference in the topic. I hope with the way laws are changing, we can at least have this discussion here, but if not then feel free to delete.

TR discussed some of this in their podcast, it was episode 70, fast forward to 8:20 mark -


I’m in a legal state & have a fair selection of different thc:cbd levels I’m different forms from flower to edibles to shatter. I find a couple of puffs of 1:2 thc:cbd gets me through a tough trainer session & also through crappy winter fat bike rides. Also helps with longer zone 2 stuff outside. Pop in my earbuds & pedal away for a few hours in the woods. I dint think it enhances performance but seems to help longer, slower sessions go by a bit quicker & with more smiles!

When I was younger, I abused cannabis pretty bad but I have a much healthier relationship with it now I’m my late 40’s. Thankfully the reefer madness is beginning to die down. Hopefully we’ll see some good studies for various uses like we’re seeing recently with psychedelics.


My ‘guess’ would be that your usage will be partially determined by your cycling goals, if you decide to compete or race in sanctioned events in your country.

On a personal note, I’m less interested in how it benefits you as I am to how it ‘may’ effect me. From my memories as an art student at university, I don’t recall a time when marijuana heightened my senses. Finding myself in a crit after even a few puffs, I think I’d be endangering other racers.

Not a judgment, just based on my personal experience.

As far as I know THC is UCI-legal out of competition at the moment. Banned in competition for obvious reasons. But if and how it is tested with what sort of thresholds and how long this stuff is detectable… no idea

I smoke every day, from the time I get up in the morning until the time I go to bed. I have done this for the last 16 years, outside of a 12 month “break”. I learned early on that unmotivated stoners will continue to be unmotivated and lazy. Motivated stoners will continue being motivated and ambitious. Everyone thinks of the prototypical stoner dude that can’t hold a job etc etc. but we also have Elon Musk roasting a blunt toe to toe with Joe Rogan. I think (and this is n=1) that regular use of marijuana helps one filter out the things in life that aren’t that important to them. For some, this can be a problem. For others, it is definitely a benefit.

edit: Quick added thought about the filter idea. When I am not high, my brain is filled with clutter. Most of it unproductive. I have financial worries (maybe because I buy too much pot), esteem issues, jobs around homestead that never seem to end etc. When I get high, the stuff I can’t control fades from my mind, and I find myself thinking about bicycling, or why I love my wife. Things go from 30% positive/70% negative to 90% positive/10% negative. All this with no side effects! (The munchies can be overcome!!)


@PusherMan Getting high before a crit would not be a good idea, if you are not used to it. There are likely people out there however that function perfectly in that capacity and probably race amongst us every time. When I was doing triathlons, I would abstain until after the race as sort of a reward for finishing.


You’re probably right.

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I wonder what kind of impact smoking the ole reefer would have on your aerobic capacity. I figure it’s got to diminish it in some way. No science here, but just thinking about smoke in the lungs vs no smoke in the lungs.

That being said i’m not against it in any way, haha.

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I smoke a bit at night to help relax, recover, and sleep. I like to get a ratio with a little bit of CBD in my weed. I’ll take a hit off a one hitter before I go on a long ride with my friends. It helps reduce anxiety but I never get high enough where I’m out of it. Sometimes we will pass a joint around. We hammer each ride.


I’m a light user, used to be a heavy user. Ive found that weed generally lowers my blood pressure, which can be a problem since my blood pressure is naturally low anyway. Im ok if i only smoke a small amount, but if i tried to smoke a whole joint my BP would crash and I would be in danger of a blackout.

I think there’s a way to indulge in a really intentional way. I have changed the way I look at cannabis over my years of use, it’s more medicinal, and much less social than it used to be for me. I prefer converting it to a tincture or oil infusion. It’s a gentler way of experiencing cannabis once you learn the proper dosing.

I’ve quit for periods of time, I had less or the same amount of motivation - which I was surprised by. I time my usage with the sun, I rarely use it during the day as I prefer the contrast of clarity v. my head when I use it.

Like anything it’s a tool. For cycling, I think it’s a great recovery aid. I know some people who can’t ride without it, ugh - I usually don’t like mixing the two, but on occasion for an easy ride or to be social I’ll go for it.

I appreciate the honest discussion, I know of many high level cyclists who use it regularly. Not just mountain bikers. :grin:


Asthmatic patients smoke it to increase their airways. Michael Phelps, who we could argue is one of the greatest aerobic athletes ever is also a partaker. I think the aerobic capacity argument is one that isn’t grounded in science, but rather a grouping marijuana with cigarettes simply because they are both smoked. IMO it is like comparing drinking water to drinking liquor. The delivery method is the same, the health result varies drastically.


Riding my bike high is my favorite thing to do. Riding my bike sober is my second.

I have never raced while under the influence but when I’m on my bike, outside, 99% chance I am ripped. Rip and ride - circulate and percolate - hash and dash- I’ve got plenty . I do not group ride much if anyone is concerned. THC enhances your senses and I feel closer to my effort and with my bike. The type of THC you take will also have a big effect on your motivation, effort, overall feeling, connectedness and so on. Sativa is what you want for riding! As far as aerobic capacity I have not seen any differences in my sober months and regular months- I do pulmonary function tests and metabolic tests regularly. It also gets you to your runners high immediately so you don’t have to wait for an hour - I know that’s good and bad but I focus on the good. I am also a physiologist at a university if that adds any credit to what I have said. I am a regular stoner and have been for about 5 years now. If anything it takes your mind off of what is and is not important. A mental a break from the bike (and everything else) during an afternoon/evening smoke session is just as important as physical rest.

Seconding everything said by the two-wheeled stoners above.

When you are high and slow, it’s tough. When you are high and fit… Wow, what a feeling. That goes for running too.


From a fellow smoker;

This seems pretty irresponsible to me. I wouldn’t ride stoned for the same reasons i wouldn’t drive a car stoned. I am well aware that being stoned is not the same as being drunk or otherwise inebriated, but still, come on…

If you have been a heavy user for a long time you might never run into problems. For anyone else, please do not follow this example. Its not just your own safety you are risking, its the safety of other road/trail users.


I disagree with the word irresponsible; I am not risking anyone’s safety. But yes do not do this if you are not a smoker or are new. To clarify, I ride on a slightly used trail and ride a road transformed MTB. I am not racing or even riding hard just enjoying the bike and being outside. Not all THC zones you out and I would never ride with a strain that does. I ride with sativa’s that keeps you concentrated and in touch. Riding on the trainer high can be rewarding by having more of an internal feeling as well but it is “fun” per se.

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I confess, love a good joint after a hard race. Usually have one and watch the higher categories go at it.

Probably not the best for my lungs, but I’ve cut back so much already


I get this and never drive stoned or after drinking. I feel the right dose and strain can enhance a ride. I live in a big cycling community and I’m amazed at how many groups partake before a ride (this does not validate anything).

I’m definitely not for taking huge bong rips or a joint to the dome but a small hit can really relax the nerves.


If I smoke before an MTB ride I am way more fluid and feel like I can just move so much more freely. If I don’t smoke I tend to tense up and get nervous a lot and just don’t have that fun flow


I gave up smoking a long time ago and assumed I was doing my lung capacity a favor - is this not the case? Now, I prefer to enjoy THC as an edible to aid with recovery and sleep.

Doesn’t smoking (cannabis, tobacco, or anything else) impact your top end?


I dunno but the above just sounds like an updated version of “I drive better when I have had a few drinks”.

How can you accurately evaluate whether you are riding better when you are impaired? You may think you are, but are you in actuality? There is no way for you to accurately quantify that.

If you smoke (or ingest a gummie or whatever), I don’t think it is responsible to be out on your bike, especially since your actions can impact others.