Cannabis and Bodybuilding

The ongoing debate as to whether smoking weed will help or hurt your bodybuilding goals remains a heated one, with arguments on both sides of the topic. Here are the most commonly discussed points:


-Negatively affects performance in the gym (reaction time, exercise capacity and endurance) for up to 36 hours after use.

-Disrupts protein synthesis (mTOR)

-Lowers testosterone (short term)

-Lowers growth hormone (short term)

-Raises cortisol (short term)

-May raise estrogen levels

-Increasing appetite can be problematic for clients on a prep trying to shred down, where consuming larger amounts of food may not be the goal.



-Can help stimulate the appetite for those with difficulty consuming enough calories.

-Can help with anxiety for clients that are prone to it. Remaining in a calm zen-like state is key for building muscle and burning fat.

-Can help with overtraining (relaxing the nervous system)

-Helps improve sleep and therefore recovery

-May help improve gastro-intestinal distress


Overall / Coach Notes

I don’t believe that Cannabis use will do anything much to help your bodybuilding progress and generally do not recommend it for clients. In some rare instances, it can be argued that it can be useful but this is on a case-by-case basis. Although the cons of Cannabis use are cited by some to be minimal and only short term, I’d argue that when you make your physique a priority to improve, it only makes sense to cut out any and all variables that are not actively supporting your goals in a helpful way.

More studies on Cannabis and how it affects performance, muscle building and fat loss will likely be done, however for now the research is somewhat limited and most of what’s been documented has been via animal studies.

High THC levels are best for appetite stimulation for the client looking to add size. (sativa)

High CBD levels are best for relaxation without overstimulating the appetite for clients looking to minimize fat gain. (indica)

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