Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health trends today. Generally defined as abstaining from food and drink for a set number of hours, there are multiple ways that one can fast and still enjoy its health benefits.
Whether you choose to fast every day for at least 10 hours or more, fasting has been proven to improve health in many ways, including: autophagy (the body’s natural way of cleaning out damaged cells), promoting weight loss, improving cognitive function, reducing insulin resistance, fighting inflammation, improving heart health, and so much more. Fasting daily, or even during specific days in a week or month, is a practice that more people are doing.
In addition, it has been a growing trend for people to integrate cannabis into their healthy lifestyles. Individuals also use cannabis before or after a workout. A recent survey of 600 individuals in states where adult-use cannabis is legal showed that 81.7% of people recommended using marijuana with their workout. “The majority of participants who endorsed using cannabis shortly before/after exercise reported that doing so enhances their enjoyment of and recovery from exercise, and approximately half reported that it increases their motivation to exercise,” said the study’s authors.
Cannabis certainly complements a healthy lifestyle in several ways:
- Motivation for exercise
- Workout recovery
- Stress relief
- Fights inflammation
…and so much more. Having said that, will consuming cannabis break your fast?
Cannabis & Fasting
Depending on how you consume cannabis, the answer varies. The good news is that if you inhale or vaporize cannabis, then it won’t break your fast. Feel free to have a few puffs in the morning even during your fasted state prior to a workout. Cannabis does not contain any calories nor macronutrients, so smoking it will not result in an insulin response. On the other hand, it can still provide you with all the health benefits of the plant and even assist with fasting, autophagy, fat loss, and gut rest.
Cannabis oils will also break your fast. Most cannabis oils use coconut oil as a carrier oil, which has calories.
However, take note that cannabis-infused edibles and drinks will definitely break your fast. Edibles and drinks contain calories and various macronutrients that will stimulate an insulin response in your body and thus break the fast. This is why inhalation is the best way to consume marijuana if you are fasting.
Some individuals still continue to consume under 20-50 calories to gently break a fast, depending on how strict you are or the type of fast you are doing. There are many who are still able to fast effectively or stay in ketosis even while consuming under 50 calories when fasting. Cannabis-infused black coffee, tea, or coconut carrier oils are acceptable in small amounts while still providing you with the metabolic and weight loss benefits of fasting.
Take note, though, that some people experience an increased appetite when consuming THC in any form. So if you are one of those people who are prone to the munchies, you may be better off smoking high-CBD or CBD strains while fasting. In addition, some people may also experience mild stomach upset when consuming CBD coconut oils on an empty stomach. If you have a sensitive stomach, you may be better off inhaling cannabis instead of CBD oils.
Consuming CBD can actually be beneficial for people who practice intermittent fasting. A study found that CBD engages different receptors in the human body, as opposed to THC which stimulates the CB1 receptors which are responsible for appetite stimulation. It suggests that CBD can be beneficial for those who are trying to suppress their appetite while fasting
Cannabis Use Supports Fasting
People use cannabis because of the myriad of health benefits. One of these is to regulate and balance hormones to improve many important bodily processes including sleep and metabolism. As a result, you can experience more energy, burn calories, and sleep better just because of fasting alone. Of course, eating well and exercise will boost these health benefits.
For those who are looking to regulate hormones, cannabis can also support your fasting. The endocannabinoid system helps to regulate stress, fertility, immunity, memory, our moods, sleep, and many other functions. When consuming THC and CBD products, it helps to regulate some of the most important hormones in the body including cortisol, melatonin, and insulin. This is also the same reason why many women use cannabis products to correct any hormone imbalances.
It’s also good to know that cannabis can help support your weight loss goals. This is one of the most popular benefits of fasting, and a reason why many people practice it in the first place. The ability of cannabis to regulate insulin and help maintain a healthy body mass index might be the little push you need to shed a few unwanted pounds.
On top of that, studies show that cannabis helps promote autophagy. This, in turn, helps reduce neuron changes associated with age while increasing longevity.
Using the right cannabis products can complement your wellness routine, intermittent fasting included. With so many beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant, these can help supercharge your body with inflammation-fighting and immunity-boosting goodness.
If you are new to combining cannabis with fasting, remember to listen to your body. It will take any body some time to adjust to fasting so it’s always good to start slow: begin with 10 hour fasts, and gradually work your way up to your desired fasting plan.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.