At the age of 26, Jannessa Lea was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a connective tissue disease that affects the body’s collagen levels. EDS is also known to cause intense joint and muscle pain and muscular fatigue.
Before being diagnosed with EDS however, Lea was misdiagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disorder. She was prescribed a cocktail of medication that eventually included 150mg of oxycodone and 90mg of morphine daily.
She was also told to do physical therapy to help her build muscle (vital for supporting weakened joints), but the pills she was on were making her so tired that Lea was flat out too tired to exercise.
This is when she tried medical cannabis.
Medical Cannabis: The Inspiration Behind Weed-Friendly Gym “Break the Stigma Fitness”
When she began using marijuana, Lea had no idea how much her life would change.
She found weed helped her focus. It also gave her energy. And this focus and energy combined with the pain-relieving properties of pot helped her get her exercise on. Lea eventually lost 110 pounds.
Her doctors had told her she would rely on prescription medication for the rest of her life. Her doctors were wrong. Lea stopped using the prescription opioids when she started using medical marijuana.
The transformation Lea experienced inspired her to open Break the Stigma Fitness, a 420-friendly gym in Denver, Colorado. She created Break the Stigma Fitness “to provide a safe space for individuals to learn about and partake in cannabis therapy exercise.”
Yoga classes, personal training, and HIT classes combined with cannabis are offered by invite only. Those interested in these cannabis-friendly fitness classes can request an invite from Break the Stigma Fitness.
While cannabis isn’t provided, those who participate are encouraged to bring their own. There are however, weed products donated by sponsors that are then gifted to members.
420-Friendly Athletes Smashing Weights AND Stoner Stereotypes
For those who still believe the hype and buy into the lazy stoner stereotypes, Break the Stigma Fitness is smashing the stigma. The idea that stoners are lazy and don’t exercise went out the window when Michael Phelps was busted taking bong rips.
People who smoke weed do exercise. And many of them are amazing athletes.
Take the 420 Games, “established to show that cannabis users are NOT lazy, unmotivated, or “stoners” and to destigmatize the millions who use cannabis in a safe and healthy way.”
420 Games has held events in pot-friendly places like Denver, Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Events include triathlons, mountain bike races, obstacle courses, golf tournaments, and half marathons. Every participant gets a bib with the number 420 on it.
While the limited number of studies that have been done on cannabis and exercise say the two don’t mix, the athletes who support pot will all tell you otherwise.
Whether its yoga, weight lifting, running, snowboarding, or puffing for par in a golf game with friends, those who do use cannabis when getting their fitness on agree that it most definitely enhances their performance rather than negatively affect it.
Jannessa Lea is one of them. And with Break the Stigma Fitness, she hopes to help others experience the same.