Is It Safe to Smoke Weed Before Swimming?

Is It Safe to Smoke Weed Before Swimming?

Published on 8/25/22

We all know the adage, "don't eat before you swim." Now that summer is here, and we're all heading for the nearest body of water to cool off and enjoy some sun, we're asking ourselves, "can you smoke weed before you swim?" Moreso, "Does smoking weed make you less athletic?" Pardon the pun, but let's dive into weed and swimming. 

Common Facts and Myths About Eating and Swimming

This article is mainly prompted by age-old myths surrounding swimming and eating. We're here to dismantle those myths. The biggest myth: wait 30 minutes until after you've eaten to swim. This has been completely debunked. The original argument was that digestion diverts blood flow from your muscles to your stomach and that this could cause cramps or fatigue so bad while swimming that you could drown. This has been proven to be false in modern studies and academic observation. It is true, however, that swimming right after you've eaten may result in mild cramps or easier fatigue and discomfort. That being said, like most concerns surrounding smoking weed and then swimming, there is little to fear outside of mild discomfort. 

Is It Safe to Smoke Weed and Swim?

The short answer to whether it's safe to smoke and swim is yes. Like eating before you swim, there are no known "threats" to using cannabis before you swim. Unless you're macrodosing and getting so high that you can't function properly, getting into the water while high shouldn't cause you any physical harm. Of course, this comes down to your comfort level. If you don't feel comfortable getting into a lap pool while high, then don't do it. Trust yourself, but know there's no known relationship between smoking, swimming, and bodily harm.

Of course, if you're smoking the wrong type of cannabis, your effectiveness in the pool could be dramatically hindered. Indica-dominant strains that provide a full-body high and relaxing effects could alter your motivation and decrease your reaction time significantly. If this is the case, we highly recommend not swimming (especially in an open body of water). However, a Sativa-dominant strain that provides mental clarity and energy might even help boost certain aspects of your performance while swimming.

Smoking Weed and Working Out - Does It Help or Hinder?

It's a common misconception that people who smoke weed are lazy, unmotivated, or unathletic. This is often far from the truth - there are countless examples of motivated individuals that use cannabis and have a healthy, productive life. There are also plenty of examples of athletes who use cannabis specifically to help their performance. Many athletes report that cannabis consumption helps in two main ways: focus, recovery, and endurance.


The right cannabis strains will provide mental clarity and focus. Your mind quiets down, and the task at hand becomes interesting and engaging, including the task of working out and swimming laps in the pool. Since swimming laps can become monotonous, and a full workout can take a long time to complete, using cannabis before a workout might give you the boost of energy and focus you need to make it more enjoyable and go by quicker.


There are a lot of medical benefits attributed to cannabis, with some of the most widely accepted being pain management and muscle relaxant. Since one of the side effects of working out is muscle pain, using cannabis during and after swimming and other workouts can help you recover quicker and get back to it quicker.


Tangential to focus and recovery is endurance. When you're swimming laps in the pool, it's easy for your mind to wander, your focus to shift to the difficulty of each stroke, and boredom to set in. The right cannabis strain allows you to hone in on the act of swimming and, at the same time, alleviate any immediate discomfort or soreness. The result is that, while cannabis might not improve your lap time, some weed swimming pool time might allow you to push through more laps than you would otherwise. 

Competitive Swimming & Cannabis 


All this being said, it's important to note that smoking marijuana is very different from other forms of consumption, like tinctures, drinks, and edibles, that are far less harmful to your lungs and cardiovascular system. Smoking of any kind is hard on your lungs - so if you're an athlete, smoking marijuana is likely not your best option. But the right edible, drink, or concentrate may give you the focus and pain relief you need to boost your athletic performance and recovery. At the end of the day, like everything else, cannabis affects each individual differently. Whether cannabis is right for you depends on your physiology, the type of cannabis you use, and how you consume it. It is also important to recognize that very few studies have been conducted looking at cannabis and working out. To provide sound-proof assurance to these claims, cannabis needs more scientific consideration.

It should also be noted that, in an organized competitive setting, specifically professional or collegiate level swimming and athletics, randomized or pre-competition drug tests that screen positive for cannabis could result in disqualification and massive penalties. It is not advised to use cannabis if you are in a league or setting that may result in a drug test. The best example is the 23-time Olympic Medalist Michael Phelps. Does Michael Phelps smoke weed? Yes. And even though he never tested positive for THC in his system, he was still suspended from competition when a picture of him with a pipe surfaced. Unfortunately, because cannabis is still federally illegal, the consequences of getting caught smoking as a professional or collegiate athlete can be extreme. 

Do your research, make sure you are using the right strains, and make sure you aren't in danger of being tested before you decide to smoke cannabis and swim. And if you decide to try smoking weed and swimming, let us know how it works for you!

Are you an athlete that uses weed? Let us know how you feel it helps or hinders your performance in the water and elsewhere. Comment below!

Where's Weed