Fitness Pro Hana DeVore – An Active Life with Cannabis
Hello Alchemy fans! My name is Hana DeVore, and I’m a Professional Bikini Competitor in the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding). “Bikini” is the most feminine division of the IFBB, with less muscle than what you may think of when you picture your average bodybuilder – however, the pros are still fairly muscular and always very lean.
Since I’ve started to speak openly about my cannabis use, I’ve received a ton of questions. Although many bodybuilders use cannabis, you rarely hear about it – some of this has to do with limitations from their sponsors, and some of it can simply be attributed to the fact that we haven’t completely overcome the stigma that came out of the reefer madness era. But as I discovered its benefits, I decided that I just couldn’t keep quiet.
I thought that I would share with you the questions I am most commonly asked, and some advice for balancing an active life with your cannabis use. Spoiler alert – you can absolutely achieve your fitness goals while being a cannasseur – in fact, you may even find
that you’re more successful! So, let’s jump into it…
#1: What methods/strains work best?
I’ll break this into my various fitness activities:
Lifting: Contrary to what you might think, I’ve found that Indicas are a better match for me for intense, heavy, low-rep lifting. Just 2 hits from a vape pen is perfect. (See question #3 for the specific benefits during a lift). Some people prefer Sativas, but through trial and error, I discovered that Indica is best for me.
Cardio: Cannabis is actually a temporary (1-2 hour) bronchodilator, increasing lung capacity and airflow. I find that I can go for a while before tiring out. Don’t just take my word for it; I suggest doing research on the long-distance runners who speak about their cannabis use. They say that it puts them into a flow state in which they can just cruise for miles and miles.
Yoga: Yoga and cannabis are a match made in heaven. I either use an edible micro dose (about 2-3mg), or the Alchemy “Awake” cartridge (for a power/flow class) or the “Relax” cartridge (for gentle evening classes).
#2: Does it hinder muscle growth?
Absolutely not, and here’s why: muscles don’t grow in the gym. You tear them down in the gym, then they grow when you eat and sleep. So that means that my nutrition and sleep have to be on point. What helps you sleep? Cannabis! My sleep has improved and I’m finally getting the 8 hours that my coach tells me to get. My current favorites: Alchemy’s “Relax” cartridge, the My Little Pony strain, 1:1 CBD/THC edibles, and 1:1 CBDa/THCa tinctures.
#3: What benefits do you feel during/after your workout?
When I lift weights, I feel a much stronger mind-muscle connection, which is the intense focus that is needed to activate the specific muscle you’re working on. If I’m training my lats, I don’t want my shoulders to step in and do the lifting. I’ve found that cannabis helps me to zero in on the exact muscle and get it to do the work.
Also, I find that this improved focus allows me to stay in the zone, get lost in whatever music I’m listening to, and not be distracted by other people in the gym.
After my workout, cannabis, of course, helps with pain relief, relaxation and sleep. There is nothing better than a joint and a foam roller at the end of the day!
#4: How do you deal with the munchies when you’re dieting?
First off, I try to only use strains and edibles that don’t induce the munchies. These would include anything that’s mostly CBD, Durban, Blue Dream, and again, the Relax cartridge from Alchemy. I would recommend trying some different things and seeing what works for you.
However, munchies are still a concern! I will say, from all of the dieting that I’ve done, my self-control has definitely improved. But I do still have my days where I eat a new edible that I haven’t had before and, UH OH – munchies. Because this does happen from time to time, I have a couple of methods.
- Sip peppermint tea
- Keep tasty but low-calorie snacks in your house. These would include baby carrots and hummus,
rice cakes, laughing cow wedges, powdered peanut butter (way fewer calories than regular; you mix it with water), and low cal ice creams like Halo Top and Enlightened.
- Be mindful, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself, “Am I REALLY hungry?”
#5: Do edibles have a lot of calories and do you take that into consideration?
They can definitely be packed with calories, depending on the edible. I track all of my food using an app called MyFitnessPal, which tells me how many calories I’ve eaten vs. my goal for the day. Oftentimes, edibles aren’t already listed in the app, but you can add your own food items or just use non-medicated versions to track your calories.
For example, if I eat 1 ounce of a medicated brownie, I can just search for a generic brownie in the app and add 1 ounce to my food intake for the day. I either weigh my food using a food scale, or just eyeball it (which gets easier the more you do it). When I’m getting ready for a competition, everything is weighed down to the exact gram/ounce.
I hope that helped some of you to understand how cannabis and fitness can work together harmoniously. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me on social media:
Facebook: Hana DeVore IFBB Bikini Pro