Disclaimer: While marijuana use may have some potential benefits for certain medical conditions, it is not recommended for youth to smoke weed due to its potential negative effects on brain development, respiratory health, and mental well-being.

It is strongly recommended that individuals consult with their healthcare professionals and seek guidance from credible sources before making any decisions regarding their health and well-being.

The written content below is based on the opinion of the author and does not reflect elitefts.com. 

The Devil's Lettuce

Powerlifting and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) go together like peanut butter and jelly. Let’s be honest, high-level sports, in general, are rampant with PED usage.

The drug that has brought me the most success during my powerlifting journey, is not Tren, Dbol, Anadrol, or any of the usual suspects, it’s the devil’s lettuce. Marijuana is the most beneficial PED I have ever used.

People assume that when we use the term PED we are referring to anabolic and androgenic steroids (AAS), but that’s far from the reality of the situation. A drug can be defined as “a medicine or any other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.” In essence, then a PED is anything that we consume that benefits our performance. Meaning, creatine is a PED, as is sodium, caffeine, and whey protein powder.

Some PEDs are legal, and some are not. Some are legal in some places and not in others. So it can be a tricky road to navigate. Whether you’re banging a gram of test, or slamming pre-workout like it’s your job, you’re using PEDs in some capacity.

Why Weed is My Favorite Performance Enhancer

I, like many other lifters, got started with my weight training journey because I was a little guy who needed to “bulk up” and gain weight for sports. By the time I reached the end of my high school career, it was very clear that strength, not athletic prowess, was my forte. But to maximize my strength, I was going to need to gain a lot more weight, and it wasn’t going to be easy.

For years I force-fed myself to the point of nausea to get myself to 220-230 pounds of body weight. I had to eat junk food to meet the calorie demands, which was something I never wanted to do, but it was the only way for me to stay ahead of my metabolism. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered the best appetite enhancer I’ve ever come across…

When I started smoking marijuana again in my 30s (I was a fan in high school, but for all the wrong reasons) all my eating troubles disappeared.

 I have a demanding career outside of the gym, so I can’t walk around stoned all the time. Instead, I smoke in the evening, after my work is done. I focus on getting the majority of my calories in during this window of time between finishing work and bed. It doesn’t take much effort; the appetite increase is so pronounced that I can eat clean food nearly endlessly. Bedtime is the only thing that stops me from shoveling down even more healthy food.

I still eat a good amount of food throughout the day. I have at least four meals before marijuana comes into the equation. The total calorie intake across those four meals, however, is about the same as the last two meals of the day combined. This is also beneficial because I train in the evenings after work, so I get the bulk of my calories around my training sessions when they are most vital.

Other Benefits of Marijuana

Outside of stimulating appetite, marijuana has also shown promise as an anti-inflammatory. Since I began smoking before bed, I’ve noticed a decrease in systemic inflammation and the frequency of injuries I’ve sustained. In addition to this, marijuana allows me to eat more quality food, which decreases the need for junk food. This lowers gastric inflammation and thus systemic inflammation even further. It truly is a win-win situation. This has worked to such an extent that I rarely, if ever, use NSAIDs now, which is a huge win for my kidneys and my overall health.

Last but not least, arguably the biggest benefit for many will be the effect weed has on sleep. After smoking a good, strong indica strain of marijuana before bed, my sleep is fantastic. I relax, my stress levels from my demanding job plummet, and I fall asleep extremely fast. I also stay asleep longer (edible marijuana is even better than smoking in these cases as the effects last much longer) with less frequent bathroom breaks or other sleep interruptions.

In recent years, experts in the sports performance field have come to understand just how important sleep is when it comes to optimizing performance. Sleep is the main factor when it comes to recovering from strenuous workouts. Your body does all kinds of amazing things when you’re sleeping, such as repairing broken-down muscle tissue and optimizing hormone levels. Then there’s its effect on mental clarity and focus. Marijuana’s effects on sleep cannot be stressed enough, as they are truly remarkable.


Hopefully, this article has helped to open your eyes as to why I refer to marijuana as a performance enhancing drug. I’m not advocating getting high and joyriding around or going to work blown out. There is a potential benefit to marijuana use when you get home at night or are relaxing on your day off and trying to optimize your recovery.

As always, consult your physician before doing any drugs, even a multivitamin. I’m not a doctor, I’m just a guy who likes to smoke dope and perform better.

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Zane Geeting is a competitive powerlifter with over 20 years of experience. He has achieved both raw and equipped elite totals across three weight classes. Zane also coaches several elite lifters from across the US and Canada.