As someone who sneaks out of the office mid-day to workout, I've been one to experiment with pre-workout supplements. I love how alert and intense they make me feel, but I immediately crash afterward. Creatine, for instance, which is popular among bodybuilders, gives me the infamous “creatine shits,” not to mention “bacne” flare ups. Eventually, I decided to quit my pre-workout regimen, since I’d end up returning to the office, only to stare blankly at my desktop for two hours doing absolutely zero work. Instead, I've resorted to chugging a full cup of coffee before pumping iron. But still, I need something more if I’m going to start to see some real improvement.
That’s why I was more than willing to give mood33 a try when they offered me some samples. Launched less than a year ago, mood33 creates cannabis-infused sparkling tonic. They have three different types: Passion, Joy, and Calm. The first two, they suggest, could supposedly be used in lieu of traditional pre-workout supplements.
“We wanted to create a better, healthier, smoke-free cannabis experiences via beverages that are more in the vein of better-for-you, functional beverages like kombucha, green tea, and herbal tonics,” said Michael Christopher, co-founder of mood33. “We had hopes of normalizing cannabis and bringing the plant into the homes of regular people — the stressed-out soccer mom, the overworked professional, the injured athlete, the grandmother with lung issues, the uncle with PTSD, and so on.”
I’ve already been on a kick of trying various CBD products, (oils, eye creams, chapsticks, suppositories, and so on) which, to be completely honest, seem to do very little, if anything at all. But I was excited to see that while both Passion and Calm contained small doses of CBD (2.5 milligrams and 5 milligrams respectively), all three tonics also contain 10 milligrams of THC per bottle.
The tonics are also full of various fruit extracts, which differ depending on the the specific flavor, along with benzoate, potassium sorbate, and citric acid. I was surprised the usual energy-boosting stimulants like taurine, ginseng, and vitamin B-12 were absent.
I tried Passion first, chugging the bottle about 20 minutes before my workout, like I would with creatine or any other pre-workout drink. Within 10 minutes I felt the effect. It felt like a traditional pre-workout drink, in that my limbs got a little tingly (in a good way) and I felt warm.
I do a traditional four-day workout split, and that day was "chest and triceps." I was able to get a full, solid hour in no problem. Sometimes, around 45 minutes, I end up calling it quits because my body begins to give out. But with Passion, it wasn’t hard to finish the full hour.
When I got home, I immediately stuffed my face, even more so than usual. I think the THC gave me a little bit of the munchies. And even after a tough workout and a big meal, I was able to get back to my computer and keep writing. No crash whatsoever. No poops. And while I can’t confirm that long-term use wouldn’t increase acne, I have no reason to think it would, since ingesting cannabis has never given me pimples.
One thing to note: After around two and a half hours, I noticed I was slightly high. Not enough that I couldn’t keep writing, but I was swaying a little at my desk, which is something I do when I am high. If you're a regular cannabis consumer, then you probably know already how 10 milligrams of THC will affect you, personally. If you’re a heavy cannabis-user, it’ll likely do very little psychoactively. But if you’re more sensitive to THC, I would recommend drinking only half the bottle, and saving the other half for the next day’s workout.
Two days later I tried Joy on "leg day." With just 10 mg of THC, and no CBD, It had a similar effect as Passion, just slightly reduced. I didn’t have the lightning tingle in my body, but I was able to finish a full hour of "leg day" no problem, which is usually a huge struggle since I have scrawny little chicken legs and no butt.
Again, roughly two and a half hours later I noticed I was doing my little sway at my desk, so this flavor might get you a little high, as well.
Sometimes, if I take a pre-workout too late in the afternoon, I won’t be able to sleep even though, physically, my body is exhausted and desperately needs the rest. Notably, both nights after I drank the cannabis-infused tonics, I had an easier time than usual falling asleep.
While I absolutely love the infused sparkling tonics, there are two downsides. For one, they’re pricey. Each unit is sold individually at $7.99 a pop. They do, however, offer a four-pack mix and match at certain retailers, where you can buy three and get one free. Still, that’s a ton of money for a pre-workout drink, especially when a dose of creatine or pre-work out costs less than a dollar.
The second issue is actually getting the beverage if you live outside of California. They don’t ship and aren’t looking to expand nationally at the moment.
“Many companies expand too quickly into new markets before truly owning their home markets,” Christopher said. “While we receive numerous requests to export our brand into new markets each week, we chose to build mood33 in California because it is a perfect place to build a cannabis beverage brand. Until every cannabis consumer from SoCal to the Bay Area knows of mood33, we will be focused on building our brand in our home regions first.”
Understandable, but at the same time, frustrating if you live out of state. That said, if you happen to live in California and want to splurge on something guaranteed to make you feel pumped before hitting the gym, go and grab yourself a mood33 tonic.