New research from the University of Colorado indicates that cannabis may increase the enjoyment of physical activity and help motivate users to exercise. A summary of the research was released recently and the full results of the study will be published soon by the medical journal Frontiers in Public Health.
The researchers wrote that the study of cannabis use in the context of health behaviors such as exercise engagement “is becoming increasingly relevant as cannabis legalization continues, a situation that has been associated with increased initiation of use among adults, and increased potency of available products in legalized states.”
To conduct the study, researchers enlisted 600 cannabis users to complete an online survey about the relationship between athletic activity and their cannabis use. More than eight out of 10 of the surey’s respondents, who were recruited from states where cannabis consumption is legal, said that pot can lead to a better exercise experience.
“Results indicated that the majority (81.7%) of participants endorsed using cannabis concurrently with exercise, and those who did tended to be younger and more likely to be male,” wrote the authors of the study.
“Furthermore, participants reported that cannabis use increased the amount of exercise in which they partook, and that it not only increased their enjoyment of the workout but improved their post-workout recovery,” they added.
Cannabis users reported that they engaged in more aerobic and anaerobic exercise and found the most benefit when they consumed immediately before or after working out.
“In addition, the majority of participants who endorsed using cannabis shortly before/after exercise reported that doing so enhances their enjoyment of and recovery from exercise, and approximately half reported that it increases their motivation to exercise,” the study reads.
The researchers note that physical activity is one of the most important behaviors for healthy living, but that many Americans do not get enough exercise.
“Common issues surrounding low exercise rates include inadequate enjoyment of and motivation to exercise, and poor recovery from exercise,” according to the authors of the study,” they wrote.
With data that now shows cannabis can lead to more physical activity, perhaps the dated stereotype that pot users are lazy and unmotivated can finally be put to rest. The authors of the study called for more research on the issue.
“This study represents an important step in clarifying cannabis use with exercise among adult users in states with legal cannabis markets, and provides guidance for future research directions,” the summary concludes.
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