“There is a stereotype that cannabis use leads people to be lazy and couch-locked and not physically active, but these data suggest that this is not the case,” writes Angela Bryan, senior author of the study, who is also a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Institute for Cognitive Science. The Result: Fitter, Healthier Cannabis Consumers Naturally, when people are more motivated to work out frequently because of their cannabis use, you get people who are healthier and fitter than their non-consuming counterparts.
A study from the University of Colorado Boulder analyzed it, and their findings were interesting. However, they did limit their study set to senior Americans since “adults over the age of 50 are the fastest growing population of cannabis users in the US and those 65 years and older exhibiting the greatest increase in cannabis use,” says the researchers.
“Body mass index (BMI) of cannabis users was significantly lower than non-users,” says the study. “These preliminary data suggest that current cannabis use status is not associated with a negative impact on fitness and efforts to increase exercise in sedentary older adults.”
In other words, they found that cannabis has no negative impact on exercise but also that regular cannabis users were consistently exceeding their non-using peers when it came to performance.
“Interestingly, numerous studies have found that overweight/obesity rates are significantly lower among cannabis users compared to nonusers,” says the study. “For example, Hayatbakhsh et. Al found that young adults who reported using cannabis daily were approximately one-third as likely to be overweight/obese at 21 years of age compared with young adults who had never used cannabis.”
“Research on the association between cannabis and exercise engagement, although limited, is suggestive of a positive association. A survey of adults 20-59 years of age found that current cannabis users were significantly more likely to meet minimum physical activity recommendations than past users and nonusers,” write the researchers.
While the study authors were unable to provide any explanation as to the reasons behind why cannabis users are fitter than those that don’t partake, they hypothesize that, “As cannabis users report that cannabis use increases their enjoyment of and recovery from exercise, the users in our sample may have found their prescribed exercise program, as well as exercise outside of it, more enjoyable and manageable.” Bottom Line People who toke up may tell you that exercising while high makes it much more enjoyable, but beneath the surface there are likely many chemical interactions at work. For example, people say that running gives you a “runner’s high”, which is described as that euphoric feeling that we enjoy when people reach a certain level during their workout. This is because we release chemicals called endorphins.
A 2003 study discovered that the exercise-related euphoria we feel may actually be originating from the endocannabinoid system, since researchers found higher levels of anandamide in the blood of participants who ran during lab experiments. This is why cannabis might make it easier for us to get ahead on those awesome feelings.
So why not incorporate more cannabis into your fitness routine? Go ahead, it will do good for your body.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.
The Fresh Toast is a daily lifestyle platform with a side of cannabis. For more information, visit www.thefreshtoast.com.