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Can cannabis increase the amount you exercise?



Traditionally the perception around cannabis was that it would decrease a persons level of exercise
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A new study has found that adults who consumed cannabis exercised at the same rate, if not more, as those who didn’t.

According to the data, adults with a history of cannabis use report exercising at rates equal to or higher than those with no history of consumption, throwing into question long-held views that consumers are less active. 

Investigators from the University of Miami and the Brookings Institution assessed the relationship between cannabis consumption and exercise frequency in 12,000 people.

They identified a positive association between those who reported having used cannabis within the last 30 days and heightened physical activity

The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, found that the prevalence of current cannabis use among American adults is about 16 percent and may be associated with various forms of exercise and sport.

The results, say the authors, contradict commonly held perceptions that cannabis users are less likely to be active.

“Marijuana users are equal to or more likely to exercise than non-users,” they reported. 

“Results show that, particularly for fixed-effects models, marijuana use is not significantly related to exercise, counter to conventional wisdom that marijuana users are less likely to be active.

“Indeed, the only significant estimates suggest a positive relationship, even among heavier users during the past 30 days. These findings are at odds with much of the existing literature, which generally shows a negative relationship between marijuana use and exercise.”

It is hoped that the findings will help inform future debates around cannabis law and policies. 

Authors concluded, “As additional states legalise the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, perhaps its impact on exercise, one of the leading social determinants of health, is not necessarily a primary concern.”

Prior studies assessing marijuana use and exercise frequency have reported similar results, including in older populations

Observational data has similarly identified an association between cannabis use frequency and reduced BMI and lower rates of obesity.

Full text of the study, “The relationships between marijuana use and exercise among young and middle-aged adults,” appears in Preventive Medicine. 

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health.Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained.She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa.Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag