A big part of the American society does not get enough exercise, for many different reasons. With the increase in the use of cannabis in the USA, many researchers have wondered if the rise of cannabis use has an impact on the reasons why the population is not getting enough exercise. Specially since the stereotype image we have of marijuana users is that they lay on the couch eating junk food and are not very physically active.

For many years, this area of research was still unexplored and there wasn’t enough scientific literature on the relationship between cannabis and exercise. However, in the past few years some research has suggested that people that use cannabis tend to have a lower body mass indexes and higher risks for obesity for the people that don’t use it.

Is there a relationship between cannabis use and exercise behavior?

This new development in the American society has led to researchers to become curious about the correlation between cannabis and exercise. Recently, there was a research published in the Frontier in Public Health. This research was based on a survey given to 600 adult cannabis users that are living in states where the drug is legal, this includes the states of Colorado, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The survey provided to these focus group, included questions about cannabis use and exercise. Including questions about when people used the drug and if they had the sense if the use of it has any influence in their exercise motivation and recovery. According to this research, more than 80% of the respondents have said that they used cannabis within an hour of starting the exercise or within four hours after ending a workout. The most common finding is that people make use of cannabis after their workout instead of before their workout.

Many people that participated in the study have reported that the use of cannabis motivated them to work out and that it has also helped them to enjoy exercise more. It must be said that the use of cannabis before a workout brings along a certain level of risk, as cannabis can disrupt balance and motor function and elevate heart rate. However, when enjoying cannabis after a workout it can help with pain relief.

Use of Cannabis is still controversial

Research about the use of cannabis are still scarce and it must also be noted that experts are not yet fully informed about the health benefits to be experienced by the use of cannabis. It can be said that the use of cannabis is still controversial, especially since many researches is still a bit contradicting. Some researchers have shown that there are benefits linked to cannabis such as better mental health, pain relief and even higher sperm counts. But on the other hand, it is also often suggested that it comes with risks including cognitive and cardiovascular strain.