Are stoners lazy? Not according to a recent University of Colorado Boulder study that questions the “lazy stoner” stereotype. Overseen by Angela Bryan, a professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, as well as the Institute for Cognitive Science, the study looked at a possible link between cannabis use and exercise behaviors.
“If we think about the typical ways you think of cannabis, it’s making you more relaxed and maybe not as motivated to get out of the house, and as an exercise researcher, that’s concerning,” says Bryan. “On the other hand, there’s some really good longitudinal data that shows that long-term cannabis users have lower weight, lower risk of diabetes, better waist-to-hip ratio, and better insulin function. It’s kind of a scientific quandary, so we thought we should do investigations to see whether there really is a problem that might be happening, or if cannabis could even be a benefit to physical activity.”
Of the 600 adult marijuana users surveyed in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, 82 percent reported using cannabis within one hour before or up to four hours after exercising; 67 percent used cannabis both before and after exercise. Of that 82 percent, 70 percent said cannabis made exercise more enjoyable, 78 percent said it helped with recovery after exercising, and 52 percent said it increased their motivation to exercise.
And not only were the cannabis users consuming cannabis in conjunction with healthy exercise behaviors, but they were exceeding the recommended amount of physical activity in comparison to those counterparts who did not consume.
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While few scientific studies have examined the effects of cannabis use on exercise, there was already a substantial amount of “anecdotal data” available, Bryan notes. “We know, just anecdotally, that some athletes say that they