By / March 7, 2024

Cannabis Users Often Walk More Than Non-Consumers, New Studies Indicate

Recent research suggests that individuals using cannabis tend to walk more frequently compared to non-smokers and e-cigarette users, debunking the stereotypical view of cannabis consumers as less active individuals.

The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports, also shows that cannabis consumers are not less likely to engage in basic exercises and strength training compared to non-smokers. Analysis of data from 2,591 adult participants of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health from 2016 to 2018 by researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas and Ohio University, reveals that cannabis users walk for recreational purposes more often than non-smokers, e-cigarette users, and individuals who use both e-cigarettes and cannabis.

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The Impact of Cannabis on Exercise Motivation

The study authors suggest that the increased inclination to walk among cannabis consumers may stem from its use by some adults as a way to enhance motivation for exercise and derive more pleasure from it.

They also noted that cannabis users are more often residents of large American cities, where laws more frequently permit the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. This is associated with more frequent use of public transport and walking.

Cannabis and Increased Pleasure from Exercise

Furthermore, a study published in December demonstrated that consuming cannabis before exercising could lead to greater enjoyment of physical activity and an enhanced “runner’s high”. Another study from July, which included 49 runners, showed that participants experienced fewer negative emotions, higher positive feelings, calmness, pleasure, relaxation, and more intense sensations of the “runner’s high” during runs under the influence of cannabis. Although runners moved about 31 seconds slower per mile under the influence of cannabis, researchers found this difference to be statistically insignificant.

Benefits of Cannabis Use for Physical Activity

Positive effects reported by runners align with the findings of a 2019 study, which indicated that individuals using cannabis to enhance their workout efficiency more frequently meet the recommended physical activity standards.

Older individuals consuming cannabis also engage in physical activity more often, confirming another study published in 2020. Similarly, in another stereotype-challenging study published in 2021, it was discovered that frequent cannabis users are actually more physically active compared to non-users.

Summary: Cannabis Users Walk More Frequently

These studies offer a new perspective on the relationship between cannabis consumption and physical activity, challenging long-held stereotypes. These findings underscore the need for further research on the impact of cannabis on health and behaviors related to physical activity, while also raising important questions about potential benefits of its use in the context of enhancing motivation and experiences related to exercise.

(Featured image by Chris Hardy via Unsplash)

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