80% of regular cannabis users consume cannabis shortly before or after their workouts, new study shows — and most find it brings numerous benefits.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Boulder, examined the habits of 600 pot users in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington these are all the states that have legalized recreational weed — when it comes to working out and cannabis use. A staggering 82% of participants admitted to using the drug within an hour before or four hours after exercising. The findings certainly go against the decades-old view of stoners being lazy.
“We were stunned it was that high,” says senior author Angela Bryan, a professor with Boulder’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Institute for Cognitive Science, in a release. “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.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency forbids athletes from using cannabis in competitions because of the potential performance-enhancing capabilities. One example, ultrarunners have been known to use cannabis to rid them of boredom while running and as an anti-nausea drug and .
“There are a lot of interesting data points and hypotheses out there but not a lot of them have been tested,” says Bryan, who sought to look into the theory herself.
Bryan polled an additional 345 people using cannabis with exercise (“ so called co-users”) and discovered 67% use it both shortly before and after a workout — though participants were using it more after-workout. Seven in 10 co-users say marijuana boosted the enjoyment of exercising, while more than half (52%) say it motivated them to work out. Another 78% agreed it helped with their recovery efforts.
There is evidence to suggest that certain cannabinoids dampen pain perception, and we also know that the receptors cannabis binds to in the brain are very similar to the receptors that are activated naturally during the runners high,” explains co-author Arielle Gillman. “Theoretically, you could imagine that if it could dampen pain and induce an artificial ‘runner’s high,’ it could keep people motivated.”
Cannabis is a known anti-inflammatory, the researchers say, but there may be more to the mental benefits.