New study dispels lazy stoner stereotype, claiming consumers exercise just as much as non-consumers

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Most cannabis consumers are tarred with the same brush — the green plant supposedly makes them lazy. But just how true is the “lazy stoner stereotype”?

Well, a new study recently published in the journal Preventive Medicine theorizes that cannabis is actually much more medicinal and beneficial for us humans than the prohibitionists like to think.

Before we delve into the facts, let’s rewind to the origins of the reefer madness cliché that claims stoners are bone idle.

The national propaganda campaign “Reefer Madness” kicked off shortly after Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Harry Anslinger, an anti-cannabis government employee, is responsible for starting the campaign.

However, with an emerging field of evidence pointing to the therapeutic powers of cannabis, more people are starting to embrace this gift from Mother Nature.

Dispelling the lazy stoner stereotype: Study findings indicate that cannabis consumers are more likely to exercise than non-consumers

The latest study, which was carried out by researchers from the Brookings Institution in collaboration with the University of Miami, suggests that cannabis consumers are more likely to engage in frequent exercise than those who don’t use the plant.

To come to their conclusion, researchers assessed the relationship between cannabis consumption and exercise frequency by using data that was recorded by study subjects within the last 30 days. With this information, the team analyzed whether or not subjects were likely to exercise more before or after using weed.

“[Cannabis] users are equal to or more likely to exercise than non-users. The commonly held perception that [cannabis] users are largely sedentary is not supported by these data on young and middle-aged adults,” wrote the authors. “As additional states legalize the medicinal and recreational use of [cannabis], perhaps its impact on exercise, one of the leading social determinants of health, is not necessarily a primary concern.”

These findings will come as a shock to those who have been brainwashed into thinking that cannabis causes laziness; something that is portrayed in the vast majority of “stoner” movies and television shows, such as Pineapple Express and Cheech and Chong.

Conversely, a 2003 study found that the euphoria experienced by people when they exercise could be associated with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The researchers responsible for carrying out this investigation discovered that study subjects who ran during laboratory experiments appeared to have increased levels of amandine – the feel-good “bliss molecule” – in their blood. 

With that being said, it makes sense that cannabis could positively impact exercise sessions.  

A separate study suggests that the lazy stoner stereotype is true 

While the findings of the Brookings Institution and University of Miami’s recent study may have cannabis consumers saying “told you so!”, a different study indicates that smoking the plant may cause laziness after all.

This hypothesis emerged after University of British Columbia researchers administered laboratory rats with cannabis’ primary psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  

Once their investigation was complete, UBC researchers found that the rats were less willing to conduct challenging tasks for major rewards post-consumption. The vast majority of rats opted for a smaller prize after being exposed to the mind-altering substance THC.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that when we gave THC to these rats, they became cognitively lazy. What’s interesting, however, is that their ability to do the difficult challenge was unaffected by THC. The rats could still do the task, they just didn’t want to,” said the study’s lead author, Mason Silveira.

The findings of this study – which concluded that cannabis impacts motivation – are not overly surprising, because THC has been associated with anxiety, paranoia, psychosis and problems relating to attention, learning and memory.