Study smashes stoner stereotype by suggesting that cannabis encourages people to exercise

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to survey attitudes and behavior regarding the use of cannabis before and after exercise," say the study researchers

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Study smashes stoner stereotype by suggesting that cannabis encourages people to exercise

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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The myths and misconceptions that have tarnished the cannabis plant’s reputation for centuries are slowly being debunked.

A recent study has dismissed the lazy stoner stereotype that cannabis consumers are often portrayed as being, after researchers at the University of Colorado discovered that 80 percent of 600 consumers residing in weed-friendly states use the plant to enhance their workouts.

Researchers also found that the individuals who claimed to use cannabis to enhance their exercise sessions tend to engage in a healthier level of exercise than those who don’t consume it, either before or after a gym session.

In order to figure out how cannabis impacted each consumer’s ability to exercise, data was pulled from residents in states where access to weed is legal. Since more consumers can purchase cannabis in weed-friendly states, the positive results indicate a major misunderstanding regarding pot’s impact on the typical consumer demographic.

If the lazy stoner stereotype were true, why did 80 percent of study participants report using the plant during times when they need to use their energy more efficiently?

The study results were published this month in the journal Frontiers in Public Health. Based on the respondent’s answers to the survey questions, most consumers who used cannabis to amplify their workouts either smoked or ingested the plant 1-4 hours prior to the exercise routine commencing.

In fact, as many as 500 of the survey participants claimed that they combine weed with their workouts.

Beneficial effects were reported by the survey respondents who used weed when exercising, such as improved post-workout recovery, greater feelings of motivation and increased levels of enjoyment during workouts. Cannabis-consuming individuals also reported enduring longer workouts when they used the plant.

Researchers from the University of Colorado in Boulder claim that their study is the first of its kind to analyze the impact that cannabis may have on an individual’s activity levels and fitness habits. Thanks to the findings of this recent study, cannabis consumers can use the plant for medical or recreational purposes, minus the fear of being portrayed as a lazy stoner.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to survey attitudes and behavior regarding the use of cannabis before and after exercise, and to examine differences between cannabis users who engage in co-use, compared to those who do not,” the study authors wrote. “Given both the spreading legalization of cannabis and the low rates of physical activity in the U.S., it behooves public health officials to understand the potential effects—both beneficial and harmful—of cannabis use on exercise behaviors.”

When asked, 78 percent of the cannabis-consuming respondents said that pot “enhances recovery from exercise,” while 70 percent said that they think “cannabis increases enjoyment of exercise.” On average, aerobic exercise sessions lasted 43 minutes longer when the individual consumed cannabis beforehand.

Further studies must be conducted to clearly understand the association between cannabis and exercise behavior.