New research shows marijuana may actually motivate you to exercise
I’ve been taking some time in recent issues to dispel some of the myths that still surround marijuana (cannabis), despite its growing acceptance as a powerful medicine.
The pizza-eating, couch-bound “stoner” stigma is easily the most pervasive of these myths—and the most deceiving. In fact, research actually shows that cannabis users weigh less than non-users on average… and that cannabidiol (CBD) in particular can curb appetite and rev up metabolism.
Not only that, but cannabis users may also be more likely to get up off the couch and get moving than their non-using peers. And while I realize skeptics might find that hard to believe, thanks to a team of researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, it’s now a matter of scientific fact.
Enhancing the exercise experience
Researchers recruited 600 cannabis users in five states—California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington—to answer a number of questions, including whether or not they ever used cannabis before or after exercise.
And the answer, for a whopping 82 percent of respondents, was yes. Most used cannabis after exercising. But nearly 70 percent replied that they used it before and after physical activity.
That’s not all: Of the users that paired exercise and cannabis, 70 percent said it made their exercise more enjoyable. Nearly 80 percent said it improved recovery. And more than 50 percent said that it increased motivation.
But here’s the real kicker: People who used marijuana before workouts clocked roughly 43 more minutes of exercise weekly, compared to those who didn’t.
And considering the fact that 80 percent of adults don’t come anywhere close to meeting the minimum recommendations for physical activity (which is around 150 minutes per week), this is a potentially life-changing difference. But it’s also not nearly as surprising as it may seem…
A different kind of “runner’s high”
As I’ve explained here before, cannabinoids are able to reduce pain from overworked joints and stimulate the body’s inflammatory response. Which is an obvious reason why cannabis might help you recover from a workout.
But, the receptors that cannabis binds to also work like the ones that generate the “runner’s high,” keeping regular exercisers hooked on their routines. And it’s not hard to see how that might also work to motivate users to lace up their sneakers every day, too.
This particular study didn’t look at the form of cannabis used. And it only looked at regular users in states where the plant is fully legal.
But other research is already underway, comparing the activity levels of older cannabis users to activity levels of non-users. And early results show similar trends, with cannabis users engaged in a 16-week exercise program working out more, on average, than non-using peers.
And really, why wouldn’t we see this response?
Joint discomfort is easily the single biggest barrier to physical activity for most older patients. So if a little marijuana can make a good workout more comfortable and enjoyable, there’s no reason not to include it in your routine.
And lucky for you, I may have something coming down the pike in my very own NuLogic Nutritionals supplement line to help combat pain from overworked joints. So continue tuning in to both Reality Health Check and Logical Health Alternatives for the latest updates—and browse the “Shop” tab of my website (www.DrPescatore.com) at your convenience.
Because needless to say, this is one case where you definitely want to keep coming back for more.
- YorkWilliams SL, et al. “The New Runner’s High? Examining Relationships Between Cannabis Use and Exercise Behavior in States With Legalized Cannabis.” Front Public Health. 2019 Apr 30;7:99.