Myth: Marijuana makes people lazy and unmotivated to exercise

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Have you heard the age-old critique that marijuana leads to laziness? The medical marijuana card-holding runners, bikers, hikers and yogis of Maitri defy this myth every day. And now a new study may support what we’ve seen on our team since day one: marijuana consumers are actually quite motivated.

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder surveyed 605 cannabis users in states with legal adult use (i.e. recreational) marijuana programs to examine the relationship between cannabis consumption and exercise. The study’s findings are pretty fascinating: 81% of respondents who reported consuming cannabis before and/or after exercising averaged 159 minutes of exercise each week. However, respondents who reported no marijuana consumption before and/or after exercising averaged only 103 minutes of weekly exercise.

Additionally, not only did the marijuana consumers report exercising more than the non-consumers each week, but 70% of them also reported enjoying their workouts more because of their consumption. Even more, 77% reported that cannabis enhanced their workout recovery, and over half of co-users agreed or strongly agreed that cannabis increases their motivation to exercise.

For context, consider this: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise weekly for adults, but less than 50% of adults meet this.

So, what does this mean for those of us looking for guidance on how to bolster our fitness programs with marijuana? According to the University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Bonn-Miller, vaping is an ideal route of administration, because of the fast-acting and titratable characteristics of inhalation. Bonn-Miller supports marijuana consumption prior to long, repetitive aerobic exercise, but not with heavy weight-lifting or complicated workouts, because THC can affect coordination and depth perception. Finally, Dr. Bonn-Miller recommends medicating with cannabis products high in CBD soon after exercising for the anti-inflammatory benefits.

Do you incorporate medical marijuana into your fitness regimen? Let us know in the comments!