Two recent studies have shown that far from performing less exercise, people who use marijuana are actually more active.
The first of these two studies, published last month in Public Health analysed data on cannabis use and leisure time physical activity and sedentary behaviour from nearly 16,00 American adults aged 20 to 59 who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) during the study cycles 2007-2008 and 2015-2016. Multivariable regression models were carried out, leading the researchers to conclude that “those who had ever used cannabis had higher odds of being physically activity compared with those who had not.” The researchers noted, though, that among males, cannabis use was also associated with watching television for two or more hours per day.
In the second study, published this month, the exercise habits of 387 younger participants, adolescents aged 15-18, were analyzed at baseline. Then, six months later, the same subjects reported what their cannabis use had been in the intervening period.
The results from this trial found that the teenagers who were more active were also those who were more likely to use cannabis. But while doing more exercise predicted greater cannabis use in these young people, it did not predict cannabis use disorder or other cannabis-related problems. “This association may be explained by factors like sample characteristics or sports types, but more research is needed to explore this,” the researchers, from the University of Miami wrote.
The results of these studies don’t come out of the blue — they echo previous ones, such as another recently published in the journal Preventive Medicine that’s found cannabis users “equal to or more likely to exercise than non-users.” Meanwhile, a 2019 study in the journal Frontiers Public Health found 81.7 percent of respondents said cannabis “enhances their enjoyment of and recovery from exercise” while about half said cannabis use motivated them to exercise.
It seems that the stereotype of the lazy stoner is just that — a lazy stereotype.