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Do cannabis and sport go together?
The consumption of marijuana is limp and lacking in drive, at least that is what widespread prejudices say. However, researchers have now found that eight out of ten marijuana users from states in the U.S. where cannabis use is legal use cannabis shortly before or after exercise. Most of these users report that consumption increases their motivation for training, increases their joy of movement and improves regeneration.
A recent study by the University of Colorado Boulder found that the majority of marijuana users are more motivated to exercise and use it to improve regeneration. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Frontiers in Public Health".
Does cannabis use hinder physical activity?
This was one of the first studies to examine the relationship between cannabis use and physical activity. While many people have assumed that consumption hinders physical activity, the data show a different result. "There is a cliché that cannabis use causes people to be lazy in bed and not physically active, but the data suggest that this is not the case," said study author Professor Angela Bryan in a press release from the University of Colorado Boulder. However, she also emphasizes that she in no way recommends using cannabis as a training tool.
More people with obesity from marijuana?
Marijuana is now approved in ten states for recreational use and in dozens of medicines. However, little is known about how increasing public health acceptance can affect physical activity and obesity, for example. Some people have already speculated that increased use of marijuana could worsen the obesity epidemic by encouraging under-exercise.
Marijuana doing sports?
Cannabis use is prohibited in sports competitions because use may improve performance. So-called ultrarunners are said to sometimes use marijuana to fight nausea and boredom on long journeys. Epidemiological studies have shown that cannabis users tend to be leaner and less prone to diabetes. In addition, they also have healthier blood sugar levels.
600 consumers took part in the study
In a first step, the researchers surveyed 600 adult cannabis users in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. One of the questions asked was whether they used cannabis within an hour before or four hours after training. Eighty-two percent of the participants answered yes to this question. A follow-up question found that most people used marijuana more often after training. 67 percent of consumers said they used marijuana before and after training, and 70 percent of respondents said that using it increased their enjoyment of exercise. 78 percent said that consumption boosted regeneration, and 52 percent said marijuana increased their motivation.
Consumers moved more
Only 38 percent of the participants indicated that consumption increased their performance. Indeed, some small studies in the past have shown that consumption performance may decrease. Marijuana users moved about 43 minutes more per week compared to non-users.
How does cannabis physiologically influence physical activity?
"There is evidence that certain cannabinoids reduce pain perception, and we also know that the receptors to which cannabis binds in the brain are very similar to the receptors that are naturally activated during runners' highs," says Study author Arielle Gillman. In theory, one can imagine that people stay more motivated when pain is relieved and an artificial so-called runner’s high is triggered, the expert adds. In addition, cannabis has an anti-inflammatory effect, which can support recovery after exercise. The authors point out that the survey is limited because it only examined people who regularly use cannabis and focused on states that have already legalized cannabis. Further research on this topic is already being carried out at the University of Colorado Boulder. (as)