Slacker. Stoner. Couch Potato.
Terms like that are often tossed around in reference to cannabis users. After all, marijuana saps your motivation and makes you lazy, right? Wrong. Two studies from the University of Colorado Boulder push back hard on many of the stereotypes associated with cannabis and fitness.
One study just published was limited to those 60 years of age and older (the 50-plus set being the fastest-growing segment of cannabis users) who are regular users residing in states where recreational use is legal.
Given that weight is a huge factor in determining health and overall quality of life, especially among seniors, the researchers looked at body mass index (BMI) and found that it was much lower in users than in non-users, which belies the whole coach-potato stereotype. Beyond that, the study measured exercise routines, and there also cannabis users outperformed their non-using counterparts.
There’s more: a study released in April, also from UC Boulder, found that some 80% of users incorporate cannabis into their workouts, consuming it either shortly before or shortly after exercise (methods of consumption were not specified).
Why? 70% said cannabis increases enjoyment of a workout, 78% said it boosted recovery and just over 50% said it gave them more motivation to exercise in the first place. In other words, cannabis appears to check the boxes for three of the biggest barriers to physical fitness.
While cannabis use is widely prohibited in competition across many sports because of its potential to increase performance, only 38% of those surveyed cited performance improvement as a benefit.
The researchers say that while evidence does not yet support endorsing cannabis as an exercise supplement, nor does it appear to be harmful.
Will Canna-cising be the wave of the future? We sure hope so!