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Can cannabis motivate you to exercise more? Study suggests yes

Cannabis users are often stereotyped as lazy couch potatoes satisfying their munchies with junk food.

But a new study from the University of Colorado pushes back against that generalization, highlighting how marijuana plays an important role in fitness for some and how the substance even can be used as a motivational tool for exercise.

The study, published last month in Sports Medicine, evaluated 42 runners and compared data points from their experiences exercising both sober and after smoking a joint. Participants were able to choose whether the strain of cannabis they consumed was high in cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The latter produces the feeling of being high.

Runners booked three, 30-minute running sessions on a treadmill at the university – one to set a baseline, one sober and then one high – and were periodically asked questions about their motivation and pain levels, and the enjoyment and difficulty of the workout.

The vast majority of participants (90.5%) reported feeling more enjoyment from the exercise after consuming cannabis, researchers found. Most also said it decreased their pain (69%), increased their focus (59.5%) and helped them stay motivated (57.1%).

Anglea Bryan, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU, said the results aren’t too surprising given she recruited runners who already embrace cannabis as part of their workout routine. Still, she hopes the results will motivate others to get active.

“We have an epidemic of sedentary lifestyle in this country, and we need new tools to try to get people to move their bodies in ways that are enjoyable,” Bryan said. “If cannabis is one of those tools, we need to explore it, keeping in mind both the harms and the benefits.”

According to the study, folks don’t need to get high to reap the benefits of cannabis in

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