JAN 23, 2024 5:00 AM PST

Research Study Examines Combined Use of Weed and Workouts

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A study published in Sports Medicine indicated that cannabis consumption may boost motivation to exercise and make workouts more enjoyable, but it can minimize performance. A growing number of professional and amateur athletes report combining exercise and cannabis for various reasons, including motivation, pain reduction, and enjoyment.

The participants included 42 runners who live in Colorado and who report combining cannabis use and workouts. The researchers documented the participants’ baseline fitness measurements and survey data. The researchers required that participants visit a dispensary and obtain either a cannabis flower strain that contained mostly cannabidiol (CBD) or one that mainly had Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

During a follow-up visit, the participants engaged in a 30-minute treadmill session. The researchers asked participants to assess motivation and satisfaction levels, workout difficulty level, perceptions of time passed on this activity, and pain levels. Another visit required participants to repeat the same exercise after consuming cannabis at home.

Most participants reported greater enjoyment and more intense euphoria, or ‘runner’s high,’ when exercising after using cannabis. Increased mood was more significant in the CBD group than in the THC group. The study highlights the likelihood that extended exercise activates endogenous cannabinoids, which increase euphoric feelings. 

The participants described that the same intensity of running felt more challenging during the run following cannabis consumption when compared to their experience of the initial sober run. Study author Dr. Laurel Gibson offered an explanation for this effect: “The bottom-line finding is that cannabis before exercise seems to increase positive mood and enjoyment during exercise, whether you use THC or CBD. But THC products specifically may make exercise feel more effortful.” The findings emphasize that athletes who seek the benefits of cannabinoids can take CBD for similar mental and physical benefits without THC’s psychoactive effects.

Sources: Eureka News Alert, Sports Medicine



About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
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