The words marijuana and motivation aren’t often positively associated, but one study out of The University of Colorado Boulder found that weed might actually inspire you to hit the gym.
Per a report in CU Boulder Today:
Eight out of 10 marijuana users in states where cannabis is legal say they partake in the drug shortly before or after exercise, and most report that it motivates them to work out, helps them enjoy exercise more and improves their recovery, according to surprising new CU Boulder research.
In a survey of 600 weed users in the marijuana-legal states of California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, 82% said they partake in the ganj within a few hours before or after exercise.
For surveyees who said they get high during exercise, 70% said it increased the enjoyment of the workout, 78% said it helped with recovery, and 52% said it heightened motivation.
These findings suggest that getting a little lifted while you lift may help solve the common inconveniences of working out, including sore muscles, lack of motivation and a general displeasure when exercising.
Similarly, cannabidiol aka CBD (the non-psychoactive chemical found in the cannabis plant) is known to benefit in physical performance, namely muscle recovery. Athletes who regularly consume CBD have reported a decrease in muscle spasms, cortisol levels, inflammation and pain.
However, the jury is still out on THC, the part of the cannabis plant that gets you high. A 2018 study, which examined marijuana and its effects on athletic performance, was ultimately inconclusive.
The World Health Organization, which is all about CBD these days, feels a little differently about its psychedelic cousin when it comes to physical activity.
Cannabis impairs psychomotor performance in a wide variety of tasks, such as motor coordination, divided attention, and operative tasks of many types; human performance on complex machinery can be impaired for as long as 24 hours after smoking as little as 20 mg of THC in cannabis; there is an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents among persons who drive when intoxicated by cannabis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official stance on marijuana’s health effects is mixed, stating that the use of marijuana can affect brain development, promote long-lasting mental disorders and increase the risk of stroke, heart and lung disease when smoked. At the same time, it states that marijuana may be helpful in treating chronic pain and side effects of cancer treatments.
For a number of reasons, most doctors won’t officially condone the act of getting high while engaging in physical activity, but what it comes down to is personal preference. If you’re a legal adult who likes to snack on an edible before pilates or hit a pen in between drop sets, we say go for it. And while you’re at it, DM us on Instagram to tell us how weed has enhanced your workouts or made them super weird. We want to know.