The Loosening of Marijuana Law Across the United States

It has been decades since marijuana had a bad connotation to its name. The first thing you think of when talking about ‘weed’ is a ‘lazy stoner.’ ‘Stoners’ are often depicted as people who sit on their couch in front of the TV all-day-long; only getting up during commercial breaks to grab some more marijuana from their stash. At least, it is how people used to imagine marijuana users.

Nowadays, there are more liberal laws in the vast majority of states inside the US. This led to the prevailing belief that drugs don’t necessarily have to be ‘abused.’ Besides, people suffering from surgeries and medical issues find great comfort in this plant; especially so in the form of oils and ointment. All of this helped raise awareness regarding the many benefits marijuana provides. Moreover, due to the increase in interest, both the science and the medical community provide more and more insight about the drug’s potential on a daily basis.

Some recent studies have indicated that cannabis users have less chance of becoming obese, having a much lower body mass index (BMI) than the state’s average. Now, about the munchies, there was a study published earlier this year (in March) concerning this topic. Surprisingly, it was established that, during a period of three years, marijuana users managed to lose weight, as opposed to those who hadn’t been using this plant at all.

There is a new study now, conducted by the University of Colorado in Boulder. In a nutshell, the researches are trying to find the answer to a bold question — what happens if instead of making people lazier, marijuana could actually make people engage in more activities then they usually do?

A New Generation Of High

Frontiers in Public Health published a study regarding self-reported data collected from over six hundred marijuana users from states that legalized the drug. The results have shown that the average user was, in fact, 37.5 years old. What’s more, it was established that there were slightly more male users than female ones.

The most significant portion, over 80% to be exact, used cannabis before or just after their workout routine. It turns out that getting high while working out resulted in added physical activity and vigor.

According to that study, users who took cannabis before that exercise increased the time they spent in a gym or outdoor training session by forty-three minutes per week, on average. In the case of weightlifting, it was thirty minutes more.

A Ph.D. professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC-Boulder, and one of the study’s main leads, Angela Bryan stated that the average marijuana user exercised far more than the average American. Bryan claims that not only did it seem like the users tended to work out quite a lot, but they also combined the drug with high-intensity exercises.

Even though it is still unclear as to why this strange connection appears, the study does offer some hints.

Namely, users stated that they feel more enjoyment from a standard workout routine, ranking it more pleasant and comfortable overall. They also said it boosts their physical performance and motivation. However, as Dr. Bryan says, it is more likely that the users were simply having more fun. This fun factor could, in fact, be the thing driving these people to exercise for longer. If an individual stays motivated with the additional fun factor, the enjoyment is significantly bigger, according to Dr. Bryan.

Nebulous Findings

Don’t get too excited over these findings though, because they are not 100% genuine. The study is still far from establishing a concrete link between marijuana and increased physical activity. Others claim that, due to the self-reported nature of this research, it’s really hard to make any accurate conclusions.

The received results are more reflective of the fact that cannabis is a more critical piece of the respondents’ lifestyle. This is a claim made by the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Paul Armentano. He added that it would be fascinating to know if most of those respondents would report that cannabis provides more significant enjoyment in every segment of life if such a study would be made. It is his assumption that a related trend would eventually emerge only if someone remembers to ask these questions. All in all, there is still plenty of research to be done before we get to the bottom of this issue.

However, from the public health angle, if this drug, somehow, helps users change their unhealthy lifestyles and gets them off their couches, we can all agree that it’s something worth investigation here.

Do Exercise and Marijuana Bring Some Risks Along the Way?

A clinical psychologist, and the director of the Chico Center for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Joel Minden, claims that he is worried that the short-term benefits of marijuana usage while engaging in physical activity may not be precisely sustainable long-term.

People might think that getting high can help them hit the gym, to explore the world more, enjoy everything a bit better. He added that it’s not on his behalf to prevent people from doing so. He wrapped his thoughts by stating that it’s smarter for the users to realize that there are some downsides which are associated with using cannabis.

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