In the world of health and fitness, we are constantly exploring new ways to enhance our workout experiences.
One such avenue that has recently come under the spotlight is the use of cannabis. The traditional image of a cannabis user as lethargic and inactive is being reevaluated, thanks to a recent study.
The study paints a new picture, one where cannabis use might not only coexist with physical activity but could potentially enhance it.
Cannabis and Running: A Surprising Duo
The study involved a group of 49 individuals, all regular cannabis users, ranging in age from 21 to 49 years. The majority were male and non-Hispanic White.
The participants were asked to engage in running after consuming cannabis and then again without it, providing a direct comparison of the two scenarios.
Contrary to what one might expect, the study found that cannabis use did not significantly impair running performance.
While participants did run slightly slower during their cannabis-influenced run, the difference was not statistically significant. This challenges the common belief that cannabis use and physical activity are incompatible.
But the influence of cannabis on running extends beyond just performance. The study found that the participants’ experiences of running were significantly different when they had consumed cannabis.
Enhancing the Joy of Exercise with Cannabis
Participants reported experiencing less negative emotions, more feelings of tranquility, enjoyment, and dissociation during their cannabis-influenced runs compared to their non-cannabis runs.
They also reported experiencing more symptoms of a runner’s high when they had consumed cannabis. This suggests that cannabis use may enhance the psychological experience of exercise, making it more enjoyable and rewarding.
In addition to this, participants reported lower pain levels after their cannabis-influenced run.
This could potentially make exercise more comfortable and enjoyable, especially for those who experience discomfort or pain when running.
Interestingly, the form of cannabis, cannabinoid content, and feelings of “high” were largely unrelated to participants’ experience of exercise while under the influence of cannabis.
This suggests that the positive effects on exercise experience are not simply due to the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
A New Era for Cannabis and Exercise
The study concludes that acute cannabis use may be associated with a more positive exercise experience among regular cannabis users.
This challenges traditional stereotypes and opens up new possibilities for understanding the relationship between cannabis and exercise.
However, the authors caution that more research is needed. They call for studies using varied methodologies, a range of exercise modalities, and diverse populations to establish the long-term harms and benefits associated with this behaviour.
They also highlight the need to determine whether these findings are generalizable to other populations and settings.
This study provides a fresh perspective on the relationship between cannabis and exercise.
It challenges stereotypes and suggests that cannabis use may enhance the exercise experience. However, as with all things, moderation and balance are key, and further research is needed to fully understand the implications of these findings.