Marijuana Consumers Walk More And Exercise Just As Much As Non-Users, New Study Challenging Stoner ‘Stereotype’ Finds

People who use marijuana take more walks on average compared to non-users and e-cigarette users, according to the findings of a new study that “challenge the stereotype” of cannabis consumers being less active.

The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports late last month, also found that marijuana consumers are no less likely to engage in basic exercise and strength training compared to non-users.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Ohio University carried out the study, which was based on data on 2,591 adults who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health from 2016-2018.

“Results indicated that participants’ marijuana and e-cigarette use predicted their walking for exercise, with marijuana users walking the highest number of times per week, followed by non-users, e-cigarette users, and dual users,” they found. “However, this effect only approached significance after controlling for covariates. There were no significant differences in strength training or general exercise between groups.”

“This finding challenges the stereotype that adult marijuana users are less active than their non-using counterparts.”

The authors said the study is among the first of its kind to explore the relationship between marijuana and e-cigarette use and exercise behavior, accounting for different exercise types.

They concluded that “marijuana use is not significantly related to engagement in a particular type of physical activity,” findings that “challenge the stereotype that marijuana and e-cigarette users are less active than their non-using counterparts.”

As to the question of why marijuana consumers seem to walk more often than non-users, the study authors theorized that this “may be due to some adults using cannabis to increase their motivation for and enjoyment of exercise or the concentration of marijuana users in urban areas.”

“People who live in large American cities—which tend to be in states where medical and recreational marijuana are legal—also tend to use public transport and walk more,” they said.

To the point about increased enjoyment with cannabis use, a study published in December also found that marijuana consumption prior to exercise can lead to greater enjoyment and an enhanced “runner’s high.”

Another study published last July surveyed 49 runners and found that participants experienced “less negative affect, greater feelings of positive affect, tranquility, enjoyment, and dissociation, and more runner’s high symptoms during their cannabis (vs. non-cannabis) runs.” Participants did run 31 seconds slower per mile when using marijuana, but researchers said that was not statistically significant.

The positive effects of cannabis that the runners reported is consistent with the findings of a 2019 study, which found that people who use marijuana to elevate their workout tend to get a healthier amount of exercise.

Older people who consume cannabis are also more likely to engage in physical activity, according to another study that was published in 2020.

Similarly, in another stereotype-busting study that was published in 2021, researchers found that frequent marijuana consumers are actually more likely to be physically active compared to their non-using counterparts.

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