Relationship between cannabis use and exercise behavior examined in study

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A study published in Frontiers in Public Health looks at the connection between cannabis use and exercise behavior in states within the U.S. that have legalized cannabis use. Specifically, the University of Colorado Boulder study looked at adult usage and the relationship to regular exercise and positive attitudes about exercise.


chart about link between cannabis use and exercise
Percentage of co-using participants who agreed, disagreed, or felt neutral toward whether use of cannabis shortly before and/or after exercise enhanced exercise performance, enjoyment, motivation, and recovery. Source:

Table 1. Attitudes on how use of cannabis with exercise impacts exercise performance, enjoyment, motivation, and recovery, among all participants who endorsed co-use (N = 494). Source: The New Runner’s High? Examining Relationships Between Cannabis Use and Exercise Behavior in States With Legalized Cannabis

Can the results indicating that people who use cannabis around the time of exercise work out more and recover more quickly than non-cannabis users be generalized to a wider population? Via MarketWatch:

Tyler Browne, 34, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area (where weed is legal), often inhales pot via a Volcano Vaporizer after weight-lifting to relax and get anti-inflammatory benefits. “The body hurts a tad more” in 2019 than it did when he was in the Marines, he said. And it keeps his endurance exercises from getting monotonous. “It makes cardio seem more like a fun childhood activity, with your mind wandering versus focusing on the strenuous portion of it,” he said.

Although initial survey results showed several positive correlations, more research is needed. Some critics has cautioned to say that more information is needed to really evaluate the impact of cannabis use on health and well-being during exercise, whether in terms of high risk activities or impact on the body. We also don’t know how the cannabis might mix with other medications — so much more work to be done on this and other important factors related to cannabis use in this context. 

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