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Cannabis Found to Increase Exercise Enjoyment and Motivation

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

marijuana and exercise

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  • According to recent research, cannabis use enhances both enjoyment of and recovery from exercise, and results in users exercising longer than nonusers
  • It’s an important public health issue as many Americans do not meet minimum exercise recommendations of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days per week, or 20 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise three days a week. The fear is that legalizing cannabis for medical and/or recreational use may worsen public health by promoting even more sedentary behavior
  • On average, those who used cannabis before or after exercise reported getting 159.7 minutes of aerobic exercise per week, compared to non-co-users who reported an average of 103.5 minutes/week
  • After using linear regression to control for confounding factors such as demographics, age and gender, the use of cannabis with exercise was still associated with an average of 43.4 more minutes of weekly aerobic exercise
  • While runner’s high is typically attributed to the release of endorphins, running also dramatically increases the cannabinoid anandamide in your body. According to research, your “cannabinoid receptors are crucial for main aspects of a runner’s high”

Cannabis, better known as marijuana, has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. The cannabis plant contains more than 60 different cannabinoids — chemical compounds the human body is uniquely equipped to respond to and benefit from.

Two primary cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive component responsible for the “high” associated with recreational marijuana use. Cannabinoids interact with your body by way of naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body, i.e., your endocannabinoid system (ECS).


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