Study shows that marijuana consumers are more active than non-users

Published Apr 16, 2019 12:20 p.m. ET

One of the most prevalent cannabis stereotypes is that users are lazy, unmotivated, constantly hungry, and out of shape, but recent studies prove that isn’t often the case. We now know that the cannabinoids THC and CBD can produce the opposite effects which can be enriching and helpful for some individuals, but we didn’t until recently have much soliddata on the daily activities of those who partake in marijuana use regularly. Luckily, BDS Analytics and a couple of other cannabis research firms have gone to great lengths to find out the truth once and for all. Are marijuana user’s really any less motivated than their completely sober counterparts?

The study

The research included just over 2000 participants, 10scientists, and 10 other specialists to complete and analyze. Participants were divided evenly into two categories. The first was marijuana use, and the second was non-users. There was also a small portion of participants who consumed alcohol as their drug of choice for a fair comparison.

The facts

- Researchers at BDS Analytics discovered that 43% of those who disclosed marijuana use were consistently a part of activities and hobbies throughout the week, compared to only 25% of non-consumers.

- They also found that 42% of cannabis users held down a full-time job, and 24% of them made over $70 000 per year in their career. The non-users held nearly identical numbers with 41% maintaining full-time work, and 25% of them reporting earnings over $70 000 per year.

- 40% of those who reported marijuana use also attended a gym every week when compared to only 30% of non-users.

- Only 5% of those who consumed cannabis were overweight compared to a significantly higher 11% of non-users.

Why is this?

A lot of people are going to be shocked when they see those numbers for themselves, especially anyone who believed in the original stereotype, to begin with. Though no one claims to entirely understand why this is, there are many professionals who believe that there are a few different reasons why the effects of marijuana might lead to a more active individual.

  1. THC is an effective painkiller. When you smoke cannabis, you are consuming over 100 different cannabinoids. The primary two that have garnered the most focus for medicinal and recreational use are THC and CBD which are both present in a marijuana plant. THC is the intense psychoactive element in weed that makes you feel tingly and relaxed. It is believed that many athletes and other active individuals can do so due to their marijuana consumption which is used as a treatment for sore, achy muscles after an intense workout.

  2. CBD offers anti-inflammatory properties. When you do anything active, it will require your joints and muscles to twist and turn in various positions which can cause inflammation and pain, especially when injured. Cannabis researchers believe that the Cannabinoid is partially responsible for the high activity level amongst marijuana consumers since it alleviates swelling and other symptoms well before they happen when it is ingested regularly. This helps to keep the person feeling great and ache free which affords them the motivation to keep going even with the most basic daily activities.

  3. Both THC and CBD are effective at regulating mood disorders that might interfere with a person’s ability or comfortability. Cannabinoids interact with the human body's endocannabinoid system to trigger a release of naturally produced bodily hormones that are responsible for regulating things like mood. Both THC and CBD are useful for the treatment of anxiety, stress, and depression which can all make people not want to leave their homes or even get dressed in the morning.

  4. Marijuana use is a social activity and culture. If you have ever used cannabis than you likely know how much of a shared activity it tends to be. This is believed to be a significant part of the reason so many marijuana users are regularly social and therefore more physically active.

  5. THC helps consumers to achieve a better night’s rest. THC is a cannabinoid that has effects which go beyond a feeling of euphoria. It can also be an incredibly effective supplement to achieve a solid night’s sleep. One of the most common side effects of marijuana use is a difficulty to wake. That is because once it wears off the consumer is lulled into a deep rem sleep that leaves them feeling refreshed and ready to go in the morning.

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