8 in 10 users report combining weed with exercise boosts motivation, mood: Study

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS): About 8 in 10 cannabis users report combining marijuana with exercise boosts motivation & mood and eases pain, a new study has discovered.

However, if performance is the goal, it may be best to skip that joint, according to the study published in the journal Sports Medicine.

“The bottom-line finding is that cannabis before exercise seems to increase positive mood and enjoyment during exercise, whether you use THC or CBD. But THC products specifically may make exercise feel more effortful,” said first author Laurel Gibson, a research fellow with the US-based University of Colorado.

For the study, the researchers recruited 42 volunteers who already run while using cannabis.

They assigned participants to go to a dispensary and pick up either a designated flower strain that contained mostly cannabidiol (CBD) or a Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-dominant strain.

THC and CBD are active ingredients in cannabis, with THC known to be more intoxicating.

Exercising after using cannabis, the participants reported greater enjoyment and more intense euphoria, or 'runner’s high'.

"Surprisingly, this heightened mood was even greater in the CBD group than in the THC group, suggesting athletes may be able to get some of the benefits to mood without the impairment that can come with THC," the study said.

Participants in the THC group also reported that the same intensity of running felt significantly harder during the cannabis run than the sober run.

This may be because THC increases heart rate, according to senior author Angela Bryan, a professor of psychology and neuroscience and co-director of CU Change.

In a previous study conducted remotely, she and Gibson found that while runners felt more enjoyment under the influence of cannabis, they ran 31 seconds per mile slower.

“It is pretty clear from our research that cannabis is not a performance-enhancing drug,” said Bryan.



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