Frequent Marijuana Users More Active Than Non Users

Frequent Marijuana Users More Active Than Non Users

Popular culture and government agencies typically associate marijuana use with laziness. But is that really true? Actually, a recent study published in the Harm Reduction Journal found that frequent marijuana users are more active than non-users.

The study, conducted by researchers based in California and British Columbia, uses data from the National Center for Health Statistics. In the Center’s 2005-2006 studies, participants reported their drug use including marijuana as well as their physical activity. The studies also monitored physical activity via accelerometers worn on participants’ hips for a full week except when bathing or sleeping.

The researchers compared the data sets and came to the controversial conclusion that marijuana users are actually more active than people who don’t use cannabis. While they found that there were “no significant differences” with regard to sedentary behavior in users and non-users, the results for physical activity differed.

The researchers concluded that “after controlling for all covariates, frequent cannabis users engaged in significantly greater amounts of [physical activity] compared to non-current users.” So much for the stereotype of sedentary stoners.

This study is the first to make use of accelerometry data to look at the correlation between marijuana use and physical activity. Comparing the self-reported physical activity data also yielded similar results in that marijuana users were more likely to report moderate or vigorous physical activity. Interestingly, frequent cannabis users showed the greatest difference in physical activity to non-users, while users who only took cannabis infrequently showed little difference in physical activity compared to non-users.

We should note that this study isn’t definitive proof of anything. Limitations such as a small sample size and lack of data for water-based physical activity due to the accelerometers not being waterproof make this study less accurate than it could have been. However, it opens the door to further study into the relationship between marijuana use and physical activity, especially using accelerometry.

As marijuana gains acceptance in American culture, research into its benefits continues to fascinate. For example, research into cannabis and its cancer-fighting properties is a well-known justification for the legalization of the drug, especially for medical use. We need more widespread research and review, but it’s certainly an interesting proposition that frequent marijuana users are more active than non-users.

If you are considering using marijuana to improve your health, make an appointment with Medwell Health today.

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