Weed use in younger and mid-adult adults could also be linked to train and sports activities, not sofa browsing
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The results do not agree with most of the existing literature, with the investigators finding that weed users are more likely to exercise than non-users.
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“Marijuana users are often portrayed in the popular press as sitting and inactive,” the study emphasizes. However, the authors cite a study published in 2019 that found that “People who reported using cannabis just before or after exercise did an average of 43.4 minutes more weekly aerobic exercise than people who just before / did not use cannabis after exercise ”.
To illustrate the link between cannabis use and any physical activity, researchers in the latest study used data from the two most recent waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Adult Health.
They took cannabis use variables into account – any current use and any frequency of use in the past 30 days – and compared these to exercise variables – any form of exercise / sport in the past seven days and the number of days they participated in each. The types of exercise ranged from cycling and skateboarding to participating in team sports such as soccer, soccer, hockey and basketball, weight training, golfing, bowling, and going to sport.
Any light on the relationship between cannabis use and physical activity can be telling, as studies often examine whether substance use, not just cannabis, is a determinant of health. With regard to cannabis, decriminalization, improved access and decreased risk perception continue to unfold.
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When it comes to the last point, “nearly a third of Americans believe marijuana smoking is safer than cigarette smoking, and 81 percent believe it has at least one health benefit,” the study finds.
“As more states legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, its impact on exercise, one of the leading social determinants of health, may not necessarily be a major concern,” the study concluded.
“Claims that marijuana legalization will result in people becoming more sedentary, less active and therefore less healthy are not supported by our empirical results. However, it is difficult to draw clear policy implications until further research is carried out, ”they emphasize.
A study published in 2015 concluded: “It is important to develop a nuanced understanding of the relationship between cannabis and exercise, particularly the possible effects of its use on exercise performance, motivation and recovery.”
The latest study agrees that more information is needed about the possible links between cannabis use – around 16 percent of US adults report using weed, and the percentage tripled between 2003 and 2018 – and social determinants of health. “It is important for researchers and policy makers to gain a deeper understanding of whether and how marijuana use is related to exercise and other social determinants of health in the general population,” suggest the study authors.
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