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Study finds weed users get more active than abstainers

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Step aside, harmful imagery of a couch potato stoner flattened into flapjack.

Cannabis use of all kinds correlates to increased light physical activity—like, say, hacky-sack, disc golf, yoga, or bedtime activities. Just follow the science.

A large, new study found cannabis use in adults correlates to increases in certain types of physical activity. And no amount of pot use increased sedentary behavior compared to a control group.

This research builds on previous studies debunking cannabis’ bad reputation for creating couch potatoes. 

researchers found that daily blazers had a 4% increased chance of light physical activity. 

Cannabis’ real impact on activity 

The recent study (Xue, 2024), published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, offers the largest sample size looking into this question to date. It included 4,666 adults aged 18 to 59. 

To learn more, researchers in this study analyzed data from FitBit-type devices—wrist-worn accelerometers—that track physical activity levels 24/7. They also included data on self-reported cannabis use from the last 30 days. 

By comparing these two factors, they determined whether self-reported cannabis use correlates with increases or decreases in sedentary behavior, light physical activity, or moderate to vigorous activity. 

The researchers also controlled for factors that could muddy the results, like co-use of other drugs like alcohol, race and poverty, and medical factors. 

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Cannabis tied to more activity—not less

The results (both before and after adjustments) found recent cannabis use did not cause couch potato-ism. 

Scientists did not find an association between weed use and increases in daily sedentary time. Instead, researchers found that daily blazers had a 4% increased chance of light physical activity. 

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The results also showed no differences in sleep time or moderate to vigorous daily activity between those who used cannabis and those who didn’t.

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Age did shift the associations. When broken down into two groups—18-39 year olds, and 40-59 year olds—some differences stood out. 

Both groups of tokers moved more than average. But after adjusting for age, only the youths got moving—the 18-39 year olds. Still, ganja did not make the older group slack off. The 40-59 year-old tokers showed no differences in sedentary behavior or physical activity from the control group of abstainers of the same age. 

These results suggest that cannabis use may increase light physical activity for young adults, but have no significant effect on activity by mid-life. Regardless, there is no evidence here that cannabis will leave you stuck to your couch. 

Frequent cannabis users moved more than lightweights

Does Oregon have good Jack? You bet. Jack Herer from Midnight Fruit Co, Oregon. (Ryan Herron/Leafly)
An energetic Jack Herer from Midnight Fruit Co, Oregon. (Ryan Herron/Leafly)

Researchers also looked at whether participants puffed lightly, moderately, or tough.

None of the smokers—light, medium, or heavy—sat around more than the non-smokers. And get this—the frequent smokers went on more hikes than the occasional smokers. 

To repeat: the cannabis-using groups were not more sedentary than controls. Occasional cannabis use was more associated with sedentary time than those who used cannabis frequently.

The authors suggest this may reflect different motivations for cannabis use (such as frequent medical use vs occasional recreational use). It also might have to do with daily smokers better tolerating and incorporating cannabis than the occasional party puffer.

What’s your motivation?

While encouraging, this study did have a few limitations. 

For one thing, it relied on self-reported cannabis use which may introduce biases. It also didn’t include factors like the motivation for use. This factor might shift things, given that people sometimes use cannabis to treat conditions that limit physical activity—or sometimes as an aid for exercise. 

Reviewers on Leafly describe smoking a bowl, wanting to stretch, and get some gardening done. And good for them.

Background: A decades-old, pernicious myth of Reefer Laziness 

The anti-drug movement posits that using too much weed will leave you lazy and sedentary.

Perhaps you even remember this classic DARE ad, where weed flattens one girl into a couch. Even the family dog started talking trash in later ads. 

Thankfully the Xue, 2024 study is starting to get at reality.

We know that being sedentary is tied to a lot of negative health outcomes, including cancer, diabetes, and obesity. And in the US, most adults need to move around more each day. So, if cannabis use does lead to being sedentary, using it would be an added health risk. 

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There has been some evidence (Vancampfort, 2019) pointing to increases in sedentary behavior (Doggett, 2019) for teens using cannabis from ages 12-18. 

It suggests that cannabis-using teens spend more time on the internet, texting, or playing games. While this is much different than melting into an unrecognizable blob on the couch (as the DARE propaganda suggests), it does cause some reason for concern. Still, this evidence doesn’t take into account factors like mental health which could explain both early cannabis use and sedentary lifestyles. 

The good news—legalization causes teen use to go down; for a variety of reasons including requiring valid ID for purchase.

Adult studies have had more mixed findings. For example, one study (Vidot, 2017) found adult cannabis use correlated to less physical activity. But a longer, more recent study (Smith, 2021) found that cannabis use correlates to MORE physical activity.

Now, the biggest study so far suggests that cannabis does not correlate to being a lazy loser. If anything, it may help you get a little more activity in your day.

See you at the Frolf course. Fore!

Ten fun light activities to do high

Low angle view of a womans step as she walks on a road lined with beautiful colorful autumn trees with sunlight coming through the leaves.
(Gajus/Adobe Stock)
  • Go for a walk or hike
  • Get some chores done
  • Get out into the garden
  • Play kickball with the kids
  • Play four-square
  • Neighborhood litter clean-up
  • Play some hacky-sack
  • Hit the disc golf course
  • Yoga and stretching
  • Complete our list—type in your favorite light activity when lit in the comments below.



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Ben Affleck

4 Ways Marijuana Can Help In A Messy Break Up

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Breakups are tough and miserable – even if you are a celebrity.  But there are ways marijuana can help!

The buzz in the celebrity world is about the breakup of Beniffer – Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. It has dominated the news, but it reflects everyone’s journey in relationships.  Almost everyone suffers a miserable breakup in their life. The ending of relationship doesn’t  always have a logical reason or comes in a methodical planned way, it is usually messy, emotional and draining for a while. And it can lay heavy on someone’s mind and heart. One bright note is there are 4 ways marijuana can help in a messy break up.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

Breakups can upend a life. Hurt, grief, and a sense of failure when a relationship ends is common. It often mean a big change in your daily routine, which can feel overwhelming and a constant reminder of the loss. Weight gain and lack of good sleep can also be part of the after effects.  But, in the right dose and intention, marijuana can help you through.

Photo by Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay

The first way to help is with sleep, with 35-45% increased odds of insomnia symptoms this is key. A good night dozing can help with a tough day of change. So, it is critical to nip long term disruptions it in the bud. Research studies have shown, with the correct dosage, marijuana may have an overall positive effect on maintaining sleep.

The second way is to help with anxiety. Big change causes makes people anxious, the loss of a person you care about, sometimes identity gets wrapped up in the “we” of a relationship, causing a disruption on self perception. Time is the best way and most natural way to heal. But THC appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses. Work with a healthy professional to a figure out a plan to get you to a more positive place.

RELATED: Was There Marijuana In The Old West

The third is to reeducation of alcohol consumption. Drinking too much after a breakup is unfortunately common, as the feelings of control alcohol provides can feel euphoric for a short period. But both physical and mentally it is not good. Light marijuana usage can relax you and put you in a better state of mind without hangovers, drunk texting and more.

The last way is personal health.  While it is hard in the middle of a breakup to look ahead, marijuana can help you with looking good for the future.  While the myth is stoners are lazy, couch potatoes eating…cannabis can get you moving. Like dopamine, it allows us to feel a sense of pleasure and reward, which has the effect of motivating us. Consuming a sativa strain can help you get out of bed and move which could include a workout!



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back pain

Tips For Your Body After Hours Of Sitting

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While often relaxing, refreshing or just needed from being busy, sitting also has its downsides.  Sitting too long can wreck havoc on your body and back.  It is easy to get sucked into gaming, a work project, streaming shows, driving long periods or more, but it tough when you plopped in a chair for too long.  Other than back issues cause by frequent long periods of sitting include  obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and cholesterol. Not to mention the potential of extra weight. Here are tips for your body after hours of sitting.

RELATED: Marijuana MicroDosing Can Improve Mundane Tasks

Researchers analyzed data from a number of studies regarding sitting time and activity levels. It showed those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a significant health risks.  Standing desk have become popular to contract damage done by long work hours.

Sitting down a lot results in poor posture

 

RELATED: How Not To Die From Sitting In Front Of Your Laptop All Day

Stand – It seems common sense, but it is important to stand up and allow your body a different position. It naturally stretches the back and keep the spine aligned.  Maybe take calls while standing and moving a bit, set a little timer to move every couple f hours. If you have a desk where you spend prolonged periods sitting, try a standup desk. Standing and moving will help you think better and helps with problem solving.

Take a break – Taking a short period to stand and move about it important.  If you drive, it is good to take a short walk when you stop.  Make it a point to spend 5-10 minutes moving to let your body realign.  You will see it helps re-energize your body.

Stretch. Gentle stretches for the back and neck will help alleviate soreness, stiffness, and the dullness coming with long periods of inactivity. They lengthen the core muscles, and improve blood flow throughout the body, including your mind. Also, deep breaths while stretching to boost the brain.

Many exercises can improve your posture and strengthen your muscles, from classic Yoga positions like Child’s Pose and Cat Cow, to traditional planks, which focus on strengthening your core muscles.

RELATED: This Is How Much Exercise You Need

It’s difficult to interrupt the workflow of your day in order to stretch, but the more you train yourself to do it, the easier it becomes and the more results you’ll see. CNN Health reports the most effective way to stretch is to do so once per every hour of work. The more elaborate stretches and exercises that strengthen muscles, like the Cat Cow pose and planks, should be done twice a day. Long term results include better posture, less muscle pain, more strength and even better breathing patterns.



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Marijuana MicroDosing Can Improve Mundane Tasks

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Some things in life can’t be avoid – and seem to suck the fun out of a day…but maybe a little cannabis can help!

Mowing the grass, brainstorming, exercise, and other everyday tasks just seem to suck the life out of a day – especially the precious weekend Saturday and Sundays. Not only are they mundane, but they have to be done…over and over again over the course of your life. What about making them more fun, engaging and pouring some happiness into every day tasks? Marijuana microdosing can improve mundane tasks to the point of enjoyment.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

Microdosing cannabis may be a beneficial way to achieve a relaxed, yet focused high. The sativa strain tends to energize and uplift and can place you into a state of timelessness, effortlessness, euphoria, and single-minded focus. Microdosing cannabis can help boost creativity, mood and productivity.  Consider about 2.5 mg to start – which is about half a gummy or a puff or two from a vape.

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Household Chores

From laundry and folding clothes to cleaning the fridge, these are must do activities to facilitate day to day life.  Sometimes mindless, it is easy to slip into boredom trying to match an endless supply of socks or cleaning the oven.  A little sativa can add not only energy but a bit of creativity in these tasks.  You might be startled by how vacuuming can become fun!

Outdoor Chores

Mowing the grass goes down as the more boring job.  Around 76% report their lawn is mowed at least every other week. What a dull routine and pattern, add in edging, weeding and other garden task and you can find yourself in a bi-weekly loop of boredom. Pop a gummy and you reimagine your garden again and again.  The same for washing and cleaning the car or garage. And you end with a strong sense of satisfaction.

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Exercise

Some people do not get the natural home people who enjoy physical activity enjoy. Some see it as a health or physical appearance reason and it can be a little dull.  Trendmills, stationary bikes, walks, runs and more tend to be a set period of time which can get a bit dull day after day.  Maybe mix it up with a little cannabis and put a little pep into the set.

Additionally, cannabis has been proven to have properties that not only aid in the recovery from working out, but also in the actual performance of certain activities. Studies have shown the plant’s ability to decrease anxiety and act as a bronchodilator increasing airflow to the lungs. Moreover, as one study found, “cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents.”

Brainstorm

Whether you’re writing a book, managing work project for your team at work, or organizing  your family or friend life, the ability to think strategically and creatively is critical to being productive. Sometimes you can get stuck in a rut, a little time, weed, and space allows you a fresh, creativity perspective.  While 80% may not work – 20% might be something you can build which could make life better.

RELATED: People Who Use Weed Also Do More Of Another Fun Thing

For some, consuming weed allows the brain the work in a different mechanism, fueling creativity and crashing through any persisting roadblocks. So the next time you are stuck, try stepping away for a few minutes to imbibe and return to the situation with a new perspective.

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There’s no excuse for not taking advantage of the plethora of high quality free education available online these days. Whether you’d like to learn more about computer science or classic literature, the tools are online and in some cities in person.



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