For all its perks, there are still a lot of negative beliefs and stereotypes about cannabis and the people who use it. The stigma surrounding cannabis users, and especially regular recreational users, is that they are lazy and unproductive. The word stoner conjures up an image of a person sitting in front of a TV or video game, surrounded by a cloud of smoke, probably next to a pile of snacks. But that stereotype doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. The way we as a society engage with cannabis is becoming more diverse as cannabis use becomes more widespread and as the industry develops a wider variety of delivery methods. Now, a new study suggests that, counter to what people might have believed for decades, individuals who use cannabis tend to be more healthy and active than those who do not!
This Study Showed That Cannabis Use is Tied to Better Health Practices
Published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, the study in question evaluated cannabis users and nonusers 60 years and older. A 2018 study also revealed that the baby boomer generation represents the fastest growing population of cannabis consumers in the United States , and that trend has only increased since that time.
The test subjects in question had already been involved in a study evaluating the relationship between physical activity and cognitive function. That study required them to self-report on their physical activity. It was that pattern of self-reporting that made them perfect candidates for this new study. The group consisted of 28 cannabis users and 136 nonusers, each of whom had been asked to exercise three times a week. The cannabis users were found to be more likely to add in additional days of exercise. They also engaged in more exercise-related activities and tended to have lower BMI scores.
The conclusion is as simple as it may be surprising—the stereotype of the lazy stoner is unfounded. If anything, cannabis use is tied to better health habits.
Why Do Many Associate Cannabis With Laziness?
There are a couple of reasons we might always have been wrong about this. The first is simple: Propaganda. Prohibitionists have historically put out all kinds of claims about the harmful effects of cannabis, but many of these have been debunked. Rumors about cannabis contributing to laziness were no doubt helped along by the War on Drugs and the anti-cannabis voices in the government.
It probably didn’t help that, until recently, cannabis consumption was largely an indoor activity, something people did in secret because it was against the law. Perhaps cannabis use became associated with staying inside and watching TV because that was the safest way to enjoy it, not because users were lazy.
Knowledge about different cannabis compounds and their attributes hasn’t always been widespread. Now we know to study the terpenoid profiles of our cannabis products and choose a one that matches the activity we want to be doing, whether it’s going out jogging or chilling on the couch. Additionally, for many, smoking was the only realistic option in the past, and smoking isn’t necessarily the most healthiest nor does it put you in an exercising mood. But now, there are many more delivery methods for the body. If you don’t feel like going for a run after you’ve smoked, it’s easy enough to choose an edible or a vape instead.
Finally, in the age of medical cannabis enlightenment, many cannabis users tend to be people who are already taking measures to improve their overall health. It stands to reason that we would see those individuals actively working out and taking care of themselves. So, grab your favorite cannabis product and hit the gym! The days of the lazy stoner stereotype are officially over.
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