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Cannabis & Exercise: What the Research Says

In recent years, the intersection of cannabis and exercise has sparked significant interest among researchers and health enthusiasts alike. With the growing legalization and decriminalization of cannabis, more people are exploring its potential benefits, especially in conjunction with physical activity. Contrary to outdated stereotypes, emerging research suggests that cannabis consumption may be associated with increased physical activity, reduced pain levels, and enhanced positive emotions during exercise. 


Cannabis and Physical Activity: A Surprising Connection


Traditionally, stigma has created a stereotypical image of a cannabis user, i.e. couch-lock and sedentary behavior. However, recent studies have challenged this perception, revealing that cannabis consumers are more inclined to engage in physical activity than previously thought.


A study published in the Frontiers in Public Health journal (2019) examined the exercise habits of over 600 cannabis users. Surprisingly, the study found that cannabis users reported higher levels of weekly exercise compared to non-users. This unexpected correlation suggests that cannabis might play a role in motivating individuals to stay active.


Pain Management and Exercise: A Dual Approach


One of the most promising aspects of cannabis use in conjunction with exercise is its potential to alleviate pain. Both cannabis and exercise have been independently shown to reduce pain levels, making them a potentially powerful combination for those dealing with chronic pain conditions.


Research published in the National Library of Medicine (2019) and the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal (2023) explored the impact of cannabis use on pain perception before and after exercise. The studies observed that cannabis users reported lower pain levels after engaging in physical activity compared to non-users. This suggests that cannabis could act synergistically with exercise, offering enhanced pain relief and potentially allowing individuals to push through discomfort during workouts.


Elevated Positive Affect and Enjoyment


The role of positive affect, tranquility, and enjoyment during exercise cannot be underestimated. These emotional states can significantly impact our motivation to work out and our overall satisfaction with the activity.


Diving further into the 2019 study results mentioned above, there is indication that cannabis users experienced greater feelings of positive affect, tranquility, and enjoyment during exercise compared to non-users. This suggests that cannabis may enhance the overall exercise experience, making workouts more enjoyable and potentially leading to increased adherence.


Next Steps


While the emerging studies are promising, it’s important to approach the combination of cannabis and exercise by keeping in mind that further research is still needed. Individual responses to cannabis vary widely, and factors such as dosage, strain, and method of consumption can influence outcomes. 


Before incorporating cannabis into your exercise routine, we always recommend speaking with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications that may interact with cannabis. However, if you are in need of support while on your journey we are here to help. From product selection to dosing guidance – we are here every step of the way. Send as an email to, call us at 719-347-5400 or chat with us at