cannabis exercise

Study Finds Cannabis Users Don’t Fit “Lazy Stoner” Stereotypes

The lazy stoner stereotype is as old as reefer madness propaganda. “Cannabis consumers are lazy,” is a claim that has been hurled a lot throughout history by cannabis opponents.

Anti-cannabis ads have often portrayed cannabis consumers as being “couch potatoes” with no ambition to participate in physical activity.

Those ads are usually coupled with jokes about “the munchies” or in the case of one anti-cannabis ad, the person was literally melted into a couch unable to move.

Similar portrayals occurred in movies and TV shows, with the “stoner” characters almost always unfit and lazy.

How cannabis consumers are portrayed in the media does not match up in many ways, including when it comes to cannabis and exercise which is reflected in the results of a new study.

How do Cannabis Consumers Compare to Non-Consumers?

Arguably the best way to gauge how cannabis consumers compare to non-cannabis consumers when it comes to exercise is to look at data, which is exactly what researchers did.

A team of researchers recently examined data that was included in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health.

The data was sourced from the United States, however, with cannabis consumption rates being similar in many countries around the world, the study is applicable in all of those countries.

After examining the responses included in the study, researchers concluded that cannabis use was not associated with a negative impact on exercise frequency.

“Results show that, particularly for fixed-effects models, marijuana use is not significantly related to exercise, counter to conventional wisdom that marijuana users are less likely to be active. Indeed, the only significant estimates suggest a positive relationship, even among heavier users during the past 30 days,” concluded researchers.

Cannabis and an Active Lifestyle

The results of the previously cited study are likely not shocking to anyone that has been paying attention to cannabis use in international professional sports.

Professional athletes like former NBA All-Star Clifford Robinson (rest in peace), former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, and professional MMA fighter Nick Diaz all consumed cannabis during their careers and they were obviously in peak physical condition.

Just because someone consumes cannabis does not mean that they are lazy. Many cannabis consumers who are not professional athletes also enjoy consuming cannabis before and after workouts.

Hopefully, as cannabis reform continues to spread across the globe the stigma surrounding cannabis and exercise will fade away, because the stigma is based on reefer madness, not science.


  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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