New Study Breaks Down Marijuana's Effect on Emotions, Performance During Exercise

As more states legalize cannabis for recreational use, consumption of the plant is becoming a growing part of American life. Some have even taken to smoking before a workout—a phenomenon researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder wanted to investigate themselves.

The study recently published in Sports Journal examined how pre-workout cannabis consumption can affect exercise as well as our minds when we work out. Study authors Angela Bryan and Laurel Gibson worked with 42 runners who had used cannabis before working out in the past to find some answers; the participants ran on a treadmill for observation both sober and while under the influence of either THC- or CBD-heavy cannabis.

In the end, participants reported "more exertion" during runs where they smoked beforehand compared to runs they did sober. While they had to work harder, that doesn't mean it was less enjoyable of an experience. The runners reported stronger euphoria when exercising after smoking, with CBD users in particular having better moods than the THC group.

Related: Can weed improve your workout?

Simply put, while cannabis might not be a performance-enhancing drug, it could certainly be a way for people who normally aren't active to get moving.

"We have an epidemic of sedentary lifestyle in this country, and we need new tools to try to get people to move their bodies in ways that are enjoyable," Bryan said of the study's promising results. "If cannabis is one of those tools, we need to explore it, keeping in mind both the harms and the benefits."

Just make sure you don't overindulge in munchies and undo the hard work you put in at the gym.