A new study suggests the real reason why cannabis consumers exercise more is because weed makes working out way less boring.
While the World Anti-Doping Agency may still consider cannabis a performance-enhancing drug, the research that's out there just doesn't support that. In fact, consuming cannabis before working out might actually lower your performance.
Despite all this, there are tons of professional athletes and regular fitness buffs who swear by a toke before a good workout or run.
And in fact, a recent study from the University of Colorado showed that the vast majority—81.7 percent—of exercise fiends in states where cannabis is legal reported consuming marijuana either directly before or after working out. And that's way more people than the researchers expected.
"We were stunned it was that high," said Dr. Angela Bryan, the study's lead author.
So if consuming cannabis is unlikely to make you a better athlete, and potentially actually make you a worse one, why are so many people using it before exercising? The key seems to lie in enjoyment.
What Bryan's study found was that the average person who consumes cannabis before or after working out made the whole experience more enjoyable. They didn't believe cannabis increased motivation, or performance, they just thought smoking up made exercise a little less boring.
This goes a long way to explaining why cannabis consumers tend to exercise more often, and engage in more intense exercise than non-consumers. The study reported that people who consume cannabis before or after exercise work out nearly an hour more than those who don't on average.
And since a huge amount of Americans simply aren't exercising enough, legalizing cannabis might just be the key to a healthier nation.