It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting shutdowns of non-essential services last year caused upheaval in nearly every business sector in the U.S. and across the globe. The fitness industry was no exception, with gyms in 48 states shuttered by early April 2020. The ensuing year saw a massive increase in the number of Americans working out at home, with 85% of consumers reporting that they were streaming exercise classes every week in April 2021, up from only 7% in 2019. The fitness routines of many cannabis users have also changed during the pandemic, with nearly 42% reporting that they were using more cannabis while working out, according to a survey by online fitness resource FitRated.
In the survey of more than 1,000 cannabis users, 41.5% said they were incorporating more cannabis into their workout regimens during the pandemic. Only 14% said they were using less cannabis during the Covid-19 outbreak, while 44.3% said their cannabis use had remained about the same.
Smoking was by far the most popular way to consume cannabis for workouts, with more than 54% of respondents saying that they preferred to light up. A quarter reported smoking with a pipe (25.3%), 14.6% said they chose to fire a joint, while slightly fewer (14.5%) used a bong. Vaping (14.3%) was also a popular method of incorporating cannabis into the workout routine, followed by edibles (11.8%), blunts (6.7%), topicals (3.7%) and tinctures (3.7%). Those who used cannabis as part of their workouts spent an average of $42.70 per month on cannabis and hemp products.
Although topicals and tinctures placed low on the list of ways to incorporate cannabis into workouts overall, FitRated project manager Christine Burton says that these methods of ingestion were prevalent among those who wished to avoid the aches caused by exercise.
“One interesting note from the survey was the data surrounding post-workout pain,” Burton writes in an email. “Tincture and edibles were reported as the most helpful for keeping post-workout pain at bay.”
Cannabis As Workout Motivation
Slightly less than 41% of the survey’s respondents said they used cannabis to motivate themselves to work out during the pandemic, while a nearly equal percentage said they did not. Over 18% said that they were not sure if they had used cannabis to motivate exercise. More than 48% of those who use THC products as part of their workout regimen said that cannabis was the only way to get motivated during the pandemic. CBD users relied on cannabis less on average, with only 29.7% saying it was the only way to get motivated.
Burton notes that even if it was not the only way to motivate themselves to work out, THC users were still more likely to use cannabis as a motivator to exercise. Additionally, those who preferred THC products said that cannabis had a positive impact on their physical performance.
“THC users were more likely to rely on cannabis to motivate themselves for workouts compared to CBD users, and THC users reported having more intense workouts compared to CBD users,” writes Burton. “Ultimately, 62.5% of THC users said they were able to break personal records while working out compared to only 50% of CBD users.”
Using cannabis was not a sure-fire workout motivator during the outbreak, however. Nearly 42% of those surveyed said they have planned to work out but became so stoned they could not do so. Slightly more, or “46.1% of respondents said they had not become “too stoned” to work out once they consumed cannabis,” Burton says.
The survey revealed other differences between the habits of THC users and those who preferred to incorporate CBD into their workouts as well. For example, more than 36% of THC users considered running the best workout, while only 24.4% of CBD users felt the same. Walking, the top activity for CBD users at 27%, was second on the list for THC users, albeit at a higher percentage (33%).
“CBD users were more likely to say that lifting was the best workout for them, compared to THC users,” Burton writes. “THC users were more than twice as likely to use cannabis before and during a workout.”
While many of the survey’s respondents had a favorite physical activity to enjoy with cannabis, they also saw the potential value of incorporating the plant into other forms of exercise.
“More than one in four people said there’s no workout that can’t benefit from a little weed,” FitRated wrote in its report on the survey.
To identify trends in the use of cannabis while working out during the pandemic, FitRated surveyed 1,004 people who “engage in cannabis-fueled workouts.” Among those surveyed, 29% identified as THC users, 26% identified as CBD users and 45% said they used both THC and CBD. Complete results of the survey are available online.
Do you use cannabis during workouts? Let us know in the comments.