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Exercise Reduces Cannabis Cravings

Can regular exercise reduce cannabis cravings and use in dependent adults living in the community and not in a treatment program? Researchers at Vanderbilt University conducted a study to find out. 


Subjects ran on treadmills for 30 minutes at 60-70% of target heart, 5 days each week for 2 weeks. Before and after each session, they were shown visual cannabis cues and asked to complete the Marijuana Craving Questionnaire (MCQ-SF).



During the 2 weeks when they were exercising regularly, cannabis use fell by half compared to pre-study use.  Furthermore, results from the craving assessments showed reductions in measures of compulsivity, emotionality, expectancy, and purposefulness. A list of questions used to measure these traits is presented below.


In short, what the researchers observed is thatregular moderate exercise reduced cannabis use and cannabis cravings.


Exhibit I: Factor Structure of the Marijuana Craving Questionnaire-Short Form


Factor 1: Compulsivity

I could not easily limit how much marijuana I smoked right now.

I would not be able to control how much marijuana I smoked if I had some here.

I need to smoke marijuana now.


Factor 2: Emotionality

I would feelmore in control of things right now if I could smoke marijuana.

If I smoked marijuana right now, I would feel less tense.

I would feel less anxious if I smoked marijuana right now.


Factor 3: Expectancy

Smoking marijuana would help me sleep better at night.

If I were smoking marijuana right now, I would feel less nervous.

Smoking marijuana would make me content.


Factor 4: Purposefulness

Smoking marijuana would be pleasant right now.

Right now, I am making plans to use marijuana.

It would be great to smoke marijuana right now.


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