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.