There are a few known barriers to exercise that researchers have identified: a lack of motivation, difficult recovery after working out, and low enjoyment of the activity. Cannabis seems to help lift those barriers for some individuals.
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Almost 500 participants said they endorse using marijuana one hour before, or up to four hours after, exercising. And based on data from the questionnaire, those who did use cannabis in that timeframe worked out longer than consumers who didn’t pair the activities. Specifically, those who engaged in co-use worked out an average of 43 minutes longer for aerobic exercise and 30 minutes longer for anaerobic exercise.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to survey attitudes and behavior regarding the use of cannabis before and after exercise, and to examine differences between cannabis users who engage in co-use, compared to those who do not,” the study authors wrote. “Given both the spreading legalization of cannabis and the low rates of physical activity in the US, it behooves public health officials to understand the potential effects — both beneficial and harmful — of cannabis use on exercise behaviors.”
Researchers at the University of Colorado surveyed more than 600 marijuana consumers in states where it is legal to assess how people use cannabis in relation to exercise. Their results, published this month in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, poke yet another hole in the lazy, couch-locked stoner stereotype.
Marijuana Moment is a wire service assembled by Tom Angell, a marijuana legalization activist and journalist covering marijuana reform nationwide. The views expressed by Angell or Marijuana Moment are neither endorsed by the Globe nor do they reflect the Globe’s views on any subject area.
What’s behind the trend?
Most people who use marijuana report that consuming before or after exercising improves the experience and aids in recovery, according to a new study. And those who do use cannabis to elevate their workout tend to get a healthier amount of exercise.
Seventy percent of respondents said they agree or strongly agree that “cannabis increases enjoyment of exercise,” 78 percent said that marijuana “enhances recovery from exercise,” and just over 50 percent said that it “increases motivation.”
Most people who use marijuana report that consuming before or after exercising improves the experience and aids in recovery.
Hoecherl says her “edible arts and crafts” are also inspired by the now-vintage Wilton Cake Decorating yearbooks that lined her childhood home shelves. “I love the look and feel of cake decorating trends from the 50s and early 90s,” she says. “Once fondant comes into the picture, that’s where I draw the line. Fondant doesn’t look like cake to me – it looks like plastic. Buttercream is just so lush and decadent, and so transformative.”
“Cakes are often decorated with flowers and plant life – be it actual flora or those that are sculpted from buttercream and marzipan. So why not treat cannabis the same way?”
A note on this piece: While reflecting and exploring creative pursuits can be a good use of freer time in quarantine, it’s also an opportunity to take action for those who have been unjustly incarcerated due to marijuana possession. According to an ACLU report released today, from 2010 to 2018, law enforcement in the US made more than 6.1 million marijuana arrests. In 2018, there were almost 700,000 marijuana arrests nationwide, accounting for 43 per cent of all drug-related arrests. Though marijuana use is roughly equal among white and black people, black people are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has her currently out of work, Hoecherl hopes to stay in the world of food styling. She’s worked with brands such as Parade, Susan Alexandra, and Saks, and is creating cakes for weed-culture magazines. In quarantine, she continues to experiment. “I bought the tools to make these really incredible 3D flower jelly cakes about a year ago and never touched them, so I finally gave it a shot this week,” she says. “I’m not great at it yet, but I’m hoping to master it by the time quarantine is over.” We’ll take a 3D cannabis flower jelly cake over a dry, knobbly weed brownie any day.
“Cakes are often decorated with flowers and plant life – be it actual flora or those that are sculpted from buttercream and marzipan. So why not treat cannabis the same way?” Hoecherl says. Now, the Brooklyn-based cake stylist creates technicolour treats topped with fruits that echo the early-1900s ambrosia salad aesthetic, with mid-century swirls and squiggles of frosting, multicolored sugar pearls, and cannabis leaf embellishments. They’re sweets fit for a saccharine cannabis princess, taking pride of place on her Instagram The Gemini Bake.
A believer that “more is more,” Hoecherl is not one to take inspiration from the modern, minimalistic cake decor trends. Instead, she finds muses in Sid and Marty Krofft, television creators and puppeteers whose variety shows and children’s programs were popular during the 70s and 80s; Jacques Demy, a French director known for campy musical films such as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort; and classic Hollywood movie-musicals that represent the delight of colour and glitz.
You may also know Hoecherl from her delightful @tasteofstreep Instagram, where she combines classic images of actress Meryl Streep with food. The Gemini Bake is her dreamy dessert portfolio, where she documents her stereotype-defying weed cakes. “Nothing about my baking is gourmet or fancy by any means,” she affirms though. “(The cake itself is) a pretty standard, traditional, all-American sugary birthday cake because that’s what I grew up with. I’m trying to experiment more with recipe development – but ultimately it’s all about the decorating for me.”
When Sam Raye Hoecherl first searched “cannabis cake” on Google Images, she was unpleasantly surprised. “The results were pages and pages of these hideous, stereotypical ‘stoner’ cakes,” she says. “Goofy cartoon leaves with huge bloodshot eyes smoking giant fondant joints. Nothing about them is thoughtful or interesting — and worst of all, they’re perpetuating a stigma during a crucial time for long overdue legalization.” As a regular stoner and cake decorator searching for her own style, Hoecherl was inspired to subvert the tired and tacky weed-themed dessert, and actually represent the beauty of the cannabis flower.
Hoecherl ultimately hopes that her cakes take readers “somewhere dreamy, even if just for a moment.” With this in mind, she’s been posting “momentary mind vacations” on her Instagram: photos of vintage and kaleidoscopic cakes that are meant to act as respite from the current crises we’re living through. In a feed full of whimsical weed cakes, towering, baby-pink confections, and sweets that look straight out of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, she hopes to provide “the same nostalgia and comfort that it brings me.”
The Gemini Bake makes eye-popping edibles inspired by classic all-American cookbooks, rolling papers, and campy movies