Now that weed is slowly getting legalized throughout the country, people are starting to treat marijuana as a health aid. Truthfully, there's good reason for people treating cannabis as a great way to ease pain from workouts, reduce anxiety, and also just improve your overall quality of life.
Many people who smoke marijuana also happen to be avid fitness fans. Of those people, many of them are now using wearable technology like Fitbit in order to track their fitness - and they're beginning to notice strange trends in their Fitbit usage.
Contrary to the popular trope of stoners being lazy couch potatoes, there's a lot of evidence that shows that smoking certain strains of cannabis could actually give you a boost of energy. In fact, some strains of cannabis are now even being advised as exercise aids.
As the trend of exercising after smoking pot continues to gain traction, people are starting to look at their Fitbit data and ask themselves if being a marijuana user could have possibly led to corrupted wearable data.
Here's what you need to know about cannabis and Fitbit data, if you're worried about the readings you're getting being fudged by your usage.
First off, smoking pot will not cause Fitbit corruption - technically speaking.
There used to be a time when having computers in a very dirty, dusty, smoky office could actually legitimately slow down their efficiency. This was because computers actually had a lot more moving parts, and too much smoke and dust could end up causing the hardware of the machinery to break down.
However, that was about 20 years ago.
Right now, you could probably go into a filthy room which is hotboxed with gangja, and your Fitbit would still operate well. Times have changed, and most exercise trackers are designed to deal with a little bit of rough terrain, heat, and water.
Keeping your Fitbit around smoke won't corrupt the data, nor will it make your stats go bad. However, that isn't to say that people who smoked weed didn't see a strange effect on their wearable data. Many, in fact, noticed that their Fitbit data seemed a little bit off.
Here's why cannabis can affect (but not corrupt) wearable data from Fitbits and other workout trackers...
Cannabis might be making your exercise and running times longer, primarily because your runner's high might be bolstered by a stoner's high.
Studies have shown that THC that is stored in fat cells gets released over the course of moderate exercise like jogging or running. Studies have also shown that the "runner's high" legend really is true - you can get a rush of endorphins from running or heavy exercise exertion.
Both runner's highs and stoner's highs help you moderate pain, exhaustion, and a number of other feelings that would typically get you to want to stop exercising.
The end result? You end up working out for longer, feeling the same as you would have if you had just worked out a little less without having smoked pot. The more pot you have stored up in your system, the more pain you can process without actually feeling much discomfort.
As a result of the boost you get from both the runner's high and stoner's high, your workout times are longer, you walk more steps, and you burn more calories.
Therefore, it's safe to say that cannabis doesn't corrupt your wearable data collection; rather, it's altering how your body is able to handle your workouts. This in turn makes your Fitbit chart better results.
It's also worth noting that smoking weed also has other effects that can alter data on your Fitbit.
Smoking marijuana can also raise pulse rates, which means that your heart rates may be higher than normal. If you're looking at aerobic exercises, then this means that you're technically getting a heart rate that doesn't really match the amount of exertion you're doing.
Wearable data collection mechanisms like Fitbit won't really notice what kind of activity you're doing. All they'll notice is that your heart rate is up, or that you're moving around. So, you might also be getting slightly raised stats because of smoking a joint.
All things said and done, your stats may end up getting boosted by marijuana use.
People may not like the idea that marijuana could technically be considered a performance enhancing drug, but hey, that's life. When you look at the stats, it's clear that ingesting this herb will lead to improving better stats on your data.
If you want to get a baseline on what your body naturally is capable of, then the data you get after using marijuana would technically be considered corrupted data. However, if you just want to see if the data you got from your Fitbit is real, marijuana didn't alter the readings you got - you really did run a bit extra.
So, if you're looking for a baseline, sorry, you're out of luck and need to avoid cannabis. On the other hand, those of us who just want to push ourselves further can raise our pipes up to celebrate the awesome effects cannabis can have on our workouts.
The overall verdict? Well, cannabis won't corrupt wearable data - but it is technically a performance-enhancing drug. So, take that as you wish.