Physical Activity and Marijuana Use

A group of people playing basketball at sunset.

This study seeks to determine if exercise serves as a positive alternative to regular marijuana use among 18-25 year olds. The findings will help develop secondary prevention strategies to reduce substance-abuse risk.

Principal Investigator: R. Lorraine Collins, PhD

Co-investigators: Leonard Epstein, MD, UB School of Medicine; Joan Dorn, PhD, and Jihnhee Yu, PhD, UB School of Public Health and Health Professions; and Jalie Tucker, PhD, University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Public Health.

Funding Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Period: 09/2009 - 08/2013

Abstract: Marijuana is the most popular illegal substance used by emerging and young adults (ages 18-25). To reduce risks for negative marijuana-related consequences, effective secondary prevention strategies for reducing marijuana use are needed. The goal of this project is to evaluate whether physical activity/exercise serves as a positive alternative to marijuana use among regular users. Each of the three studies involves a combination of a behavioral economics conceptual framework and sophisticated, state-of-the-science data collection methods. Each participant will complete behavioral economics experimental tasks and use ecological momentary assessment (EMA) procedures to provide two weeks of real-time data about their marijuana use, physical activity, mood and social context. Participants will use cell phones and interactive voice response software to provide the EMA data. They also will wear accelerometers to provide data on their level of physical activity. Findings from these studies will contribute to scientific knowledge about relationships between physical activity/exercise and marijuana use and contribute to the development of secondary prevention strategies to reduce substance-abuse risk among young adults who regularly use marijuana.