Weed smokers, watch your step! Marijuana can affect the way you walk

A team of researchers has found that those who smoke cannabis tend to move their shoulders less and elbows more as they walk. They also swing their knees more quickly when walking.

fitness Updated: Sep 04, 2017 11:09 IST
Asian News International
Marijuana,Smoking pot,Health impact weed
These changes were observed in light-to-moderate cannabis smokers. Researchers say heavier cannabis users may have greater impairments.(Shutterstock)

Marijuana use can affect more than just your health. If a new study is to be believed, it can also alter the way you walk. A team of researchers has found that those who smoke cannabis tend to move their shoulders less and elbows more as they walk. The study also found marijuana users swing their knees more quickly when walking than non-users.

Verity Pearson-Dennett, the study’s corresponding author, said, “The main take away message is that use of cannabis can result in subtle changes in the way that you move.”

She said , “The changes in walking were small enough that a neurologist specialising in movement disorders was not able to detect changes in all of the cannabis users. However, many of the participants in the cannabis group were moderate-to-light cannabis users, therefore heavier cannabis users may have greater impairments.”

Illicit drugs work by changing the levels of neurotransmitters in the “pleasure centre” of the brain, which are also important in movement. (Shutterstock)

The researchers compared 22 cannabis users to 22 non-drug using Australians. The cannabis users had consumed the drug more than five times and had no history of illicit stimulant or opioid use.

Illicit drugs work by changing the levels of neurotransmitters in the “pleasure centre”‘ of the brain, which are also important in movement, the researchers said, adding that more analysis was needed.

Pearson-Dennett, said, “This was a small pilot study, therefore a number of questions need to be addressed. For example, does a greater amount of cannabis use mean a greater level of impairment? Does the strain or THC/CBD content of the cannabis used change the level of impairment observed? In addition, the physiological mechanisms that underpin changes in movement are not well understood.”

The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

First Published: Sep 04, 2017 11:09 IST