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Cannabis has been reported to decrease fatigue symptoms and aide in sleep quality, among other use cases. It is unclear whether cannabis is linked to alterations in physical activity and fitness. Cannabidiol, an active compound in cannabis, has also been reported to decrease fatigue symptoms and aide in sleep. Cannabidiol has been reported to aide in recovery from physical activity, but there is no clear connection between cannabidiol use and the likelihood of engaging in physical activity. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to explore fatigue, sleep, physical activity, fitness markers, and fitness outcomes in cannabis and cannabidiol users. METHODS: Physically active, healthy male and females (N=12) between the ages of 19 and 28 years were recruited for this study. Participants were cannabis users (CAN [n=4]), cannabidiol users (CBD [n=6]), and control (CON [n=2]). All participants visited the lab 4 times. Participants completed body weight and height assessments, a body composition assessment, and questionnaires/surveys on cannabis use, physical activity history, sleep, and fatigue. Participants were then given the FITBIT Inspire HR to track sleep and physical activity for 1 week. Participants then completed a VO2peak test, a Wingate test, and a 1-repetition maximum back squat and bench press test. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between groups with respect to age, height, weight, or BMI. The CAN group had a significantly lower body fat percent than the CON group (p = 0.01). The CBD group spent less time in the fairly active range than the CAN group (p = 0.009). The CON group had significantly lower average peak power (p = 0.01) and average mean power (p = 0.007) when compared to CAN and CBD. This was consistent for relative peak power (p = 0.02) and relative mean power (p = 0.02). The CAN and CBD groups both had higher 1 repetition maximum back squats than CON (p = 0.001, p = 0.007, respectively), and the CAN group had a higher 1 repetition bench press when compared to CON (p = 0.04). There were no differences among groups with respect to fatigue scores, sleep assessment, steps taken per day, minutes spent light and very active, absolute and relative VO2peak, and fatigue index. CONCLUSION: Results from the present study suggest that regular cannabis and cannabidiol users may have the same or better capacity for higher measures of anaerobic power output, and cannabis users may have the same or better capacity for higher measures of muscular strength. These findings provide support for future randomized, controlled clinical trials examining the effects of cannabis and cannabidiol or other health and fitness outcomes.

Available for download on Thursday, December 08, 2022