Those who consume marijuana walk differently than those who don’t, according to a new study published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.
According to its abstract, the aim of the current study was to “investigate balance and walking gait in adults with a history of cannabis use”. To determine this researchers had cannabis consumers and non-consuming controls complete “screening tests, a gait and balance test (with a motion capture system and in-built force platforms), and a clinical neurological examination of movement.”
Compared to controls, cannabis users “exhibited significantly greater peak angular velocity of the knee (396±30 versus 426±50°/second, P=0.039), greater peak elbow flexion (53±12 versus 57±7°, P=0.038) and elbow range of motion (33±13 versus 36±10°, P=0.044), and reduced shoulder flexion (41±19 versus 26±16°, P=0.007) during walking gait. However, balance and neurological parameters did not significantly differ between the groups.”
In other words, cannabis consumers tended to move their elbows more, but their shoulders less, while swinging their knees in a quicker fashion.
According to researchers; “The results suggest that history of cannabis use is associated with long-lasting changes in open-chain elements of walking gait, but the magnitude of change is not clinically detectable.”
They conclude by stating that “Further research is required to investigate if the subtle gait changes observed in this population become more apparent with aging and increased cannabis use.”
The full study can be found by clicking here.
About Anthony Martinelli
Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.