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Co-Marketing…with Gyms?

Fitness may not be the first hobby associated with cannabis users, but according to a study released by the University of Miami, maybe it should be.

Cannabis Users and Exercise

The study from the University of Miami, released in March 2021, found that cannabis use at least doesn’t lead to decreased exercise and fitness, and at best, could suggest a positive relationship. This confirms the findings from a 2019 study out of the University of Colorado that suggests that consumers are using cannabis to help motivation, recovery time, and enjoyment when it comes to getting in their workout.

The study from Colorado surveyed 605 cannabis users about their exercise habits and 81.7% of them endorsed co-using cannabis and exercise. The majority said that using cannabis shortly before or after exercise enhanced their enjoyment of it and their recovery time, and around half even reported that it made them more motivated to exercise. Just over 67% of respondents said that consuming cannabis before and after exercise helped them the most, rather than only using it before, or only using it after.

If the most common barriers that stop people from exercise are, as the study suggests, improper recovery after exercise, lack of motivation, and low enjoyment, then cannabis could be just the thing to get consumers off the couch—contrary to popular belief.

What Products Do They Like?

According to the study, concentrates are much more popular with those who co-use cannabis and exercise compared to those who don’t. Co-users endorsed using high-potency concentrates 2.5 days per week, compared to non-users, who only used them 0.6 days per week.

Dried flower is popular as well, despite what smoking may do to one’s lung capacity. Co-users endorsed using dried flower an average of 5.5 days per week, compared to non-co-users’ 3.2 days per week.

Edibles are slightly less popular with the fit crowd, potentially due to edibles being sold in the form of sweet treats like chocolates and candies, and they only endorsed using edibles 1.3 days per week, while non-co-users endorsed using 1.6 days a week.

This data suggests that co-users have specific go-to strains that help them get moving, and could be using THC or CBD concentrates post-workout because they believe it helps with recovery or muscle soreness.

Co-Marketing to Co-Users

Due to regulations in the Cannabis Act, sales associates and retailers are prohibited from saying that cannabis has beneficial health effects, so the first thing is to refrain from talking about any anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving effects it may or may not have, as tempting as it may be.

You could, however, focus on the motivation and enjoyment aspects.

Suggest dried flower and concentrates with terpenes and cannabinoids that promote good feelings and energy, and encourage customers to explore new products like CBD and THC topicals or even bath bombs—and of course, leave the shame out of it. Avoid phrases that put down or make assumptions about different body types or activity levels.

Co-marketing within gyms themselves can be tricky unless the patrons are all over the legal age in the province, however, collaborating on education sessions or similar events could bring in new faces for both parties.