Running is one of the most popular ways for people to break a sweat and get fit. Pretty much anyone can do it—all you need are a good pair of running shoes and some lightweight, sweat-wicking clothes designed for motion. For those who have developed the habit, running is a great way to stay active, get some exercise, and breathe fresh air.
On top of these health benefits, running enthusiasts also tend to experience heightened euphoric feelings after a run. These feelings are similar to the ones you get while eating great food and, yes, while getting high on weed. These running-induced sensations are called runner’s high, which you can experience naturally after a jog.
While our bodies are perfectly capable of producing this high, there is the question of whether certain substances can intensify the feeling. After all, most seasoned runners drink energy drinks or caffeinated beverages to get a kick before they run. And with weed being known for its psychoactive effects that vary in intensity, one might consider using weed to elevate the naturally occurring post-exercise high.
To shed some light on this matter, this article will explore the phenomenon of runner’s high, how weed can possibly alter it, and whether or not this compounded high should be avoided. Hopefully, this will help you decide whether to use your next weed delivery for your future jogging sessions.
What Exactly Is Runner’s High?
Have you ever felt a jolt of happy feelings after a run? Those happy feelings are called runner’s high—a short yet mildly intense period of euphoria that usually follows after continuous exercise. For some people, runner’s high can even make them less susceptible to anxiety and pain after exercise.
For so long, scientists believed that runner’s high is caused by the neurotransmitters released by the brain during exercise. One such neurotransmitter is endorphin, which acts as your body’s natural opioids and “feel good” chemicals. Essentially, your endorphins are responsible for giving you relief from stress and pain.
However, newer studies posit that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) might be the cause of runner’s high. Your body’s ECS serves as a network of neurotransmitters and receptors that handle various body functions, including emotional processing and digestion. Unlike endorphins, endocannabinoids take effect through the blood-brain barrier, potentially altering your mood during exercise. But similar to endorphins, endocannabinoids also deliver pain relief. As such, new research suggests that one might experience runner’s high due to an increase in endocannabinoid levels.
How Does Weed Affect My ‘Runner’s High’?
Generally, the effects of weed are felt due to the binding of its cannabinoids to your body’s ECS. These cannabinoids, especially the THC component, affect the nerve cells responsible for pleasure and sensory perception. And since they bind to your body’s ECS, weed cannabinoids also affect appetite, sleep, emotional processing, immune responses (including inflammation), and pain control, among others. When you ingest or use cannabis, the cannabinoids mimic your body’s natural endocannabinoids and trigger the feelings that constitute runner’s high. While further research is needed on the role of cannabis in inducing runner’s high, preliminary studies suggest that marijuana may give runners a head start on those happy feelings. Other than that, cannabis can heighten alertness and concentration while