The cannabis climate is changing. With legalization sweeping through North America, it’s no surprise that people are discovering more and more uses for cannabis, including those as unlikely as exercise.
The ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype is being debunked through discoveries like these. And although cannabis-friendly athletes are misrepresented, the proverbial Venn-diagram of cannabis and athleticism is closing closer together every day.
Long-distance runners are turning to cannabis for a variety of reasons. The plant can act as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever but most notably for long-distance runners, it mimics the ‘Runners High’. A Runners High inspires feelings of sedation and happiness, a sense of timelessness. Marijuana, as we know, also inspires these feelings and essentially gives recreational users a ‘Runners High’.
Interestingly, a recent study in Germany suggests that a Runners High isn’t due to the release of endorphins, as previously thought, but due to the endocannabinoid system receiving the brains release of Anandamide. Anandamide, like THC, activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors to produce psychological and physical rewards like euphoria and pain relief.
So, a Runners High and a typical cannabis induced high have very specific similarities. They compliment each other in such a way that many long-distance runners are using cannabis as a running aid. Cannabis-friendly runners are also reporting that the plant helps them focus, allowing them to achieve something similar to a flow state.