Ever noticed that your morning jog feels a tad more enjoyable after a bit of cannabis use? If so, you're not alone. A recent study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal suggests that the joy and serenity you feel during a run might actually be amplified by a cannabis pregame.
In the study, runners trotted an average of roughly four miles. They found their run significantly more enjoyable when they'd consumed some cannabis beforehand, as compared to when they hadn't. Talk about an extra spring in your step!
The researchers observed, "Our participants noted feeling more happy, serene, and experienced a heightened 'runner's high' (like feelings of euphoria and effortlessness) when they'd used cannabis as and when needed before running. This aligns well with earlier research hinting that exercise paired with cannabis may make your workout more fun."
What they're implying is why we started OFFFIELD, since feelings of joy, detachment, and enjoyment during exercise are positively linked with our ability to start and stick to a regular exercise routine, it's possible that cannabis could be an unexpected motivator for workouts among its users. This could partially explain why cannabis users are often more physically active and have lower body mass indexes than non-users. Moreover, it could also suggest why those who pair exercise with cannabis tend to work out more compared to those who don't.
Interestingly, data from Wayne State University researchers in 2022 suggests that it's endocannabinoids, not endorphins, that deserve the credit for the buzz we commonly refer to as a 'runner's high.' Hilary A. Marusak, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at the university, penned, "Endocannabinoids in our bodies naturally increase during exercise... pointing to them, and not endorphins, as the true stars behind the runner's high. This natural chemical increase might better explain some of the beneficial effects of exercise on our brains and bodies."
So, this isn't the first time that we're sharing the link between cannabis use and physical activity. Several past studies have made similar observations across various age groups.
Want to know more?
Check out the abstract of the study, charmingly titled "'Running high: Cannabis users' subjective experience of exercise during legal market cannabis use versus no use in a naturalistic setting," now up on PubMed.