As someone who personally experiences anxiety and depression, finding ways to feel better are important to me. Two things that have helped more than anything else are running and cannabinoids. A couple of years ago during the first lock down I discovered that by taking my CBD shortly before I run, I not only had more energy but also felt so relaxed and present during and post run.
But how exactly do cannabinoids and running work together to make us feel so good? Let’s explore a bit further…
What is a runners high?
A runner’s high is a brief, deeply relaxing state, characterised by euphoria and anxiolysis (an anti depressive experience similar to that produced by ketamine).
In this case, it occurs after intense or lengthy exercise. Often, people who experience a runner’s high also report feeling less anxiety and pain immediately after their run.
For decades it was thought that endorphins were to thank for this blissful state, however science is now showing us that our bodies natural endocannabinoids are to thank with a study showing that opiod receptors are not associated with the positive feelings, and instead endocannabinoids are better candidates.
A type of endocannabinoid called anandamide is found at high levels in the blood of people who’ve recently completed a run. This is the same hormone produced when we take cannabinoids like CBD or THC. Some research suggests anandamide may trigger a runner’s high. This results in short-term psychoactive effects like:
- reduced anxiety
- a feeling of calm
Other benefits of CBD
But you don’t need to be a long distance runner to benefit from the link between CBD and Exercise. A study from 2021 sited that people take CBD for issues such as anxiety, sleep, stress, pain, exercise recovery and when these things are addressed you are far better positioned physically and mentally to successfully add exercise to our wellbeing routine.
So…. If you want to feel good and are a runner, taking cannabinoids can boost even more anandamide production. If you want to feel good and are not a runner, then just take cannabinoids instead.