The world of fitness is constantly evolving, with new trends and research shaping our understanding of exercise and wellness.

One such trend is the use of cannabis to enhance the experience of exercise, particularly running. This article delves into the science behind the "runner's high" and the role of cannabis in enhancing this phenomenon.

THC and Health

Understanding the Runner's High

The "runner's high" is a state of euphoria and reduced anxiety experienced during and after prolonged exercise, particularly running [6]. It's characterized by feelings of tranquility, euphoria, and a sense of effortlessness [5].

Recent research suggests that endocannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds in the body similar to the active compounds in cannabis, play a significant role in this phenomenon [4].

Endocannabinoids can cross the blood-brain barrier, similar to cannabinoids found in cannabis, and are believed to contribute to the feelings of well-being associated with the runner's high [6].

Diagram: The Role of Cannabis in Exercise

Cannabis and Exercise: A Synergistic Relationship

Cannabis use before running has been found to increase enjoyment and tranquility, leading to a more positive exercise experience and symptoms of a runner's high [5]. This enhanced exercise experience may explain why cannabis users are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines and have lower body mass indexes [9].

The Role of Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoids, not endorphins, are believed to drive the runner's high, with exercise increasing endocannabinoid levels [5]. This is supported by previous studies linking cannabis use and increased physical activity [12].

Cannabis and Enhanced Recovery

Cannabis use during exercise is associated with increased enjoyment, recovery, and motivation [1]. It may also benefit older adults by promoting physical activity through pain relief [1].

Cannabis and Enhanced Motivation

Cannabis use may enhance exercise motivation and engagement, which could explain why cannabis users meet physical activity guidelines and have lower body mass indexes [5].

Resting Jogger

The Potential Risks of Cannabis Use in Exercise

While the benefits of cannabis use in exercise are promising, it's important to note that cannabis is also associated with negative effects like paranoia and anxiety [1].

Individual Reactions to Cannabis

Individual reactions to cannabis vary, so slow experimentation is important [2]. It's also crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating cannabis into your exercise routine [7].

Legal Restrictions and Sports Regulations

Cannabis is banned in competitive sports but can be used legally for training purposes [3]. Laws and restrictions vary, and research on cannabis in endurance sports is ongoing [2].

Ready to Jog

Practical Tips for Using Cannabis in Exercise

If you're considering using cannabis to enhance your exercise experience, here are some practical tips:

  • Start with a small dose and gradually increase as needed [7].
  • Choose strains with higher CBD content for less intoxication [7].
  • Wait for the effects to kick in before starting your exercise [7].
  • Stay hydrated and have post-workout snacks ready [2].
  • Always follow laws and rules related to cannabis use in your area [2].


The intersection of cannabis and exercise is a fascinating area of research, with studies suggesting that cannabis use can enhance the runner's high and improve the overall exercise experience.

However, it's important to approach this trend with caution and to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating cannabis into your exercise routine.

As our understanding of the endocannabinoid system and its role in exercise continues to evolve, we look forward to further research that can help us optimize our exercise routines and overall wellness.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical, financial, or legal advice. The use of cannabis and its derivatives may have risks and potential side effects, and individuals should always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using cannabis or any other substances for medicinal purposes. This article does not endorse the use of cannabis or any other substances for recreational purposes. The author and publisher of this article are not responsible for any damages or losses that may result from the use of the information presented herein. Readers are advised to do their own research and exercise caution when making decisions related to cannabis or any other substances.

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