What Causes A Runner’s High? Here’s What The Research Has To Say

In 2015, a team of German researchers challenged the notion that a runner’s high is caused by endorphins and brain chemistry alone. They reasoned that these feel-good hormones don’t cross the brain-blood barrier, so another mechanism must be responsible for the full-body bliss that can follow a cardio burst. 

These researchers also studied mice but looked specifically at their endocannabinoid activity after exercise. The endocannabinoid system, ECS for short, is a master regulatory system that extends throughout the entire body and plays a role in mood and relaxation as well as pain management.

Sure enough, after running, the mice had an increase in cannabinoids—naturally occurring compounds that boost activity in the ECS. Our bodies naturally release cannabinoids to keep the ECS running smoothly, and this research suggests that it might produce more of them during exercise.

Certain plants also contain cannabinoids; one of the most ubiquitous being the fittingly named cannabis plant. Marijuana, a strain of cannabis, produces its own kind of high because of the way its THC cannabinoids interact with ECS receptors in the brain.

Another strain of the cannabis plant, the hemp plant, is very, very low in THC but does contain plenty of other cannabinoids, like CBD, CBGA, and CBC. In other words, hemp extracts don’t cause the psychoactive high of smoking weed—but they might deliver some of the full-body buzz of a runner’s high. 

Source link

#Runners #High #Heres #Research

More Stories
A Neuroscientist On How Widening Your Gaze Can Help Anxiety