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What Actually is a Runners High?

Did you know that Asé Pure Naturals was founded by an ultra-runner? Founder Heather Jacoby discovered that CBD and THC were so helpful to her running regimen, that she set out to make this easily available for other athletes and for people just like you, who want to feel good. Whether you’re picking out your first pair of running shoes, doing a first learning on how to develop your own running habit, or if you’ve been running for years – you may have heard about the runner’s high


Did you know your body’s own chemicals produce this runner’s high, which involve the natural endocannabinoids your body produces? Scientist today believe the feeling of the “runners high” is due to a rise in your endocannabinoid system. As cannabinoids circulate through your system, your body begins to feel relaxed and euphoric. Because of these feel-good natural chemicals in the body, we know that we can boost them, support them, and fill in where there’s lack – with plant-based cannabinoids which work naturally within the body, just like the natural endocannabinoids your body produces. So, strap on your running shoes, grab your water bottle and let’s get your running game on the fast track to that feel good runner’s high.

Key Points

  • Runner’s high – A discussion on the natural chemicals in your body that produces this effect.
  • Runner’s high benefits – A discussion on the benefits of runner’s high.
  • How CBD plays a role for runners, adding a pleasurable benefit for the user and amplifying the benefits of your running regimen.


First of All, What Is a Runner’s High?

Your body makes natural endogenous opioids like endorphins, which are released after intense activity like having a good run. This has long been thought the only reason that runners feel this euphoric feeling after the intensity of a running workout. Feelings can range from elation and happiness to a feeling of gentle peace and calm.


Endorphins aren’t the only component in your body contributing to this feeling. Many runners that use CBD and THC products like CBD oils feel that taking these products helps to support their runs and also help them recovery faster allowing them to get back to training quicker.


Perhaps, this is because CBD and THC are both cannabinoids and cannabinoids mimic the endocannabinoids your body produces. But what, exactly, are endocannabinoids and what do they do in your body? There must be an important role for these tiny chemicals or your body wouldn’t produce them. And how can we get the most out of our body’s performance and recovery? Might Phytocannabinoids play a larger role in workout support and recovery than we’ve previously given them credit?


What Chemicals Cause Runner’s High?

Since the 1980’s, the exercise boom (yes, with the bright-colored leotards, the big hair and leg warmers) embraced the “endorphins” craze full force. This is around the time when science began explaining how endorphins worked in our bodies and how they are released after a good workout. The craze was on – people chased this endorphin-kick, including runners. 


According to researchers V J Harber, J R Sutton, these chemical releases of endorphins induced by exercise are linked to:

  • Mood state changes
  • ‘Exercise-induced euphoria’
  • Altered pain perception
  • Menstrual disturbances in female athletes
  • Stress responses of numerous hormones (growth hormone, ACTH, prolactin, catecholamines and cortisol)


Now, we know even more about how our bodies work, particularly regarding endocannabinoids which weren’t discovered until 1992 when NIMH researchers William Devane and Dr. Lumir Hanus discovered the first, anandamide. Now researchers want to know if there’s more to the runner’s high than mere endorphins. Yes, endorphins are great – but so are these tiny molecules we call endocannabinoids. 


One big difference between endorphins and endocannabinoids is the size in the molecules. Endorphins are larger molecules than endocannabinoids or Phytocannabinoids, the latter two of which are able to pass the blood-brain barrier.


What Are Endocannabinoids and What Do They Do?

Endocannabinoids are neurochemicals produced in your body by the pituitary glands and the central nervous system. Your body’s endocannabinoid system utilizes these chemicals to bring balance and efficiency to a variety of your bodily systems, organs, tissues, and cells. New research is entertaining the idea that these chemicals also contribute to the runner’s high that you feel after intense exercise.

Endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by your body)

There are lots of endocannabinoids and some have yet to be identified and named, but here are the four most well-known.

  • Anandamide
  • 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)
  • N-Arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA) 
  • Virodhamine 


Phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by plants)

Phytocannabinoids are produced by plants and mimic the activity of the natural endocannabinoids your body produces. Also, they are well received and utilized by the body to do the same things in your system as the body’s endocannabinoids do. There are over 100 cannabinoids found in industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) plants and these four are the most well-known.

  • Cannabidiol – CBD
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol – THC (This is the only cannabinoid that can produce a psychogenic “high” feeling.)
  • Cannabigerol – CBG
  • Cannabinol – CBN


How Does CBD Play a Role for Runners?

The way the endocannabinoid system works requires plenty of endocannabinoids to be available for use. Some people are naturally deficient in endocannabinoids or when exercising it could benefit the user to flood the system with Phyto cannabinoids to support the endocannabinoid system and thereby the entire body, including the brain. 


Do CBD and THC Help Runners?

Many runners report that they feel better during and after their workouts when on a regular CBD regimen, both the kind with THC included and the kind that does not have THC.

There are a variety of benefits for runners to use CBD products:

  • Improved sleep (which aids in rest and recovery)
  • Improved body systems and homeostasis within the body (Think of it like keeping your car serviced and lubricated – it simply runs better!)
  • Improved muscle soreness during and after your runs as well as enhanced muscle recovery
  • New research suggests that the endocannabinoid system is boosted during physical activities like running. (This is excellent news for runners and other athletes who want to make the most of each and every workout, as well as that crucial recovery time afterwards.)


Should You Opt for CBD Only or Use the Kind with THC?

There’s a lot of people on both sides of this with some athletes saying they prefer the broad spectrum options and feel less tired during the day. Others swear by the effects of THC as a way to boost other cannabinoids and their efficacy, as well as boosting recovery times. Some athletes report that they feel less pain and soreness during their workouts when they use a full spectrum CBD oil with THC in it. Some go so far as to take much higher doses of THC in marijuana products to support their athletic performance. 


So, it comes down to a few things:

  • Personal preference – Do you feel better when using one or the other? Then that’s the best one for you.
  • Your doctor’s advice and other restrictions – Do you have THC restrictions to adhere to within your athletic organization or employer? Then use what you are allowed to use.
  • Your need – Do you have pain and muscle soreness after running? Then using a CBD roll on in partnership with a full spectrum CBD regimen could be nothing short of game-changing for you.


Does CBD Help the Runner’s High?

Technically the science is lagging a little on this, if we’re completely honest. You have to remember that cannabis research is still in its infancy but cannabis use is not. This is why we have tons of anecdotal evidence saying – Take this CBD stuff! It helps you with your workouts, for real!  But we wait for more research to show us exactly how, and to prove it once and for all. 


Stay Tuned to Learn More from Asé Pure Naturals

Stay right here with us at Asé Pure Naturals. We are here to be a part of your best run, your best races, your fastest times, and your sweatiest accomplishments, because we know when you put foot to pavement and run – you want it to be fantastic. You want it to be productive and as beneficial for your whole body as possible. And you want to reach your fitness goals.


We hope your personal experience with CBD and running is that your runner’s high is better than ever with CBD!

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