Runner’s high is a state that athletes or anyone who regularly exercise may experience. It’s pretty common to experience stress relief or a rush of endorphins kicking in after a substantial physical activity. However, nobody has ever analyzed the science behind runner’s high.
Yes, there’s a science to it. When someone indulges in physical activity, people often reduce their pain and stress levels; some even claim to feel less anxiety after exercise. This state of euphoria is mainly because of the release of certain chemicals.
Let’s understand runner’s high in more detail and how CBD is involved.
Understanding Runner’s High
As mentioned above, a runner’s high is a state of euphoria that people experience when they’ve been involved in highly physical activity. After being physically active, the brain releases certain chemicals into our system that helps you feel more energetic while experiencing immense joy. Let’s explain runner’s high through an example.
Let’s suppose you went for a run in the park. You have your headphones on with your favorite music playing. You’ll feel a push of motivation to run more. After you’ve completed your run, you’ll automatically feel a sense of accomplishment. This feeling is caused by releasing endorphins in your body that help you feel ecstatic.
Some people might even want to run for longer as they feel they haven’t reached their full potential yet. The release of endorphins makes you believe you can achieve more as it lands you in a positive state of mind. Runner’s high isn’t restricted to runners only; you can experience it whenever you indulge your body in strenuous physical activity, like lifting weights.
The experience one gets after runner’s high may vary as it’s a purely subjective experience, with different effects on different people. For some, runner’s high may not last as long, while others enjoy it for a much longer time. Also, the intensity of joy or happiness varies too. Since a runner’s high help take your body and mind to a different zone, many people try inducing it for pain relief or curbing their anxiety.
The Role of CBD
While there’s a runner’s high, people induce another form of “high” through some plants. You may have heard of cannabis, a psychoactive drug extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant. This plant includes chemical compounds, namely tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD). While THC is a significant contributing factor in getting people high, CBD works differently.
Many people do not know that the human body creates its version of THC and CBD, called endocannabinoids. “Endo” means to produce within the body. These endocannabinoids are made by the brain and released into our whole system when we get physically active in any way. Our body’s CBD doesn’t get us high enough to experience numbness but enough for us to feel euphoric.
CBD is often used in many foods, medicines, and oils as it induces a state of relaxation well. In addition, the CBD in our body interacts with the cannabinoid receptors to help our system experience pain relief, reduced anxiety, enhanced memory, etc.
One thing to know is that the endocannabinoids released in our body aren’t detrimental in any way, instead of the actual cannabis that’s consumed chiefly to experience a deadlier high. The former helps us feel happier by giving us a rush of endorphins. But, unfortunately, the latter causes severely harmful effects, slowing down the brain and, eventually, mental impairment.
Relationship Between Endocannabinoids and Runner’s High
As scientists put more research into the relationship between endocannabinoids and runner’s high, findings suggest that endocannabinoids have a higher effect on runner’s high than endorphins. Many humans and animals were treated as subjects to prove this claim further.
Scientists blocked opioid receptors by inducing a drug called naltrexone in their systems. However, the subjects were still found to experience pain relief and anxiety reductions – all the health benefits from physical exercise.
At the same time, though, when cannabinoid receptors were blocked, subjects were prevented from feeling any rush in their systems – not allowing them to experience runner’s high and get any of the benefits from it. Indeed, one can conclude that endocannabinoids contribute more to the runner’s high.
Research is still vague as endocannabinoids may release in the human system after strenuous activity. These endocannabinoids circulate smoothly in our body, making it more open to experience runner’s high. However, it was also concluded that endocannabinoids have varying effects on different bodies, some not releasing as much.
Health Benefits of Runner’s High
A runner’s high takes you to a specific zone that exposes to you a wide range of health benefits. However, to experience a runner’s high, one will have to indulge in something physical. Therefore, you will need to have some physical activity, like cycling, running, weightlifting, and swimming. Let’s explore some of the few benefits you can get through a runner’s high.
Improves Mental Health
Mental health is a sensitive subject that thankfully is more openly talked about now. While there are many to improve your mental health, physical exercise is one. Firstly, it distracts you from the ongoing chaos in your life. When your brain is focused on a particular activity, it won’t allow you to think of your problems. Another reason is the rush of endorphins (or cannabinoids) you’ll feel that’ll automatically make you feel lighter and happier.
Exercising daily or even a few times a week can help maintain your body’s blood flow and digestive system. Physical activity keeps a check-in balance, helping you develop a healthier body. In addition, the more you exercise, the smoother your digestive system will get, helping you adapt to healthier eating habits as well.
Reduces Risks of Other Diseases
Staying physically active helps you avoid many health-related problems, such as heart diseases and cancer. If you indulge in plenty of exercises, your body will become stronger, giving you more immunity to fight viruses and bacteria. The constant movement also helps avoid getting too much cholesterol in your system, reducing the chances of heart problems.