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  1. 5-HT2A
    Researchers examining the role of the body's self-produced cannabinoids have found they may be responsible for the "runner's high" usually attributed to endorphins.

    Just as endorphins are the body's own opiates, endocannabinoids are the body's own cannabinoids, similar to and acting on the same brain receptors as marijuana. While endorphins have long gotten the credit for creating that blissful state during prolonged exercise known as runner's high, the story now looks more complicated.

    Since the 1980s, the prevailing theory has been that the body releases endorphins to reduce the physical discomfort from exercise and create that positive, energized feeling. But for years, there have been doubts. Endorphin molecules are big, and while they can help locally by relaxing muscles, they are so big it seems unlikely they could pass through the blood-brain barrier to produce that high. Previous studies looking into the runner's high noted that not only endorphins, but also endocannabinoids were present in high levels in the blood of exercising animals and humans.

    In a new study, researchers at Germany's University of Heidelberg medical school reinforced those results, finding that after engaging in running, an activity they do for fun, mice showed elevated levels of both endorphins and endocannabinoids. The mice also displayed less anxiety, less sensitivity to pain and more tranquility—measured by their willingness to stay in lighted areas of their cages rather than retreating to dark corners.

    The researchers then tried blocking receptors, and that's when things got interesting. When they blocked endorphin receptors, the post-run mice were just as mellow as before, but when they blocked endocannabinoid receptors, the mice were just as anxious as before running and very sensitive to pain. This very strongly suggests it is the endocannabinoids, not the endorphins, that are primarily responsible for runner's high.

    So, why do mice, or humans, for that matter, get a runner's high? It could be an evolutionary advantage, the researchers said.

    "Maybe runner’s high is not some peculiar thing with humans," said lead researcher David Raichlen of the University of Arizona. "Maybe it’s an evolutionary payoff for doing something hard and painful that also helps them survive better, be healthier, hunt better or have more offspring."

    by Phillip Smith

    October 9, 2015



  1. Alien Sex Fiend
    Runner's high a blissful state?

    No, it is not. Runner's "high" feels rather discomfortable and jittery
  2. WizardMindBomb
    Have you ever had a real runners high before then, ASF? Haha I like a good run and I definitely wouldn't call it uncomfortable or jittery... It really is an amazing feeling, and it can leave me feeling boosted for hours afterwards.

    Thanks for sharing that one 5-HT2A
  3. Alien Sex Fiend
    Yes, I was a marathon athlete in high school. So i had the "high". It sucked. I never liked it
  4. rawbeer
    Maybe your runner's high was too THC-heavy, like Sour Diesel. Try a more indica a based, CBD-heavy runner's high. That should mellow you out.

    In all seriousness though, could different body chemistry types effect this? Maybe someone with an endocannibinoid problem won't enjoy the runner's high as much? I certainly love the feeling and would describe it as the exact opposite of jittery and uncomfortable.
  5. corvardus
    Runners high would be in concert with other hormones rather than endogenous cannabinoids. People are different and react differently to different substances. I, for example, would have a guaranteed panic attack with cannabis and any other kind of stimulant (Talking BP: 160+) yet others would have the time of their lives.

    It stands to reason that it could be less than pleasurable effects given the same substances. This is probably why the setting, experience and other factors are important when taking drugs. The mind is part of the equation for pleasurable experiences and also part of the equation for negative ones as well.

    As for the OP I thought it was common knowledge that the runners high was an endocannabinoid, evidently taking the knowledge at face value was mistake although it turned out to be correct in the end.
  6. Alfa
    If endocannabinoids were measured alongside endorphins, then surely endorphins play a role. Its a weird treat of science to try to pin causes to a single factor, rather than a combination of factors.
  7. best
    Phenethylamine, which could be considered as your Endo-Amphetamine, may also play a part in the runners high, one of its metabolites have been found to increase after exercise in humans.

    It seems so.
    Some people may have a diet low in Amino Acids, and possibly have less Phenethylamine released during Exercise, or some may have a highly active enzymes that degrade Endorphins, Anandamide, etc. causing differences of effects from Exercise from person to person.
  8. RoboCodeine7610
    This actually makes a lot of sense to me. I've been wondering for a couple of years why I could only feel the 'runners high' after I stopped smoking cannabis for at least a couple of weeks. The difference is not just noticeable, it's day and night. When there's still cannabinoids in my system, I just don't feel it.

    Makes sense that a tolerance to thc would desensitize you to endocannabinoids.

  9. TheBigBadWolf
    It also makes sense to me:

    In my early youth 13-14 y/o I was a good cyclist, eating our local mountains after school then when arrived enjoyed the runner's high and took a ride down the streets I had been forcing me upwards in a state of rush I only can compare to what I experienced years later when I combined hash and amphetamines.
    Quite a dangerous state to take part in street traffic - I had some spectacular crashes, two of them in the same curve..
    What I wanted to say was:
    As soon as I started to smoke hash & marijuana I didn't get that blissful feeling anymore and my 10gear racing bike from Raleigh turned into a moped...

    If that is what they call the "amotivational syndrome" we are one step further..

    As we know, Men and Mice are a bit different tho..
    Let's hope for more insightful examinations..

  10. rawbeer
    I'm a runner, run most days. I smoke marijuana sometimes once a month, sometimes daily for weeks. Pot doesn't seem to effect my runner's high.

    I rarely smoke enough to build much of a tolerance. After two weeks of daily smoking 3 small puffs of good weed will still get me high for several hours. Usually if I smoke for a few days in a row I take a break for at least a few more days. Or longer. So maybe it's more tolerance than frequency? Moderate frequent smoking may be okay in this respect.
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