Race Feel May Equal 'Cheap Marijuana', Study Says

It is well known that people who practice running over time develop a need, a kind of addiction to the activity. So far, science says that the habit of running produces a sense of satisfaction, stress relief, and increased pain tolerance caused by endorphin release.

This consequence of running practice is known among scientists as “runner's high, ” because it refers to the effects of narcotic substances like cannabis. However, a study conducted by German researchers may be revealing that the relationship between the “cheap on the runners” and the “cheap on marijuana” may be closer than imagined.

The research was published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was conducted with laboratory mice. To conclude, the scientists monitored the animals' anxiety and pain tolerance levels before and after a session on their running wheels.

Rats under normal conditions showed a decrease in anxiety and an increase in the amount of pain they were able to endure. By blocking rodent anandamide production, they were anxious and more sensitive to pain after running, just as they were before activity. When endorphin production was blocked but the endocannabinoid system was left intact, the 'runner's roach' again engulfed the mice.

According to scientists, endocannabinoids are a version of the organism for cannabis. Just like the drug, they can affect various brain processes, including appetite, even a lower perception of pain. Unlike endorphin, this is because both anandamide and these substances are able to cross blood-brain barriers, structures responsible for protecting the central nervous system.

Because the study was conducted with mice, it is not possible to be sure that the results would be the same in humans. Both organisms and race conditions are different, as humans do not run on spinning wheels. However, with this research, scientists confirm that cannabinoid receptors are crucial in many ways for runners to have their "cheap" moments too.