Oddly Enough - UK Reuters

Marijuana buzz linked to "runner's high"
Fri Jan 9,

By Paul Simao

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The same family of chemicals that produces a buzz in marijuana smokers may be responsible for "runner's high," the euphoric feeling that some people get when they exercise, U.S. researchers say.



High levels of anandamide were found in young men who ran or cycled at a moderate rate for about an hour, according to a study made public this week by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine.


Anandamide is a cannabinoid, or lipid molecule, that is naturally produced in the body. It is known to produce sensations that are similar to those of THC, the psychoactive property in marijuana.


The study's findings, which were recently published in the journal NeuroReport, fly in the face of those who believe that the release of brain chemicals called endorphins cause the peculiar high that some runners and cyclists claim to feel.


Arne Dietrich, the study's principal investigator and a former visiting professor at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, believes the body releases cannabinoids to help it cope with the prolonged stress and pain of moderate or intense exercise.


"No other study has ever considered this possibility, which is why the results are so significant," said Dietrich, who added that there were no indications that cannabinoids caused any harm when naturally released during intense exercise.

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