Updated: Feb 25, 2021
When I tell people they can take CBD to help induce runner’s high, it is often a confusing conversation. Here’s the deal:
“Runner’s high” is the euphoric feeling you get after you crush a tough cardio workout; METCON or interval sesh. The runner feels this sense of euphoria because of a chemical that gets released in the brain. The chemical is an endocannabinoid (a cannabinoid made by your own body) called anandamide.
Anandamide is known as the bliss molecule. It is named after the Sanskrit word “Ananda,” which means bliss. Anandamide was discovered in the early 90’s by chemists in Israel who were studying the effects of THC. This was a pretty big deal because:
A) It was proof that the body creates cannabinoids of its own. This led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
B) They figured out why THC gets you "stoned." Contrary to popular belief, it was not a flood of dopamine.
C) (capital C here folks) Scientists discovered the bliss molecule anandamide, which is responsible for mood regulation. It is also shown to modulate fear, anxiety, and even pain. Since this discovery, studies have shown that unhealthy levels of anandamide have been linked to depression and even schizophrenia!
THC mimics anandamide and fits perfectly into CB1 receptors in the brain. This is what creates the euphoric feeling that makes you feel “high” or “stoned.” However, CBD doesn’t.
So why would I take CBD to induce runner’s high?
Cannabidiol (CBD) blocks the bad guys that eat our beautiful little bliss molecule anandamide. The bad guys in this case are called FAAH, or fatty acid amide hydrolase.
The amount of FAAH the body produces is genetic. Some people really are just genetically happier. This explains why Tom wakes up and drinks coffee, poops a rainbow, and rides a unicorn to work; and others of us…not so much. Tom really is naturally happier; he genetically produces less FAAH, therefore he has more anandamide.
Moral of the story for athletes: Take a good full spectrum hemp extraction high in CBD to keep more of the happy molecule in your body. The goal here is more workout, less suck…and more happiness in general. Until next time...
Stay healthy, my friends!