With legalization becoming more widespread in the U.S. and a few other countries around the world, cannabis has become a popular companion for several activities. You would think that these activities would only involve something low key like a movie or some music, but marijuana is displaying a significant presence in recreational and professional sports. Today, we’ll be talking to all the runners out there. Whether you do it to stay in shape, or you’re preparing for your next marathon, cannabis may be of interest to you.

It has been found that both the “runner’s high” and the high initiated by cannabis are triggered by the endocannabinoid system. Running for long periods of time will make the body naturally produce the endocannabinoid named “anandamide.” This is the chemical compound responsible for making you feel “in the zone” and fully immersed into an activity. This is the reason many runners and athletes tend to consume cannabis. Instead of waiting for your body to naturally trigger the compound, how about kick-starting it yourself right from the start of the exercise?


CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. This means it does not give you the traditional cannabis “high.” Because of this, and because it’s mostly legal around the world, more people are using it for different reasons. But what is important to note is how this cannabinoid effects anandamide.

Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors. It does, however, work against the fatty acid amide hydroxylase, the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of anandamide. By reducing the compound that destroys the thing you want, it inevitably makes you feel good. This will consequently increase the runner’s high.

CBD has also been shown to mediate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature - all aspects that affect how enjoyable your run is. Let’s take a deeper look into these.


Each individual will be affected differently by cannabis and consequently, CBD. Despite this, there are a few factors that seem to be common across all consumers, even if in varying degrees. Pain is a factor that is easily medicated with cannabis. CBD does wonders as an analgesic both during and after exercise. Many runners resort to cannabis in the couple days following a race. This is when muscle ache and pain is mostly felt.

Inflammation reduction, as well as improved quality of sleep and relaxation, are also CBD advantages. Not only does this cannabinoid help reduce the pain associated with inflammation, it also helps reduce inflammation in general. On a physiological level, there are chemical changes that occur when you ingest CBD. These changes help speed up the recovery process after your run.

The possible uses of CBD seem to be endless. As of late, CBD has been potentiated in the medical field as an excellent anti-seizure medication, especially for a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. This could translate into a decrease in muscle spasms for runners. Spasms tend to happen because of trauma, dehydration, or muscle strain. CBD will help reduce the chances of these, keeping your muscles feeling healthier and stress-free.

Finally, CBD has been found to help decrease inflammation of the lungs, heart, and brain. It is being used in studies to assist in treating sport-related concussions. This might mean that you are able to push yourself a little further on your next long run without the risk of injuring yourself. But more conclusive research is still necessary.

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As with any potential drug, there come disadvantages and things to look out for. There are a few advantageous points regarding cannabis and your performance while running. But this does not mean it’s always the best option, or that the negatives won’t surpass the positives. So here are a few factors to keep in mind.

There is research[1] that shows consistent cannabis use to affect a series of different factors. Short-term memory, alertness, reaction time, and even fatigue are amongst these. Also, it is common knowledge that cannabis smoke isn’t 100% healthy on the lungs[2]. Although it’s much less harmful than tobacco smoke, cannabis still contains carcinogens associated with the increased risk of bronchitis.

The above research, however, looks at cannabis and all its cannabinoids, including psychoactive THC. CBD is just one. Its discovery is fairly recent and so research is still lacking. Whether it shares all these consequences is still unknown. What is known is that CBD does not interfere with physical or mental functioning when taken without a psychoactive cannabinoid. Therefore, using a CBD-rich, non-THC strain will not inhibit you from being able to run as usual.


As you probably already know, there are hundreds of different species of cannabis all with different cannabinoid combinations. These combinations are what ultimately determine the high you experience. Some strains won’t allow you to leave the couch while others will make you want to learn how to play guitar. You’ll have to try out different ones and experiment with your own specific routine to ultimately find out what works best for you.

There are sativa, indica, and even hybrid CBD-rich strains out there. It will depend on what you’re looking for. If you’re planning on toking before a run, a sativa is what we recommend. Sativas are much more energetic and uplifting, creating the perfect mood for a good run. An indica will be perfect to help you relax after a run and a shower.

Remember, CBD strains won’t give you any kind of traditional high. This makes it much easier to test out different strains. Try to keep a cannabis journal around where you usually toke. This will help you to keep track of how you feel. Next time, you can make a more informed choice when deciding on a strain.

This all becomes irrelevant when you're consuming CBD oil. This is the option that’s most easily controlled in terms of cannabinoid concentration. Using this method of intake, it will be easier for you to establish and keep track of your CBD dosing and how it affects your running schedule.

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Not only is it important to choose the right strain, it’s equally essential to use the right consumption method. As mentioned above, cannabis smoke is not healthy per se.

The healthiest options will always be ingesting oils, capsules, and edibles. Vaporizing has also become a very popular and widely available option. You’ll find vaporizers in all kinds of price ranges in most online smoke shops. CBD is legal to ship worldwide, and you’ll find it at our shop here.

Cannabis will interact with your body differently than it does with anyone else. Only you can determine what’s the healthiest option for your running schedule. It’s a very personal matter. Try out a weed diary to keep track of what you liked best and what does not do the trick. In a couple of months, you’ll be a pro at medicating before your run. It might end up being the best running decision you ever made. On the other hand, it might not end up being your cup of tea; but now you know all the possibilities available to you.

External Resources:
  1. Cognitive and Subjective Dose-Response Effects of Acute Oral Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Infrequent Cannabis Users - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. Effects of Marijuana Smoking on the Lung - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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