The Runner’s High
A lot of athletes use cannabis prior or during athletic activity. Josiah Hesse, journalist, author, and marathon runner is one of them. He himself is not a professional athlete, but in his latest book: ‘Runner’s High: How a movement of cannabis-fueled athletes is changing the science of sport’ he interviews dozens of professional athletes who use cannabis before or during practice.
THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. In a research article on the Runners High (2015), researchers found that an opioid (β-endorphin) and anandamide (comparable to THC) are the cause for the runners high. “By using THC, you’re basically getting a quicker, more efficient boost of the runners high”, Hesse says.
Hesse is one of many people that use cannabis just before or during exercise: “I enjoy using cannabis while exercising, because I can focus solely on the running part and I don’t worry about all the outside fuss. Also, after the exercise, my muscles feel less sore.”
“Though I eventually learned that, in nearly every sport, cannabis is as commonly consumed as ibuprofen.”
Quote from the book: ‘Runner’s High’ of Josiah Hesse
Cannabis is still on the doping list for all athletes. Through scientific research the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will decide if cannabis could be removed from this list. That the WADA decided to re-examine cannabis, is the result of the commotion that resulted in the suspension of the American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson. She was rejected at the Olympics due to a positive cannabis test. Josiah Hesse is curious what WADA will decide: “They need to do something, but which direction will they choose.”