Research shows that running high is more fun

cannabis runners high: person from neck down running on city street

The exaltation experienced after a focused yoga sesh or road run makes the sometimes grueling work feel worth it. It turns out cannabis could enhance that coveted runners’ high, according to a recently published study.

Researchers from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Boulder accepted participants for the cross-sectional study to find out if cannabis really made people lazy. Participants were surveyed about running after consuming cannabis and running sober.

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They gathered 49 runners aged between 21 and 40 to take part. 61.5 percent of them are men, and 81.6 percent are white. The latter makes sense: the 2022 Census reported that Boulder, CO was 89.5 percent white.

Participants were asked to smoke as much regulated cannabis as they’d like and go for a run. Researchers collected data about the run and the general disposition of the runner after a cannabis run and a sober one.

What’s it like running high?

Turns out cannabis consumption before a run can add around 31 seconds to each mile, but all participants went just as far with and without cannabis. Most participants shared that they felt fewer negative effects on the cannabis run.

All the runners shared that overall, they felt more tranquil running while high. They had a better time while running and a heightened euphoric experience referred to as the runners’ high.

Participants also noted that they experienced less pain when consuming cannabis before exercise. However, the plant didn’t provide more energy. Everyone who took part in the study reported having to work just as hard during both runs.

Cannabis could be useful for exercise

When it comes to strains, cannabinoids, and products, researchers stated that it didn’t matter. Cannabinoid content and genetics varied from runner to runner, but the results aligned.

This study concludes that mindful cannabis consumption before a run could lead to a more positive experience exercising. Researchers prompt other teams to explore how the plant may impact other movement modalities like yoga, weightlifting, and MMA.

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Findings like these don’t only inspire consumers to see how the plant can heighten day-to-day experiences. This research, and studies like it, normalize consumption by breaking stigmas like “stoners are lazy.” Turns out the true stereotype should be that stoners have more fun.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.