Running and intense exercise could give you a similar feeling to smoking marijuana.
Want to save some money while getting a buzz? Scientists are saying that the feeling you get after an intense exercise is almost the same as the one you can get from smoking marijuana, and it doesn’t cost you a thing.
A new study published this week says a particular neurotransmitter produced by the body after exercise, causes the body to relax and it creates a feeling of euphoria, according to an article in Popular Science.
Ironically, the neurotransmitter is the same one that is produced by smoking marijuana, say the researchers. Exercise triggers an increase in one of the body’s chemicals, anandamide, also known as the “bliss” molecule. This molecule is known to cross the blood-brain barrier and activate the cannabinoid recptors in the brain, the same ones that are activated when THC or other chemicals enter into the blood stream from marijuana smoking.
Scientists originally thought that the body’s release of endorphins was the reason runners always felt great after a period of exercise, mostly because endorphins are were known as hormones that work to block pain and set in motion the reward system built into the brain.
A recent study, however, revealed that endorphins were unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, and they were not likely the cause of the feeling of euphoria.
The researchers set up a study of 32 mice, that they had trained to run on a wheel over a three-day period. Dividing the group in two, one half would run for five hours everyday, while the other group did not. The researchers noted the mice that had been running everyday evidenced less anxiety than their counterparts that had not been running, and were less sensitive to pain induced by the researchers.