2016-08-22 17:34:16

You've probably heard the term "runner's high" before, but a new crop of athletes is changing the meaning of the word. Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in a number of U.S. states, many runners are now using the drug to help with their training.

Benefits of Marijuana for Runners

While marijuana does have an intoxicating effect on the body that gives users a high, runners aren't using it just to feel good. Many runners have found that using marijuana helps them with:

- Aches and Pains. Running can be very hard on the body, causing muscle and joint pain. Marijuana has been found to alleviate inflammation, which may ease pain and stiffness related to running.

- Improved Endurance. Many runners say that marijuana helps to put them in a calm state of mind, which can help them focus and continue to run over long distances. Often times, runners end up giving up before their bodies are truly fatigued due to mental stress, and marijuana may alleviate this.

- Increased Speed. There is some evidence to suggest that marijuana may increase a runner's ability to move quickly; however, more research is definitely needed to prove this.

Marijuana and running have become so closely interlinked that there are now advocacy groups that use running as a way to promote the responsible use of marijuana as medicine. An example is Team Hope through Cannabis, a Texas-based group that runs in races around the country, in hopes of showing the world that marijuana users are not stereotypical stoners and that successful athletes can benefit from cannabis. Another example is the Marijuana Marathon Man who runs to raise money and awareness for medical marijuana research.

A nurse is holding a ling scan from a patient

Concerns about Marijuana Use

While marijuana does have a number of well-established benefits that have been validated by science, its use among athletes remains controversial. The drug is still considered a banned substance by collegiate and professional athletic associations, so runners who use it prior to competitions and are drug tested could find themselves disqualified or banned from their sport completely.

Even for runners who do not run competitively, there are concerns about the effects of smoking marijuana. Studies have found that smoking wax or dry herbs exposes the body to a number of toxins and could potentially cause respiratory problems that could interfere with endurance.

As a result, some runners are choosing to use marijuana vaporizers instead of smoking weed. A weed vaporizer produces vapor, not smoke, and has been clinically shown to be a purer method of reaping the benefits of cannabis. In studies, Marijuana vaporizers have been shown to be better for the respiratory system, and less likely to cause coughing and irritation than smoking a joint or a waxy concentrate.

If you live in a state where marijuana is legal and want to use a vaporizer to enjoy the benefits of marijuana, VaporPlants can help you find the best portable vaporizer or vaporizer pen for your needs. Contact us for shopping assistance.

References: RunnersWorld | WSJ