Cannabis Helps Professional Runners Perform Better

Pot could help runners perform better.

There’s a new running aid that’s helping runners perform better. It’s not a sports drink, gel, or powder — it’s weed.

Runners are beginning to use cannabis to prepare them for and get them through their runs. And before you start imagining a scenario where a group of runners are passing around a joint, let us stop you — runners who use weed to run aren’t partaking to get high for the race — they’re using the drug to indirectly help them perform better.

Amanda Feilding, director of The Beckley Foundation, a non-profit in the United Kingdom that examines consciousness and drug policy research, says that many runners are using weed to relax before (as in the night before) or after a race. “Athletes seem motivated to use cannabis due to its effects on anxiety, well-being, and its promotion of better sleep before a race, research finds,” reports R29.

Cannabis also helps runners because it increases impulsive responses. This can allow runners to take more risks on their run without harming their decision making skills. Other studies have revealed that weed can “increase oxygenation of tissues, improve vision and concentration, help athletes forget previous traumatic experiences related to the activity (like falls or injuries), reduce muscle spasms, and aid in pain relief.” Since smoking isn’t the ideal method for runners to get a dose (they’ve got to protect their pristine lungs), many are using edibles, vaporizers, or oral medicine to get the same results.

While all the above sounds pretty amazing, it should be noted that the research in this field is very limited. And weed affects everyone different, so a person needs to do their research (and possibly consult a physician) before they toke and run. Also of note on the con side of running with weed: it’s banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. So, professional runners: We don’t suggest using this method to encourage a chill run just yet.

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Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.