Exercise triggers chemical reactions and an increase in cannabis-like compounds in the body that can help fight serious medical conditions, a recent study found.
The study - conducted by researchers at the University of Nottingham - was associated with less pain and a reduction in substances known to cause inflammation in a sample of people with arthritis.
Researchers also identified an increase in levels of endocannabinoids – compounds similar to those found in the cannabis plant.
Exercise is known to evoke a feeling of euphoria, also known as a “runner's high" called. Recent studies indicate that this euphoria results from the activation of the endocannabinoid system.
Exercise has been shown to help reduce chronic inflammation—something thought to be a major contributor to serious illnesses, such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease.
dr. Amrita Vijay, a research associate at the School of Medicine and lead author of the study, said: “Our study clearly shows that exercise increases cannabis-like compounds in the body, which can have a positive effect on many conditions. As interest in cannabidiol oil and other supplements increases, it is important to know that simple lifestyle interventions such as exercise can modulate endocannabinoids.”
Exercise makes an extra difference
A group of scientists tested 78 people with arthritis to assess the impact of exercise on their condition.
According to the report, 38 participants did 15 minutes of strengthening exercises every day for six weeks. The other 40 participants did nothing.
The results are telling: participants who did the exercise intervention not only reported less pain, but they also had more microbes in the gut that produce anti-inflammatory compounds, lower levels of cytokines and higher levels of endocannabinoids.
This study shows that exercise can play an important role in fighting many serious medical conditions. However, it should be reiterated that exercise alone is not an effective treatment. However, it appears that endocannabinoid production may be an associated desired key.