Cannabis isn't just for lazy "stoners" anymore. According to a new study, the drug also has benefits for endurance athletes, including runners—namely, "it can get them high as fuck."
The study, which appears in this month's Journal of Pharmacology & Stuff, comes at a time when marijuana and its derivatives are making headlines. Most notably, as reported by outlets including Outside magazine, athletes have been swapping traditional over-the-counter meds for cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis, to treat things like pain and inflammation. (Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, cannabidiol is not psychoactive, meaning it won't produce a high.)
"The more we study cannabis, the more of its secrets we unlock," said Robert Marley, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry and Ultimate Frisbee at Ohio University and lead author of the report. "We're excited to have discovered yet another benefit of this amazing natural resource, which is that it can get athletes totally baked."
The study involved 250 active runners and cyclists, both men and women, between the ages of 21 and 76.
To conduct their research, Marley and his team used a double-blind approach, meaning that half the subjects got cannabis while the other half got a placebo, and neither the subjects nor the researchers knew who got what.
The researchers offered each group an array of delivery options, from joints and bongs to edibles. Also on hand were an assortment of hacky sacks, snack foods, and Pink Floyd albums.
The researchers then observed each group. Over the course of two hours, they noted, the cannabis group showed clear signs of being "high as freaking kites," laughing, staring at their hands, and "digging Meddle way more than they normally would."
The control group, meanwhile, mostly stood around making small talk and asking the cannabis users to turn down their music.
Even after controlling for things like contact highs and the possibility that some participants were already high when they arrived for the experiment, the researchers concluded that cannabis does appear to produce feelings of euphoria in endurance athletes.
"Whether you're a runner, a cyclist, or another distance athlete," they wrote in their report, "our results indicate that cannabis is indeed a useful way to get stoned out of your gourd."
They also noted that many of the participants were calling for further research.