Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found that increased exercise in older people with arthritis can help reduce aches, decrease levels of inflammatory substances, and provide other benefits, as first reported by the Fresh Toast.
“Our study clearly shows that exercise increases the body’s own cannabis-type substances, which can have a positive impact on many conditions,” Dr. Amrita Vijay, the study’s first author and research fellow at the University of Nottingham’s School of Medicine in the United Kingdom, said in a press release.
Vijay and a team of nine researchers conducted the study on learning more about the elusive “runner’s high” and had their work published in the journal Gut Microbes.
The six-week study involved 78 participants over the age of 45 who have painful knee osteoarthritis. Thirty-eight of those participants were assigned strength exercises to do every day throughout the study. The remaining participants did nothing.
The researchers compared the results of the study participants with data from a group of healthy adults without osteoarthritis.
The team of researchers examined the collected stool and blood samples and found that the participants who exercised had more specific types of healthy bacteria in their gut with anti-inflammatory properties and increased endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids produced in the gut help facilitate some of the healthy bacteria. The study also showed that a person’s endocannabinoid system is partly responsible for changing some bacteria in the gut.
According to the study, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, inflammation, metabolism, and muscle strength, among other things. The system is made up of different receptors throughout the body that interact with endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (like THC or CBD).
The participants who did not exercise were not able to experience the documented positive changes.
Although this study does not directly examine cannabis, the endocannabinoid system has been the focal point of plenty of research studies before.
Every time a person lights up their favorite rolling papers, THC from cannabis is absorbed into the body, where it binds to the endocannabinoid system to produce different effects that people like can benefit from. Those benefits, which are often extremely therapeutic in different ways, can genuinely help a myriad of people dealing with a slew of ailments, such as veterans with PTSD and/or injuries, those with arthritis, chronic pain, and many others.
Senators introduced a bill to amend legalized medical marijuana for veterans and although it has not been voted on, it is a big step toward cannabis legalization backed by scientific research.