Skip Navigation LinksHome > December 2, 2003 - Volume 14 - Issue 17 > Exercise activates the endocannabinoid system
Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

Exercise activates the endocannabinoid system

Sparling, P. B.; Giuffrida, A.1; Piomelli, D.1; Rosskopf, L.; Dietrich, A.CA ,2

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Extensive documentation exists showing that exercise induces analgesia and sedation. Despite decades of research attempting to explicate a neurochemical basis for these phenomena, the mechanism underlying these changes is unknown. Using trained male college students running on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bike for 50 min at 70–80% of maximum heart rate, we report here the first evidence that exercise of moderate intensity activates the endocannabinoid system, suggesting a new mechanism for exercise-induced analgesia and possibly other physiological and psychological adaptations to exercise.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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