Runners high, it seems, is a real thing in more ways than one. 

Sparking up ahead of a run may lead to higher motivation while completing a workout, according to a recently published study from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

“Cannabis before exercise seems to increase positive mood and enjoyment during exercise,” says Laurel Gibson, author of the study and a research fellow at the university’s Center for Health and Addiction: Neuroscience, Genes and Environment (CU Change).

While many of us anecdotally experience groovy sensations that result from the juxtaposition of a J and a jog, the study according to Neuroscience News is the first clinical look into the relationship between the two. 

The researchers collected data from 42 runners with previous experience imbibing ahead of a workout. After performing tests for baseline fitness, the runners went through two 30-minute sessions on a treadmill – one without cannabis and one with cannabis – and were asked a series of questions about their mood and motivation. 

The cannabis, which included THC and CBD strains, was administered off campus to adhere to federal drug law. The runners also wore safety belts. 

A few headlines from the study.

  • 90 percent of runners cited increased enjoyment
  • 69 percent said it decreased pain
  • 59 percent reported increased focus
  • 57 percent reported increased motivation 

One thing cannabis (particularly the THC strains), did not contribute to was greater performance. Those imbibing reported a greater degree of effort to run at the same pace as they would without consuming, which was more than 30 seconds per mile slower than in the controlled setting. 

So while weed is not necessarily conducive to competitive races, the study suggests it can help motivate those who otherwise – and stereotypically – may be locked on a couch. 

“We have an epidemic of sedentary lifestyle in this country, and we need new tools to try to get people to move their bodies in ways that are enjoyable,” said senior co-researcher Angela Bryan. “If cannabis is one of those tools, we need to explore it, keeping in mind both the harms and the benefits.”

Careers in Cannabis: David Martin of Beuhi, Inc.

Grown In: Walk us through your journey from a management consultant to the inventor of an at home cannabis confectionary maker?

David Martin:  I am entrepreneurial by nature. In 1997 I left the trading floor to help a startup med-tech company, which I helped secure venture investment and grow.  Later, I had an opportunity to enter the consulting world where I worked at global firms as well as launched and grew three boutique firms. My tenure at these firms hammered the fact that there are solutions to problems.  It also opened my eyes to the dangers and risks that can come from poor controls and communication, vision drift, and rigidity.

When New Jersey legalized recreational cannabis, a commercial investment property I owned was approved for cannabis.  Within days, I was responding to offers by investors from all over the country eager to purchase my property.  I decided to sell.  At that same time, my co-founder Paloma Campo approached me and Rick Martin (Beuhi co-founder) to assist her in analyzing a business opportunity she was working on related to cannabis edibles.  The more I became educated about the industry and its potential, the more I wanted to get involved.

From my analysis, it became evident that there were systemic issues across the $20B+ infused confections market; issues related to inconsistent dispersion, lack of ingredient transparency, inferior botanicals, and lack of control of potency.  Additionally, trying to make infused candy at home is hard.  Batch success and failure can come down to the slightest deviation of a second or a degree.  It was then that the three of us had that eureka moment…automate the process so you can have a predictable, consistent, and repeatable outcome every time, and make it easy to use –just like Ron Popeil would say, “set it and forget it” — and make it beautiful.  Above all, empower the consumer by giving them control over which botanicals they choose to infuse their creations with.

And that is precisely what we have done with Beuhi.  Beuhi is revolutionizing how botanical-infused gummies, chocolates, and hard candies are created. Consumers can choose to infuse their creations with any number of market-available botanicals, including but not limited to melatonin, CBD, cannabis, and nutraceuticals.

Grown In: How do you incorporate skills derived from earlier in your career into your cannabis business today?

David Martin: I was fortunate to learn from some very accomplished professionals by witnessing their successes and failures.  I tap into those lessons learned each and every day to help me as Beuhi works its way to launch.  My time with Beuhi has been incredibly rewarding professionally.  I am working and meeting with incredible people in an exciting emerging industry.   

It is reported that over 65 million Americans regularly use cannabis, which would equate to $23B in sales in 2023, codifying cannabis as one of the top ten fastest-growing industries in the U.S. by revenue growth. And, when compared to other industries, U.S. cannabis sales exceeded the chocolate, global opioid market, Starbucks North American sales, and the salty snack industry.  It is evident that the cannabis industry is entering its next phase, making it harder for investors and politicians to ignore.  When that tipping point occurs, investors, partners, and vendors will want to work with companies that have sound business models and experienced management teams with strong risk management controls.   

Our senior management team has honed the skills to design, implement, and execute Beuhi’s strategic initiatives within large public companies, venture-backed start-ups, and private enterprises.  More so, we know how to make Beuhi’s vision visible and communicated, and we understand how critical it is to connect strategy to action and turn those actions into results.  

As a start-up, these controls keep us focused, disciplined, and accountable and ensure we are aligned so that we can adjust in real-time, remediate weaknesses, and exploit opportunities. 

Grown In: Who is your target market?

David Martin: Although Beuhi works with a myriad of botanicals, our marketing efforts are focused on consumers who are experienced or new to CBD and cannabis.  The typical Beuhi consumer is 30-75+ years old, is health and wellness conscious, and is seeking an elevated non-inhalation consumption experience that provides them with the same choices that smokers enjoy in selecting flower, concentrates, and or distillates to consume.  They want control over their ingredients, flavors, and potency.

Grown In:  What were the biggest takeaways from your experience at 1871’s Cannabis Innovation Lab?

David Martin: What was profoundly observable was how passionate, bright, engaging, and collaborative my fellow cohorts were. The wide breadth of backgrounds and experiences brought a diverse and global perspective to addressing the opportunities and challenges faced.  However, the guest speakers and experts had the most impact on me.  For example, it was something that Christie Hefner had said regarding advisors during her talk that identified a glaring weakness in Beuhi’s model.  We worked diligently to correct this weakness and now consider our current advisors both a competitive and differential advantage. 

Grown In:  Share with us your goals for 2024 and beyond

David Martin: We are in the process of raising capital, and we hope to be able to close this round by the end of Q1.  We look forward to building upon the outstanding partnerships and collaborations we entered into with retail outlets, restaurants, hotels/lounges, and influencers in 2023.  Above all, we plan to get Beuhi appliances into homes.  Beyond 2024, Beuhi will become synonymous with at-home candy making and infusing as Keurig is with pod coffee.  From day one, our ultimate goal has been to enter into a collaboration with Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog.  

Can you imagine how incredible it would be to have Martha Stewart curated flavors that can be infused with Leafs by Snoop? 

Cannabis Innovation Lab launches January 22

The second vintage of Cannabis Innovation Lab, a joint-venture between Grown In and 1871, debuts Monday, January 22.

The first immersive week of programming will include a pair of Lightning Talks from startup companies participating in the Lab’s business accelerator, as well as virtual panels covering companies including AgTech and Cannabis, how the industry might be shaped by the 2024 Elections and and a deep dive into unregulated hemp derived THC Space.

Register for all of this engaging content and learn more about upcoming lab programming here.  

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.