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CU Research Suggests Marijuana May Motivate Some Users To Exercise

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - Can weed improve your workout? According to surprising University of Colorado Boulder research, the majority of marijuana users they surveyed say 'Yes.'

So much for the sluggish pot smoker, this research suggests the opposite.

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Flavie Dokken (credit: CBS)

An endurance athlete in Boulder has been a cannabis consumer for years. Flavie Dokken takes one puff of pot and 15 minutes later she's on a run.

Long before cannabis became legal in Colorado, that's been her routine.

"It just gave me a better focus, better energy for my workout," Flavie told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

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(credit: Flavie Dokken)

Flavie used it as a body builder. She abstained during her three years in the U.S. Army, but back in Boulder and ultrarunning, she said cannabis helps her compete.

"I can be in the zone for longer and put in more effort," she said.

Recent CU Boulder research found eight out of 10 marijuana users in states where it's legal use the drug before or after exercise. The study disputed the lazy stoner stereotype.

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(credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus)

"They were also more likely to engage in more exercise," said Professor Kent Hutchison, who contributed to the study.

Hutchison said the majority of the 600 adult users surveyed said pot made exercise more enjoyable and boosted recovery. But he said cannabis is complicated.

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(credit: CBS)

"We have this sort of now rough idea that there's something there that's important. We don't know exactly what it is, so definitely we need more research," he said.

"There is no magic," said Flavie.

But she takes gummies with both CBD and THC after exercise to help with pain from prior injuries.

"I just felt better a few hours after a training session," she explained.

Flavie is sponsored by Wana Brands, a company that makes infused products. She's high on pot's ability to improve athletic performance and happy to educate others.

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(credit: CBS)

According to a release from CU, the senior author of the study is Angela Bryan, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Institute for Cognitive Science.

She stresses that she is in no way recommending using cannabis as an adjunct to exercise.

"The evidence is not there yet," she said. "But I am also not convinced it is harmful."

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