Before daybreak on Saturday mornings, as most of Boulder sleeps, Flavie Dokken laces up her running shoes and prepares for her routine five-hour morning run. It’s just part of her training regimen as an endurance athlete. But before she starts a big training day like this, she pops a 5-mg CBD/THC fast-acting sativa gummy — and then she’s off.
“I use [CBD] just as a tool to really get the best out of my training,” Dokken says. It helps her stay cool, calm and collected on her runs; it helps reduce inflammation in her joints and speeds up her recovery, she explains. “For any long training activity and then also post-race, I will always incorporate some type of CBD.”
Dokken is a former bodybuilder, U.S. Army veteran, an ultra-marathon maestro and a WANA Brand Athlete. She’s been using cannabis in conjunction with her workouts for some time, but it wasn’t until after cannabis had been legalized in Colorado that she discovered the utility of CBD. And it’s changing her workouts. Not only by improving her function during a race, but by dramatically improving her ability to recover afterwards, she says.
“It’s a great tool, among other ones, to recover and train better. It’s just a really healthy component.”
Until recently, athletes like Dokken have had to rely solely on anecdotal claims to justify their CBD use. CBD’s ambiguous legal status with the federal government has made it hard for scientists to conduct large-scale scientific research on it. Now that is finally starting to change.
Dokken references one 2019 study from the University of Colorado Boulder published in Frontiers of Public Health, in which researchers from CU’s department of psychology and neuroscience, and the CU Institute of Cognitive Science, surveyed 605 cannabis users in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington about