NATE JACKSON- Jackson played in the NFL as a tight end from 2002-2009. He detailed he experience in the league in a Los Angeles Times’ Op-ed piece: “Until I made it to the pros, I didn’t take opioids,” Jackson said. He had no interest in taking pills, but was given them anyway. He was prescribed a series of medications, but by 2007, he stopped using all of them — except cannabis. “By the time I tore my groin off the bone, in 2007, I was medicating only with cannabis,” he wrote. “The team doctors cheered the speed at which I was healing, but I couldn’t disclose to them all that I was experiencing — no pain, no inflammation, restful sleep, vigorous appetite, a clear head.” Jackson said that despite these results, he — and others — “had to remain generally mum about cannabis.” Now, Jackson is outspoken about the benefits of cannabis for athletes, and for veterans. He’s a member of Athletes for CARE, and co-hosts the “Caveman Poet Society Podcast” (formally the “Mindful Warrior Podcast”).
ANDREW TALANSKY- The former elite cyclist and current triathlete spends hours training every day. He said his body is constantly inflamed, and his muscle are always sore. He told “Outside” magazine that he turned to CBD after he strained a hip flexor. “I took it for a couple of weeks, and there was a noticeable difference immediately,” Talansky told the publication, “And it wasn’t just that my hip was feeling better. I was less anxious, and I was sleeping better.” Talansky regularly speaks about his experience with CBD. He told “Runner’s World” it helps him recover faster, and have fewer flare-ups. That’s why he’s on a mission to encourage other athletes to try CBD, and rid it of negative stigma.
JIM MCALPINE- Jim McAlpine is proof that stoners are not lazy. The natural born athlete and entrepreneur founded a series of sports companies and events, including Snowbomb.com, and Snowbomb Ski and Snowboard Festivals. In 2014, he founded the 420 Games, a nationwide athletic competition for cannabis enthusiasts. McAlpine has always led an active lifestyle. Like many, he uses cannabis to enhance workouts, and aid in recovery. He told Cannabis Now that in 2015, he swam a mile and a half from the San Francisco Bay to Alcatraz after ingesting an edible. Eating half of an infused Kiva bar, he said, was the only way he could survive the cold waters, and long swim. In an interview with “PRØHBTD”, McAlpine said, “A picture is worth a thousand words, but athleticism is worth a million words. You can’t refute Ricky Williams was the best, right? You can’t refute Michael Phelps was the fastest man ever in the water or Usain Bolt the fastest man ever on land, and they’re both cannabis enthusiasts. There’s a [meme] of Michael Phelps with his 12 or 15 gold medals that says, ‘Winners don’t smoke weed, champions do.’” McAlpine is also the founder of the New West Summit and co-founded Power Plant Fitness, a cannabis-friendly gym set to open in 2019.
DEE DUSSAULT- Dussault is a ganja yoga extraordinaire. She is credited as the first teacher to publically offer cannabis-infused yoga classes in the U.S. and Canada. She isn’t the first to combine the two; the practice goes back millennia. But, it was Dussault who brought ganja yoga from her living room in Toronto to mainstream studios throughout North America. Now, the fitness trend is everywhere. Enhancing exercise routines like yoga with cannabis decreases stress, and increases focus and relaxation. In an interview with The Emerald Magazine in 2017, Dussault said that separately, both yoga and cannabis are shown to aid in pain management and anti-inflammation. “Combining the two enhances the effects of each,” she added. It also helps people “explore what their body can do – allowing for creative and expressive movement,” said Dussault. Dussault offers a series of ganja yoga classes, from New York City to L.A. She’s also the author of “Ganja Yoga.” She’s also a certified sex therapist.
EBEN BRITTON- The offensive lineman played six seasons with teams including the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears. The former NFL player leads the growing list of players who are advocate cannabis’ removal from the league’s list of banned substances. In an interview with HelloMd, Britton described cannabis as mentally and physically replenishing. It brings him into a peaceful state of mind, eases pain, and helps him sleep. Britton co-founded Athletes for Care alongside Nate Jackson. The non-profit organization supports research and education and encourages athletes of all levels to use their platform to improve global health. He also hosts the “Caveman Poet Society” podcast, and is the founder Be Tru Organics. Dee Dussault
AMY VAN DYKEN- Van Dyken is a six-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer. She suffered an ATV accident in 2014, which left her paralyzed from the waist down. Van Dyken credits CBD from hemp for allowing her to manage neuropathic pain, and live a normal life. She told Civilized in August 2018: “I cannot live without it, and I will not live without it.” The Olympic gold medalist announced her partnership with Kannaway, a hemp lifestyle network, in 2018. In a press release from the company, she said that she advocates for Kannaway’s CBD products because they’ve drastically improved her quality of life: “I hope my story can help spread awareness of the benefits of CBD so that people like me can feel more comfortable giving it a try.”
FLOY LANDIS- Landis is a former road racing cyclist. He was thought to be the winner of the 2006 Tour De France, but he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. He later “blew the whistle on other cyclists involved in using performance enhancers,” reported Bicycling.com. Now, Landis is “happy to be involved in a legitimate industry,” he quipped on a Twitter post. He founded Floyd’s of Leadville, a company that produces CBD products intended to ease pain and inflammation. In a 2016 interview, Landis said, “For years I relied on opioid pain relievers to treat my hip pain. With cannabis, I find that I can manage my pain and have a better quality of life. We need to give people a safer alternative.”
RICKY WILLIAMS- Since leaving the NFL, Ricky Williams has studied herbalism and alternative holistic therapies. Williams was suspended multiple times during his NFL career for his cannabis use but has spoken repeatedly about the benefits and effects of the plant. Former running back Williams, who won a Heisman Trophy at Texas before spending more than a decade in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints, has founded Real Wellness by Ricky Williams; a new line of cannabis-based products that also feature herbal extracts like lavender and turmeric.
EUGENE MONROE- As cannabis legalization marches forward, and the plant continues to be recognized for its numerous medicinal benefits, more athletes are coming forward to tell the world how it helps them heal or aids their training. “Cannabis can be helpful for sports both during activity and afterward,” Dr. Tishler, a Harvard-trained physician, and cannabis therapeutics specialist, said to the Grow Op. “Its primary role is that of a pain reliever, which can be helpful in both situations.” We’ve put together a list of 20 athletes — in no particular order — who advocate legalizing cannabis and champion its use as part of their recovery and training. Eugene Monroe Photo credit In March 2016, Monroe became the first active National Football League (NFL) player to openly advocate for cannabis use to treat sports-related injury and chronic pain. In a “New York Times” piece published in May of that year, Monroe called on the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, to stop testing players for cannabis. He cited its potential as a safe alternative to other, commonly prescribed medications like opioids: “We now know that these drugs are not as safe as doctors thought, causing higher rates of addiction, causing death all around our country,” Monroe told the publication, “and we have cannabis, which is far healthier, far less addictive and, quite frankly, can be better in managing pain.” The former offensive lineman spent seven years in the NFL. He played for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2009-2013), and Baltimore Ravens (2013-2016) before he retired in June 2016 to focus on his health and family. He’s dedicated his post-NFL career to raising awareness about the medicinal benefits of cannabis. He publicly urges the NFL on his website “[…] to remove marijuana from the banned substance list; fund medical marijuana research, especially as it relates to CTE; and stop overprescribing addictive and harmful opioids.” Monroe is a member of HealthyUNow, Athletes for CARE, and Green Thumb Industries (GTI), a research, cultivation and dispensary facility.
LIZ CARMOUCHE- Carmouche, aka the “Girl-illa” was one of the first females to introduce mixed martial arts (MMA) to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) when she competed against Ronda Rousey in 2013 for the organization’s inaugural women’s title fight. Carmouche is credited as the first openly gay female to compete inside the famous cage. She uses CBD to heal faster and to train harder. CBD oil is her saving grace after hours of intense practice. Carmouche told “Cannabis Aficionado” in December 2018 that she applies topicals and salves immediately after workouts to relieve pain and inflammation. “[Combat athletes] take so much impact and destruction to our bodies,” she said, “We need to find something to take care.” With little to no known side-effects, CBD is a safe and effective way to do that. The benefits she experiences from CBD inspire her to promote its use among elite athletes and average Joes. In fact, Carmouche said she doesn’t understand why someone wouldn’t use CBD. It’s “not only safe to use during intense physical activities, but is non-addictive and won’t get you high,” Carmouche said in a HempMeds announcement, “There’s just a lot of misinformation out there and I’d love to help clear that up.” Carmouche is an advocate for the LGBTQ community; she is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. She’s currently partnered with the hemp oil company, HempMeds.
BRIAN KAHO- Kaho has been a serious athlete since the age of 13. He was a wrestler, and an award-winning football player in high school. But, his plans for an athletic career were put on hold when he suffered a torn meniscus. Kaho weighed 270 pounds when he graduated high school in 2003. He was tired of carrying the football weight. He started runnin, and using cannabis to enhance his workouts. Now, with a degree in communication from San Jose State University, Kaho works to educate others about cannabis as a conduit to health and fitness. The personal trainer’s method pairs certain breathing techniques with workout routines. Cannabis, he told “Runner’s World Magazine,” “can do wonders to help one focus on the most crucial part of working out: breathing.” Kaho has appeared at the 420 Games, and is reported to work with Power Plant Fitness when it launches later this year. In the meantime, Kaho continues to coach athletes, and promote green workouts via social media.
CLIFF ROBINSON- Robinson is a longtime cannabis consumer. The former NBA all star played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for teams including the Portland Trailblazers and the Phoenix Suns. According to Yahoo Sports, “Robinson twice faced marijuana charges from police during his playing career and thrice was suspended for violations of the NBA’s substance-abuse policy.” Robinson is dedicated to raising awareness of the racial injustice and disparities created by the War on Drugs. He regularly lobbies in favor of cannabis legalization. He is a member of the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana in Connecticut. He is also the founder of Uncle Spliffy.