On a common Saturday, at 4: 30 am, Boulder, Colorado-based competitive ultramarathoner Flavie Dokken takes 5mg of Wana Recreational Tarts, places on her running shoes, and navigates a five-hour run. However Dokken is not your typical stoner, she utilizes marijuana as part of her exercise routine and she is sponsored by Wana Brands, a cannabis company that produces cannabis-infused products. Dokken told Vice that the gummies assist her tune into her breathing. Although Dokken utilizes THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychedelic element of marijuana) during training, she stops utilizing it a week before race day since of drug screening.
” Active lifestyle” might not be a set of words commonly related to marijuana usage. However cannabis business are attempting to change that by sponsoring professional athletes and athletic groups, getting them to publish photos of items on their Instagram grids or put brand name stickers on their athletic equipment, in order to get exposure with the athletes’ fans.
Brands like Nike, Saucony, and New Balance, synonymous with the running market, do not enable their athletes to be associated with cannabis. However that doesn’t suggest they never partake. Dokken said she knows of a handful who do. Not just are they secretive about their usage, however they likewise avoid affiliating with her for worry of guilt by association. She stated that these professional athletes, “will not follow me on Instagram,” but she also specifies that when she uses her Wana equipment on the tracks in Colorado, “individuals give me a high-five, which is incredible.”
Even as big brands don’t wish to talk about cannabis usage, it is significantly formally approved for competitive professional and amateur athletes: In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Company (WADA) Code got rid of CBD from their list of banned compounds, and permits a professional athlete to have THC in their system during a random out-of-competition drug test. But THC is still a restricted substance for post-race or in-competition drug tests; this all means professional athletes are great to use cannabis during the off-season and even throughout training, but can not take on the drug in their system.
In 2018, Canada legalized cannabis with the Cannabis Act, which forbids athletes from being sponsored by cannabis companies. Canadian Mixed Martial Arts fighter Elias Theodorou is attempting to change that. He uses marijuana for pain management for bilateral neuropathy in his upper extremities (persistent pain in his wrists, elbows, upper neck, and spine). “Doctor prescribed marijuana is the very best medical alternative to manage my pain,” he told VICE. “Conventional, first-line medications like pain medication, opioids, and NSAIDs have all had damaging side-effects to my body as both a patient and professional athlete.”
Theodorou, who has actually been sponsored by Pert Plus, Mattel, and Coors Light, explained, “This fight is not only about dealing with marijuana business, but also the need to knock down the barriers and unfavorable understanding other business may have with marijuana.”
Mendi, a CBD start-up company, has “professional athlete ambassadors” who help promote their items, including soccer gamer and Women’s World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe, and her girlfriend, WNBA player Sue Bird. The athlete ambassadors get Mendi items to promote on their social channels and attend Mendi events. The company was established by Rapinoe’s twin sibling, Rachael, who is also a previous pro soccer gamer. Although CBD is prohibited in the WNBA, Bird uses it in her off-season. She informed New York City Publication, “It’s great for healing and it unwinds me. I usually take it at night so I can sleep, which helps with recovery, and have actually had remarkable outcomes.”
While using marijuana might appear diametrically opposed to what an athlete worths– inaction versus action– calm, relaxation, and rest are essential to professional athletes’ total success and well-being. However athletes don’t even restrict use to off-hours in our modern times: In 2019, The University of Colorado Stone launched a study on over 600 runners with legalized marijuana that discovered 80 percent of cannabis users combined exercises with marijuana use. Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug, Dr. Rosemary Mazanet, Chief Scientific Officer of Columbia Care, claimed to VICE it can help diminish efficiency anxiety. “You’re able to be more in the moment and have more fun, to be more limber, to be more versatile,” said Manazet.
Pulmonologist Vandana A. Patel stressed to VICE by means of email that cigarette smoking cannabis can negatively impact an athlete’s efficiency. “Inhaling cannabis can cause structural lung injuries, like building air pockets in the lung which can burst under increased physical stress.” Due to the fact that of this, many professional athletes, like Dokken, stick to edibles.
The owners of the Oregon-based dispensary Tokyo Starfish all previously operated in the snowboarding industry before they transitioned into opening a dispensary. Tokyo Starfish-sponsored expert snowboarder, Max Warbington discussed that the dispensary focuses on the lifestyle aspect of snowboarding instead of the performance element.
Tokyo Starfish-sponsored snowboarder Nora Beck informed VICE that she utilizes marijuana during snowboarding when she needs to unwind. She explains, “It resembles you’re on hyperdrive and you simply require to turn the volume down a little bit.”
” Tokyo Starfish is really purchased snowboarding and they comprehend that I’m out there doing my job as a pro snowboarder and simply the truth that I have the Tokyo sticker label that resembles a total benefit for them,” Warbington said. As a professional snowboarder sponsored by Tokyo Starfish, Warbington sends out the business videos and photos throughout the winter. He also wears their Tee shirts and hoodies and markets them to snowboarding fans on his social networks.
When asked whether he feels like there’s a preconception as a professional athlete sponsored by a cannabis business, he responded, “I think they’re most likely always will be [a stigma] just the same as there’s a preconception with alcohol since it’s a compound that individuals abuse.”
In a phone interview with VICE, Warbington stated he is especially mindful of his image. “I absolutely do not want to press it [cannabis] on the youth and that’s why I always like to preach that.” He does not enable Tokyo Starfish to post images on their social networks of him smoking pot, though Warbington often posts an image of a joint in his individual Instagram stories. He stated, “I constantly second-guess it whenever because of my impact.”
Brands like Tokyo Starfish and Wana are trying to fight unfavorable associations with marijuana. They want the general public to affiliate the leisure drug with an active lifestyle. Warbington said it’s actually essential to him that individuals understand he and his Tokyo Starfish teammates do not personify the “lazy stoner” stereotype. Far from it. “We’re out here smoking weed,” he stated. “We’re the very first person up [on the slopes in the morning] and the last one to leave the mountain.”