As the national conversation around medical marijuana shifts in favor of legalizing the plant, innovations throughout the industry are being championed by athletes and doctors across the country. And as the stigma of using marijuana disappears with the greater awareness of its benefits, consumers, experts, and professionals that use the medicine grow more influential by the day.
While marijuana benefits a large swath of medical conditions, athletes are becoming far more overt in their usage of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and marijuana to recover and deal with pain. Green Flower Media has spearheaded the education of doctors as well as patients in an effort to give activists, marijuana professionals and those in need all the tools required to positively impact their industries through medical marijuana.
One of the most outspoken champions of medical marijuana, specifically CBD oil is former UFC champion, Bas Rutten. Rutten likens the ignorance of CBD and medical marijuana to MMA in the old days — it took education and regulation for it to finally come into the mainstream. As he puts an addiction to oxycontin behind him thanks to CBD oil, we discussed athlete recovery without pharmaceuticals, getting over “legal weed” and a future that wholly embraces the healthy lifestyle that CBD offers.
When did you start using CBD oil?
With me, it started like two years ago. It started with CBD. I was really amazed by it since I had a painkiller problem a long time ago.
You come from Holland and the Dutch have been way more open to marijuana for decades. They’ve been far more relaxed about their drug laws there, so have you been using it for a long time?
You know, no, and I never really did. I just started later. I use it to sleep. I had rheumatic fever as a kid, so I need to get my heart checked the whole time, and even the heart surgeon told me, “I’d rather have you smoke a little bit than to take a pill.” So, you know, if I go to a party, and I don’t want to drink, I smoke a little bit because then I don’t need to drink. So that’s what I use it for. I’m one of those guys who, when he uses marijuana, I have a five-second memory, so having my job and doing interviews all the time, it’s not really working for me if I do it.
How old were you? when the doctor told you to maybe take a pill or smoke a little bit to sleep?
That happened a couple of years ago. In Holland, I never did because I just want to sleep and eat. That’s what I want to do when I smoke
Were you ever using it to self-medicate without ever really realizing it in previous years beyond just as a drinking alternative?
No. I don’t think so. I notice now with the whole CBD that also when I take only 10 milligrams, I take it like a drop in the morning and it really helps my stomach also. You know if you have stomach-related problems with food, I just take that, and yeah, almost don’t even feel it, but it gets me warm and then my stomach feels great, so that’s why I use it. But yeah, for the rest, like I said, if I do it I have a 5, 10-second memory. That’s it. It’s really funny because everybody starts making fun of me.
I can’t even imagine a Bas Rutten that is at a loss for words, so that’s pretty funny to me. Now, you posted on Instagram, and you’ve discussed how towards the end of your fighting career you had an issue with Oxycontin and other pills. How does CBD compare in its painkilling effectiveness compared to pharmaceuticals?
I think it’s exactly the same. You know, like last year, when I started, I remember I always used an example because I have to go to San Diego. It’s a long drive for me; two-and-a-half hour drive, and my back was killing me, and I’d tell my wife, “Give me a few Vicodins for on the road. You know, if I need them then at least I have them with me.” So I wanted to take one, and then I thought, “You know what? Let’s try the CBD stuff.” So I put the pills in my pocket. I say, “If it doesn’t work, you can always take the pill.” I told my wife from the car. I was amazed. I go, “It’s almost exactly the same.” You get warm, you feel good, you’re nice and relaxed, and it’s not addicting. So it was perfect. I was super happy that I didn’t take the pain pills.
I have tendonitis in my wrists; I’m at a keyboard all day. If I were to take this, is there a negative effect for the average worker who has back pains or wrist pains? Do you feel loopy at all?
No. You calm down a little bit. There is 0.3% THC in it, so the rest is CBD, but there needs to be a little bit in order to make it work better. That’s what they’ve figured out. But it’s such a low dose that they can send it by mail through every state. It’s legal everywhere since it’s only 0.3%, so if you take a full dropper, yeah, you’re calm. But you know, like I said, with me, if I would smoke weed I can’t think, but with this, I can keep thinking. So for me, it’s great. Especially if I have to do an interview and I gotta go on camera, you know, and I’m not at a loss for words. That’s what I like about it. If you’re stressed out and you’ve got to drive, and you know, you have a little road rage, I would take it as well. You know, it just calms you down. It’s fun stuff. It’s good stuff. And it’s not addictive.
My doctor tells me to take an anti-inflammatory, and so I take Aleve and it kills my stomach. So you don’t consider there to be any side effects that you’ve experienced?
No. Zero. Absolutely nothing. The great thing about CBD also — everything that you take works three to five times better. So if you’re, for instance, hooked on painkillers, then you can start actually winding down because you take CBD and instead of taking five of them you only need like one or two. Then hopefully this way it calms down your usage. Actually, there is an Opiate Center in Los Angeles now who treats the patients with cannabis.