On a typical Saturday, at 4:30 am, Boulder, Colorado-based competitive ultramarathoner Flavie Dokken takes 5mg of Wana Recreational Tarts, puts on her running shoes, and heads out for a five-hour run. But Dokken is not your typical stoner, she uses cannabis as part of her workout routine and she is sponsored by Wana Brands, a…
On a common Saturday, at 4: 30 am, Stone, Colorado-based competitive ultramarathoner Flavie Dokken takes 5mg of Wana Recreational Tarts, places on her running shoes, and navigates a five-hour run. Dokken is not your common stoner, she utilizes cannabis as part of her exercise routine and she is sponsored by Wana Brands, a cannabis business that produces cannabis-infused items. Dokken informed Vice that the gummies help her tune into her breathing. Although Dokken utilizes THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychedelic aspect of cannabis) throughout training, she stops using it a week before race day because of drug testing.
” Active lifestyle” might not be a set of words typically connected with cannabis use. However marijuana business are attempting to change that by sponsoring athletes and athletic groups, getting them to publish photos of products on their Instagram grids or put brand name sticker labels on their athletic devices, in order to gain exposure with the professional athletes’ fans.
Brands like Nike, Saucony, and New Balance, synonymous with the running industry, do not permit their professional athletes to be connected with marijuana. But that does not imply they never ever partake. Dokken said she knows of a handful who do. Not just are they deceptive about their usage, but they likewise avoid affiliating with her for worry of regret by association. She stated that these professional athletes, “will not follow me on Instagram,” but she also mentions that when she uses her Wana gear on the routes in Colorado, “people give me a high-five, which is remarkable.”
Even as huge brands don’t wish to talk about marijuana use, it is increasingly formally sanctioned for competitive professional and amateur professional athletes: In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Firm (WADA) Code eliminated CBD from their list of banned substances, and enables a professional athlete to have THC in their system throughout a random out-of-competition drug test. THC is still a prohibited compound for post-race or in-competition drug tests; this all means professional athletes are fine to use marijuana throughout the off-season and even throughout training, however can not contend with the drug in their system.
In 2018, Canada legalized marijuana with the Cannabis Act, which prohibits athletes from being sponsored by marijuana companies. Canadian MMA fighter Elias Theodorou is attempting to alter that. He uses marijuana for discomfort management for bilateral neuropathy in his upper extremities (chronic pain in his wrists, elbows, upper neck, and spine). “Medical professional prescribed cannabis is the best medical option to manage my discomfort,” he informed VICE. “Traditional, first-line medications like pain medication, opioids, and NSAIDs have all had detrimental side-effects to my body as both a client and athlete.”
Theodorou, who has actually been sponsored by Pert Plus, Mattel, and Coors Light, described, “This battle is not just about working with marijuana companies, but likewise the need to knock down the barriers and unfavorable understanding other business might have with marijuana.”
Mendi, a CBD startup company, has “athlete ambassadors” who help promote their items, consisting of soccer gamer and Women’s World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe, and her sweetheart, WNBA gamer Sue Bird. The athlete ambassadors receive Mendi items to promote on their social channels and go to Mendi events. The company was established by Rapinoe’s twin sis, Rachael, who is also a former professional soccer gamer. CBD is prohibited in the WNBA, Bird uses it in her off-season. She informed New York City Magazine, “It’s excellent for recovery and it unwinds me. I normally take it during the night so I can sleep, which helps with healing, and have had remarkable results.”
While making use of marijuana might appear diametrically opposed to what an athlete values– inaction versus action– calm, relaxation, and rest are essential to professional athletes’ general success and well-being. Professional athletes don’t even restrict usage to off-hours in our modern-day times: In 2019, The University of Colorado Boulder released a research study on over 600 runners with legalized marijuana that found 80 percent of cannabis users blended exercises with marijuana use. Although marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug, Dr. Rosemary Mazanet, Chief Scientific Officer of Columbia Care, claimed to VICE it can assist decrease performance stress and anxiety. “You have the ability 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 through email that cigarette smoking cannabis can negatively affect a professional athlete’s performance. “Inhaling marijuana can cause structural lung injuries, like developing air pockets in the lung which can burst under increased physical stress.” Since of this, numerous professional athletes, like Dokken, adhere to edibles.
The owners of the Oregon-based dispensary Tokyo Starfish all formerly operated in the snowboarding industry prior to they transitioned into opening a dispensary. Tokyo Starfish-sponsored expert snowboarder, Max Warbington explained that the dispensary concentrates on the way of life element of snowboarding instead of the efficiency element.
Tokyo Starfish-sponsored snowboarder Nora Beck told VICE that she utilizes marijuana throughout snowboarding when she requires to unwind. She discusses, “It resembles you’re on hyperdrive and you simply need to turn the volume down a little bit.”
” Tokyo Starfish is actually purchased snowboarding and they comprehend that I’m out there doing my task as a professional snowboarder and just the truth that I have the Tokyo sticker label that resembles a total reward for them,” Warbington stated. As a pro snowboarder sponsored by Tokyo Starfish, Warbington sends out the business videos and images throughout the winter. He also uses their Tee shirts and hoodies and markets them to snowboarding fans on his social media.
When asked whether he seems like there’s a stigma as an athlete sponsored by a marijuana company, he responded, “I believe they’re most likely constantly will be [a stigma] simply the same as there’s a stigma with alcohol because it’s a compound that people abuse.”
In a phone interview with VICE, Warbington said he is especially mindful of his image. “I definitely do not wish to press it [cannabis] on the youth which’s why I always like to preach that.” He does not allow Tokyo Starfish to publish images on their social networks of him smoking pot, though Warbington sometimes publishes a picture of a joint in his personal Instagram stories. He stated, “I always second-guess it each time due to the fact that of my influence.”
Brands like Tokyo Starfish and Wana are attempting to fight negative associations with cannabis. They desire the public to affiliate the leisure drug with an active way of life. Warbington stated it’s truly crucial to him that individuals understand he and his Tokyo Starfish teammates do not personify the “lazy stoner” stereotype. Vice versa. “We’re out here smoking weed,” he stated. “We’re the first person up [on the slopes in the morning] and the last one to leave the mountain.”