Sports Stars Cashing in on Boom in CBD Products
The cannabidiol (CBD) industry has grown massively in recent years, with companies across the world latching onto its popularity as a powerful alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.
Although it is derived from the same family line as marijuana, CBD contains none of the psychoactive elements usually associated with it.
With studies showing that it can have a positive impact on many common ailments, CBD has become the go-to treatment for millions of people worldwide.
Neurological disorders, anxiety and depression, heart health and cancer treatment side-effects are amongst the areas CBD has been found to have positive benefits.
Products containing CBD have also proved to be hugely popular in sports, with many top stars using them as a way to treat injuries and aid recovery.
Some athletes have taken things further by actively taking part in research and involving themselves on the business side of the industry. Read on as we look at four sports stars who advocate CBD usage.
UFC star Nate Diaz has had a long-standing association with using CBD products to aid his recovery from the rigours of mixed martial arts.
Diaz caused plenty of controversy when he vaped CBD oil at the UFC 202 news conference, but just three years on the landscape has completely changed.
The UFC has embraced the industry by signing a multi-year partnership with Aurora Cannabis that will see the two organisations strive to advance clinical research into the benefits of CBD.
Diaz believes he played a key role in the laying the foundations for the UFC to secure the deal with the Canadian-based firm.
“It all worked out,” Diaz told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “I never thought it was bad to begin with. I thought it was all positive, productive.
“I don’t think people should be going out and smoking weed. I don’t want to put that look out or anything.
“But as an athlete, I think you should be smoking some marijuana, if you choose to do something to help you get through the day, instead of sticking a bunch of steroids in your ass and taking a bunch of faulty supplements.”
Professional boxer Mike Lee has built up an impressive 21-1 record since turning professional back in February 2010.
He has achieved that feat despite being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease four years ago that sparked a search for remedies beyond the realms of traditional medicines.
In conjunction with his sister, Angie, the 32-year-old set up Soul CBD, a company committed to producing the best CBD oil products around.
The pair have already built up a sizeable customer database and have big plans to grow their business even further over the next few months.
“As a professional athlete, putting the cleanest, safest and most efficacious products in my body is a must,” said Lee. “That is why I continue to use and trust Soul CBD hemp oil on a daily basis.”
“Our mission is to provide people and pets with the highest quality, all-natural solutions for pain, anxiety, inflammation, sleep, digestion and overall health to thrive in their daily lives.
“All Soul CBD products are produced in a food grade, GMP-compliant facility, and are tested by third parties for safety and quality.”
VandenBussche had a fearsome reputation during his time as a professional ice hockey player in the NHL, racking up hundreds of penalty minutes as one of the game’s toughest enforcers.
However, his on-ice battles came at a huge personal cost, with numerous concussions and surgeries leaving him addicted to prescription painkillers.
He has since gone on to form his own medical cannabis company – New Leaf Canada Inc. – and is the founding sponsor for the newly established Canadian arm of Athletes for CARE (A4C).
The 46-year-old says that CBD has helped him manage his chronic pain and resolved his dependency on opioids.
“I was always aware of it, although I had always thought of it as a recreational drug,” he said. “That was until I started doing research on it and discovering how effective it can be in treating pain, especially as an alternative to opioids.
“I eventually started using it, and by 2010 I had transitioned 100 percent off the opioids. I continue to use cannabis as an alternative medicine.”
“Playing hockey was an amazing experience, and it opened a lot of doors for me. I was always a role player, but with New Leaf I have a new role to play. I’m in the healing and recovery game now, and the biggest winners will be the people we can help through our products.”
Drinks containing CBD have become increasingly popular, with the easy delivery method appealing to people who are reluctant to vape or take tablets.
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson recently tapped into that popularity by launching DWiiNK, a range of CBD-enhanced water and fruit-flavoured beverages.
DWiiNK will be initially available at convenience stores in Los Angeles, but the long-term aim is to roll the products out on much wider basis.
Since Tyson founded The Ranch Companies, every single CBD product developed the firm has been successful and DWiiNK is tipped to follow suit.
“DWiiNK has been in development for the past 18 months, and it has been well worth the wait,” said DWiiNK President Steven Krane.
“It has been described as the best-tasting and highest-quality CBD beverage available.”
With experts predicting that the CBD beverage category will grow to a $900 million opportunity within the next two years, Tyson could soon be at the top of an entirely different world from the one he used to frequent.