If you’ve ever watched even part of a football or soccer game, you know how physically and mentally demanding it is being a professional athlete.
These men and women leave it all on the field! And often retire from their careers with more than just accolades—generally suffering from long-lasting injuries and chronic pain.
It’s no surprise then that they, like so many of us, would turn to the cannabis plant for relief!
But sadly, many professional sports leagues still do not recognize cannabis as having legitimate medical value, and as a result, athletes are often penalized for their consumption.
Just look at Major League Baseball. Only a few years ago, the MLB wiped marijuana from its list of banned substances—only to tell players that they could still be punished and fined for using it under various circumstances.
Medicinal cannabis use comes at a (literal) price for athletes, but their need to access less addictive forms of pain management is even greater.
That’s why so many current and former professional athletes are entering the cannabis industry!
They’re not just doing it as a smart business investment, they’re creating mission-led brands that are out here advocating for the changes we so desperately need—in our sporting league policies and in our society at large!
Here are a handful of my favorite athlete-founded cannabis brands that are changing the game for athletes…
1. REVENANT BY KYLE TURLEY, JIM MCMAHON & EBEN BRITTON
Revenant was founded by three retired professional athletes: Kyle Turley, Jim McMahon, and Eben Britton.
They seek to offer high-quality, lab-tested cannabis….at affordable prices!
As if that isn’t revolutionary enough, they’ve also partnered with the Weed for Warrior’s Project—an organization that helps to empower and rehabilitate military veterans through cannabis education and community projects.
They also recently co-hosted the Gridiron Greats Celebrity Golf Classic, a cannabis-friendly charity event that My Bud Vase also sponsored!
Be sure to read to the end for more details about how the Gridiron Greats nonprofit is supporting athletes in need.
2. HIGHSMAN BY RICKY WILLIAMS
Highsman is a cannabis lifestyle brand founded by NFL running back, Ricky Williams.
Named after the coveted Heisman trophy that he received in ‘98, we give him bonus points for most clever brand name!
Their football-themed strains are so much fun too—from the Sativa Pregame, to their Hybrid Halftime, and Indica Postgame—but it’s not all fun and games for Ricky.
After being suspended for cannabis use, Ricky is upfront about the way cannabis consumers are treated in football, having to keep their use quiet for fear of shame and punishment.
But it was only after being honest about his use that he felt free and happy.
Now Ricky works to change the stigma. Highsman promotes not only health and wellness through cannabis, but honesty and belonging.
And Ricky is serious about belonging. The Highsman House is an all-inclusive digital lounge where smoking enthusiasts can come and feel good about their hobby.
The online location means anyone from anywhere can come together to enjoy kush in community!
And who doesn't love sparking up with friends! Ricky and I had so much fun rolling up together....
Ricky is taking holistic healing even further, and doing some super cool things in astrology with his app LILA.
It’s designed to help everyone, even the astro-illiterate, to understand themselves and their relationship needs better via the stars….go check it out!
3. PRIMITIV BY CALVIN JOHNSON JR. & ROB SIMS
Primitiv’s founders Calvin Johnson Jr. and Rob Sims are true believers in the healing power of cannabis….because they really lived it!
Primitiv is a research company discovering new ways that weed can be used to help offset the physical and mental cost of playing professional sports.
That’s why they’ve partnered with Harvard to assist sufferers of chronic traumatic encephalopathy—people who’ve suffered multiple head injuries over the course of their career.
Johnson was also limited in his advocacy role while playing professionally. Rules, regulations, and expectations limited his ability to speak out about the benefits of cannabis.
Off the field is a different story!
Johnson and Sims’ research partnerships are applied through alliances with community organizations like Michigan Cannabis Industry Association.
Together, they distribute much-needed information on the wellness benefits of cannabis and different consumption methods. Because knowledge is power!
4. MENDI BY RACHAEL RAPINOE
You know this list wouldn’t be complete without a badass female athlete. Women in cannabis may be outnumbered, but we are here, making a difference!
And we love to see it!
Seeking to create a hemp brand that champions women and marginalized communities, former professional soccer player Rachael Rapinoe founded Mendi, premium Oregon hemp extracts.
Her philosophy is that we all win when women are well-rested and feeling their best—amen, sister!
That’s why their CBD products focus on supporting women with anti-fatigue, pain relief, stress relief, and sleep improvement.
Rachael herself talks about the toll anxiety, substance abuse, mental illness, and a life of panic attacks can have on a person. And how CBD has helped her recovery.
Having lived it, she’s the perfect person to spread the word about plant-based alternatives like hemp!
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT ATHLETES?
While athletes are entering the industry and making big changes from within, we can’t let them do it all alone!
It’s up to all of us—especially if you’re a sports fan and cannabis consumer—to find ways to support current and former athletes and their right to medicinal cannabis.
That's why My Bud Vase partnered with Cannabis Talk 101, Revenant & Farechild to sponsor their Celebrity Golf Classic to benefit the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund and change the game for athletes!
The GGAF provides NFL athletes who retired prior to 1993 with much-needed medical care— and they currently support more than 2,500 former athletes. Wow!
To learn more about this cause & make a donation, visit their website today. Remember, every donation helps, no matter the size.
Let’s come together and show athletes that we are here for them & support their right to plant medicine!