When I was 16, I was told that I would never play sports.
I have spondylosis in my L3 disc in my spine (technically that means I have a broken spine) and when I was young, doctors said that I needed spinal surgery and that I was at risk of being addicted to pain pills because I would need them for the rest of my life.
Well, I had a whole other vision of sports and being a champion, so I chose a route of natural medicine.
I’ve been using cannabis for 20-plus years now; I used it throughout my professional career. And, while I ultimately fulfilled my dream of becoming a UFC champion and world class martial artist, my focus of late is on a social injustice that’s happened in our country. The people have been the victims; they’ve been left without medicine.
When I was fighting, cannabis was still illegal, and we tested for THC. I would stop for two weeks before a fight; I’d be in tremendous pain and continue my treatments after the fighting. When I retired, it became a different level of supplement; I didn’t have the same amount of pain, but I still had considerable pain. I needed therapy, so I still use it today and everyday.
This amazing, mysterious plant that’s been with us since the dawn of time is the subject of my new show The Bake Out, and I encourage everybody, no matter what your sport or who you are, to stand up for some activism here because this is a medicine, and it can really help a lot of people.
The Bake Out is a talk show. It’s me and Robert Ferguson, a celebrity nutritionist, and we’re really coming from a nutritional and medical side. Is it the best thing for you? What is the best technology out there? What is the best way to consume it? What is the best vehicle to put it in your body?
This show is about presenting cannabis and cannabis lifestyle. We want to talk about all these things that no one is talking about, and then bring in the people that are making the decisions, the politicians and the doctors, and try to come to some understanding with it.
One of the big subjects of the show is that it’s actually called smoking weed, but smoking is one of the worst things for you. My preferred method is a very medical and scientific method. I use the volcano vaporizer, so I vaporize the plant’s matter into a mist in a bag, and I inhale that.
The whole culture of smoking and all these different technologies has moved so fast: we’re talking about topicals, creams, mists, there’s even an inter-vaginal cannabis product for women; my presentation is purely medical and I think this will cure a great many things for pennies on the dollar and allow individuals to control their personal health. I want to support that movement.
For me, cannabis use was originally for pain management because we’re doing a sport that damages us. So if we don’t have some type of medicine for all of that, we’re gonna end up all broken up and jacked up.
Originally, martial arts very much had a culture of not doing it, and that has slowly moved forward. When MMA came along, the Brazilians culturally consumed it recreationally, also as medicine, so it has been, from the beginning, laced into the culture, and now it’s ubiquitous. Now everybody has found that this is such a good pain management, pain controller for swelling issues and inflammation. Everyone has found that it’s so good they’re consuming it. I think you’ll see it in 90 percent of the athletes. And here’s my hope: I think we’ll see a lot of athletes turning away from steroids and opiates and these other addictive and destroying substances, and turning to these natural things.
So starting today, we’re gonna hit all of the streets of LA and see where society is going, especially following the gradual legalization of marijuana. As a community we’ve been a bit miseducated and mislead with this plant. Cannabis is a neuroprotectant, meaning it will heal damage to your brain, so the fact that it’s still illegal and we’re still having this conversation in a contact sport is insane.
I’m just glad that socially we’re pushing this message forward, and as a community, as a society, we will be able to change this federal law.
Here's more on The Bake Out.