As professional jiu-jitsu organizations continue to flourish, new and varied athletic sponsorships are becoming increasingly more common. Gone are the days that an avid competitor would be stocked with mere protein shakes, rash guards, and BJJ t-shirts. Recovery is an integral part and oft-budgeted component of any jiu-jitsu practitioner’s regimen. In correlation with an increasingly tolerant legal landscape coupled with growing evidence about its effectiveness in aiding recovery, CBD products and companies are emerging at an unprecedented rate, many of them aligning themselves directly with the jiu-jitsu culture through events like High Rollerz and the Black Belt CBD Invitational.
Michigan-based Third Coast Health is one such company that has recently sprouted in an effort to integrate itself into the greater CBD market.
“We started Third Coast because science-backed nutrition and natural ingredients can be an alternative to synthetic prescriptions,” states chief financial and operational manager John E., also a purple belt at Detroit Jiu-Jitsu.
“Our focus is on Cannabidiol or CBD Oil derived from Hemp. CBD Hemp oil is not only all natural, but backed by science. It has been confused as something intoxicating for many years, and we intend to change the perception of CBD through education.”
Indeed, much of the flak CBD has received in the past is a result of its association with the marijuana plant. CBD differs from the psychoactive component THC that is popular amongst recreational users in both its structure and mechanism of action. CBD has direct effects on the brain, the immune system, as well as several other receptor systems, acting on serotonin (5HT) and vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors, the former having benefits related to decreasing anxiety and the latter acting as a non-addictive form of pain therapy, which could have critical implications for the pain management industry. Opioid-related deaths have more than doubled over the past decade, eclipsing 72,000 deaths in 2017 according to the CDC. Assuming safe manufacturing processes, there is zero evidence to support that hemp-derived products could potentially be unsafe, even in large doses.
“All of our products are tested by 3rd party labs when received as raw materials, and then again after the final product has been created,” he states. “We take quality and safety very seriously and will not carry any product if we are unable to supply a Certificate of Analysis [COA]. All of our product listings also have lab test results so we can prove what we say is in our product, is actually in our product.”
While the legal battle for full integration continues, CBD companies stand to benefit from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to remove CBD from the list of banned substances as of this past September. Professional athletes routinely credit CBD for aiding them in recovery, notable among them UFC fighter Nate Diaz who famously smoked a CBD vape pen after one of his post-fight press conferences. While there is reason to be bullish on the future of hemp-derived products, the financial logistical hurdles continue to wane.
“Banks consider hemp and marijuana to be the same thing,” John E. says. “Though hemp does not get you high, it is viewed in the same lens by some financial institutions. We have had challenges getting a merchant processor as many of the major providers, i.e. PayPal, Square, Stripe, do not allow for the sale of CBD through their platforms.”
This has not stopped efforts to integrate with the jiu-jitsu community at the grassroots level.
“We are excited to work closely with the jiu-jitsu community, sponsoring athletes and even our own events as we grow,” he mentions. “Thus far we have sponsored David Garmo at the Onnit 8 Invitational, and are eager to find other athletes that align with our brand and can benefit from our products.”
CBD ingestion comes in a variety of ways, from classic vaporizers, to patches, oral drops, candies, tinctures, and salves. Essad finds drops to be among the more popular items due to their swift onset of action as well as their ease of use.
“There are capillaries under our tongues which absorb the cannabidiol into the body quickly. Fast acting and easily traveled with. Our spearmint flavor is the best seller so far.”
He suggests patches as a non-ingested, long-acting form.
“CBD Patches are best for people with chronic conditions involving pain or inflammation such as TMJ, carpal tunnel, arthritis, colitis, MS, Crohn’s, and more. The patch will be able to give them a continuous amount of CBD which can help ease symptoms over longer periods of time.”
“CBD has played a big part in keeping me on the mat. Whether it is a strain that is soothed by a CBD salve or most restful night’s sleep aided by CBD oil,” he continues.
Click here to Third Coast’s blog further discussing the differences between hemp and marijuana oil.