Bas Rutten Believes In A Future Without Pharmaceuticals Thanks To Marijuana And CBD
As the national conversation around medical marijuana shifts in favor of legalizing the plant, innovations throughout the industry are being championed by athletes and doctors across the country. And as the stigma of using marijuana disappears with the greater awareness of its benefits, consumers, experts, and professionals that use the medicine grow more influential by the day.
While marijuana benefits a large swath of medical conditions, athletes are becoming far more overt in their usage of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and marijuana to recover and deal with pain. Green Flower Media has spearheaded the education of doctors as well as patients in an effort to give activists, marijuana professionals and those in need all the tools required to positively impact their industries through medical marijuana.
One of the most outspoken champions of medical marijuana, specifically CBD oil is former UFC champion, Bas Rutten. Rutten likens the ignorance of CBD and medical marijuana to MMA in the old days — it took education and regulation for it to finally come into the mainstream. As he puts an addiction to oxycontin behind him thanks to CBD oil, we discussed athlete recovery without pharmaceuticals, getting over “legal weed” and a future that wholly embraces the healthy lifestyle that CBD offers.
When did you start using CBD oil?
With me, it started like two years ago. It started with CBD. I was really amazed by it since I had a painkiller problem a long time ago.
You come from Holland and the Dutch have been way more open to marijuana for decades. They’ve been far more relaxed about their drug laws there, so have you been using it for a long time?
You know, no, and I never really did. I just started later. I use it to sleep. I had rheumatic fever as a kid, so I need to get my heart checked the whole time, and even the heart surgeon told me, “I’d rather have you smoke a little bit than to take a pill.” So, you know, if I go to a party, and I don’t want to drink, I smoke a little bit because then I don’t need to drink. So that’s what I use it for. I’m one of those guys who, when he uses marijuana, I have a five-second memory, so having my job and doing interviews all the time, it’s not really working for me if I do it.
How old were you? when the doctor told you to maybe take a pill or smoke a little bit to sleep?
That happened a couple of years ago. In Holland, I never did because I just want to sleep and eat. That’s what I want to do when I smoke
Were you ever using it to self-medicate without ever really realizing it in previous years beyond just as a drinking alternative?
No. I don’t think so. I notice now with the whole CBD that also when I take only 10 milligrams, I take it like a drop in the morning and it really helps my stomach also. You know if you have stomach-related problems with food, I just take that, and yeah, almost don’t even feel it, but it gets me warm and then my stomach feels great, so that’s why I use it. But yeah, for the rest, like I said, if I do it I have a 5, 10-second memory. That’s it. It’s really funny because everybody starts making fun of me.
I can’t even imagine a Bas Rutten that is at a loss for words, so that’s pretty funny to me. Now, you posted on Instagram, and you’ve discussed how towards the end of your fighting career you had an issue with Oxycontin and other pills. How does CBD compare in its painkilling effectiveness compared to pharmaceuticals?
I think it’s exactly the same. You know, like last year, when I started, I remember I always used an example because I have to go to San Diego. It’s a long drive for me; two-and-a-half hour drive, and my back was killing me, and I’d tell my wife, “Give me a few Vicodins for on the road. You know, if I need them then at least I have them with me.” So I wanted to take one, and then I thought, “You know what? Let’s try the CBD stuff.” So I put the pills in my pocket. I say, “If it doesn’t work, you can always take the pill.” I told my wife from the car. I was amazed. I go, “It’s almost exactly the same.” You get warm, you feel good, you’re nice and relaxed, and it’s not addicting. So it was perfect. I was super happy that I didn’t take the pain pills.
A post shared by Bas Rutten (@basruttenmma) on Feb 2, 2017 at 6:58pm PST
I have tendonitis in my wrists; I’m at a keyboard all day. If I were to take this, is there a negative effect for the average worker who has back pains or wrist pains? Do you feel loopy at all?
No. You calm down a little bit. There is 0.3% THC in it, so the rest is CBD, but there needs to be a little bit in order to make it work better. That’s what they’ve figured out. But it’s such a low dose that they can send it by mail through every state. It’s legal everywhere since it’s only 0.3%, so if you take a full dropper, yeah, you’re calm. But you know, like I said, with me, if I would smoke weed I can’t think, but with this, I can keep thinking. So for me, it’s great. Especially if I have to do an interview and I gotta go on camera, you know, and I’m not at a loss for words. That’s what I like about it. If you’re stressed out and you’ve got to drive, and you know, you have a little road rage, I would take it as well. You know, it just calms you down. It’s fun stuff. It’s good stuff. And it’s not addictive.
My doctor tells me to take an anti-inflammatory, and so I take Aleve and it kills my stomach. So you don’t consider there to be any side effects that you’ve experienced?
No. Zero. Absolutely nothing. The great thing about CBD also — everything that you take works three to five times better. So if you’re, for instance, hooked on painkillers, then you can start actually winding down because you take CBD and instead of taking five of them you only need like one or two. Then hopefully this way it calms down your usage. Actually, there is an Opiate Center in Los Angeles now who treats the patients with cannabis.
A post shared by Bas Rutten (@basruttenmma) on Feb 2, 2017 at 6:58pm PST
It seems like there’s still a negative stigma about medical marijuana and even CBD. What would you say to somebody who doesn’t want to use CBD because it’s marijuana-based and been painted in a negative light for so long?
These people are just dumb, you know? It should have never been illegal in the first place. It’s way safer, we all know this, than alcohol or any other drug out there. This is also a plant. You don’t have to make it like alcohol. That’s a whole process you have to go through. This literally a plant. You can eat it. It’s got so many medical benefits, but the people here in America especially, they’re all brainwashed because the government has done that. The government says they don’t want you to buy drugs, so they called it a drug. They want you to buy their drugs. That’s what they want. And now finally, you can’t go around it anymore. People with seizures go from 145 seizures a day to zero in one night, overnight. Kids, everybody. PTSD. It cures certain cancers.
We had a guy on our podcast three weeks ago, a friend of my co-host, and stage four stomach cancer. A lot of people in his family died. Everybody had cancer. He saw them go through chemotherapy. He said, “I’m not gonna do it. I’m gonna do cannabinoids,” and that’s what he did, and he’s completely cured. He did no radiation, no chemo, no nothing. He just watched his diet and he did cannabinoids and that was it. You know, it’s completely cured. For instance, Israel is very far ahead with their CBD hemp production. They might have a strain with no THC whatsoever there. And unfortunately, because of all the past, and all the miracle things that people try to sell on TV, there’s a lot of that stuff doesn’t work, and that is not going to help now also with CBD because it sounds like holistic almost. You know, people go like, “Eh, whatever, man. That’s not gonna work. I’ll take a real pill.”
Well, then you take a real pill. If you really want to do some damage to your body then do that, but I say what do you have to lose? What do you have to lose to just try it? You try it one time, you wait for an hour and you say, “Hey, this is actually pretty good.” And with inflammation it’s great. What I do, if I want to work out really hard, I’ll take it before a workout and then the lactic acid threshold is way higher. I can push to way higher than I can normally push, so it works with everything. It’s really an amazing stuff. It’s good for your nervous system. Pretty much anything in your body. There are some really great tests out there already.
Hearing you almost gush about it, it seems almost too good to be true.
Well, it is. If you go from an Oxycontin painkiller addiction and then you find stuff which is actually good for you, yeah, that sounds unbelievable. You look at my skin, you look at my nails — everything gets better. I’m not kidding. Try it out. That’s what I want to say, and then if they don’t believe it, at least they tried it. But a lot of people don’t try it. They stay away from it because they need something strong. They want to ruin themselves I guess. It’s horrible stuff. With CBD, there is no set dose that can kill you. You can drink two liters. It’s not gonna kill you. It’s not even known how much you can take before it kills you, so that’s how safe it is.
How were you introduced to CBD oils?
I just found it online. Somebody had sent it to me, and I made a video of it. I said, “This is actually really good stuff,” and then that company contacted me and I started working with them. We have a project called Athletes For Care, which is a nonprofit organization. We’ve got all these NHL guys, NFL guys. You’ve got everybody on the board, and we’re trying to spread the word. We’re not branding, it’s just for any CBD, because the group that we have, everybody takes different kinds of CBD. You hear the horror stories from NFL guys — they get medicated on the field. They literally have to go back, pop two Vicodins or whatever you pop, and then you go back on the field. It’s dangerous, you know? It’s horrible stuff.
I have to bring up Nick Diaz who failed a drug test for a few barely any cannabinoids in his system and then he’s banned from the sport for multiple years. What do you think it’ll have to take for marijuana to lose its stigma around athletes and around sports as a supplement rather than a drug that gives someone an “advantage?”
Well, again, it’s education. That’s the only thing I can say. I think once this generation, the people who are around 60 years old, that age, you know, I would say they have a harder time understanding it because they grow up thinking it was a drug. They’ve been brainwashed by the government, so they think it’s illegal and it’s the same as cocaine. You know, they have no clue, unfortunately. But I think once that generation is gone, I think everybody is doing it. I mean, it’s amazing. Since I started speaking about it, friends of mine that I had no clue were doing it, everybody is doing it. I mean, I think that 80% of the fighters are doing it.
And especially as fighters, you’re going really hard in the gym, or you’re stressed and doing media, and you’re about to fight another human being in a cage, you know? It seems like CBD and medical marijuana is a catch-all to not only help the body recover but to help the mind relax.
That’s it. It really is. You watch. It’s just the tip of the iceberg what we have now. CBD, what it does to skin cancer, you simply rub it on your skin cancer. It killed it. I mean, it’s proven. It’s 100% proven. People go, “There’s no way.” Yeah, you just rub it on there and it kills it. Once these stories start coming and then real other medical tests are gonna come out. You can’t avoid it anymore. You’re gonna have to say “yes.” But for the government… It’s an insane thing here in America. Like, 80% of the opiates around the world, 80% is consumed here in America. You know, so that’s a really high number, and a lot of people die. If we can change that or switch that way of thinking, that’ it. Kids get prescribed Vicodin that are in grade school or high school. They tried to do it to my daughter. My wife goes, “No, she’s not going to get that. You’re not prescribing that.” Because she’s 16 years old. What are you doing? So it’s weird. They need the education, and I think once the education is there, everybody’s gonna know.
Can you explain your role with Green Flower Media?
Green Flower Media, I did a summit for them with Eben Britton and Eugene Monroe, an NFL guy. We did a summit, the professional athletes, and we talked to the people about CBD and what the benefits were.
Do you feel like the tide is changing as far as acceptance of CBD oils and medical marijuana?
Yeah, I truly believe so. I think the stigma is gone. It was the same with MMA. In the beginning, it was also looked down upon as cockfighting. It was banned because of the violence but people just need to be educated. And once they realized, “Wait a minute, it’s actually safer than boxing,” you know? Then people started realizing that, and the shows come on TV and they see all the training and the workout. So they got educated and it was accepted. Now everybody likes it because they know about it. Now people don’t yell anymore if two fighters are on the ground and they’re rolling around because they don’t understand, but now they understand. They understand it well. So, and it’s the same with marijuana and with CBD. It’s just education. And we, you know, the Athletes For Care, you see, that’s a group to make sure that we bring it out there. I think if professional athletes from all different kinds of sports coming out, and everybody has the same words, I think it’s a powerful statement.
Former UFC champion Bas Rutten shares his story of overcoming an opioid addiction thanks to the help of medical marijuana and CBD oil.