Professional sports are notorious for outdated views on cannabis use among athletes. Even though studies have shown that cannabis has been found to help alleviate muscle soreness, stress, and assist with brain health, the stigma still remains.
Luckily, these outdated views are becoming less common. The NFL is rethinking its stance on cannabis by funding clinical trials, the MLB allows players to use cannabis in their personal lives, and now one company, Gelato Canna Co., has partnered with UFC fighter Gilbert Urbina for a collaboration that helps normalize cannabis use in professional sports.
Making an Impact on the Cannabis Industry
George Sadler, CEO of Gelato, is absolutely thrilled about this partnership. “Most sports and sports figures would not be allowed to be a sponsor of a cannabis brand due to regulations and team contracts, but this particular arena allowed us to be able to move forward with a sponsorship. There are not many professional sports leagues where you can talk about the benefits of cannabis in relation to the sport.”
Urbina, also stoked about this partnership, would love to stay a sponsored fighter and continue to promote cannabis wellness. “The biggest impact I can make is to be the link between Gelato and the UFC. Not only did I want to be the first to shout out the brand in my post-fight interview with Mike Bisping, but I also want to be part of the first cannabis brand to be partnered with the UFC.”
Cannabis’s Impact on Urbina’s UFC Career
Unlike the outdated views on cannabis among athletes, Urbina says its use has given him a lot of creativity and understanding, as well as post-fight recovery. Cannabis helps him unwind after some of the hostile training sessions, as well as getting some of the best rest.
“More scientific studies are being done and more athletes are able to talk about their experiences with cannabis and give anecdotal evidence that supports the positive benefits for both the medical and performance side,” Sadler said. “This is especially true when it comes to training and recovery. Those are the two areas that are the most beneficial to any athlete that partakes in cannabis, however they decide to use it.”
As a professional athlete, Urbina has certainly been subject to negative comments surrounding the use of cannabis in sports. Back in 2019, he posted a picture of himself and a championship-sized bong on Instagram. The head coach of JacksonWink Academy then gave Urbina a lecture on how cannabis can ruin potential sponsorships down the road.
“It definitely made me question if I was making the right move, but today Gelato and I can agree that being a cannabis advocate for the ‘Gelato Brand’ is paying off,” Urbina said.
Education Around Cannabis Use
Both Sadler and Urbina agree that more education around cannabis can help alleviate some of the negative views that people have with its use among athletes. “In my opinion, I don’t feel like too many people see it as a benefit to use cannabis. With more education, I think we’d all be surprised how many more people and athletes give it a try,” Urbina said.