Choking on Cannabis: Vaping for Athletic Performance
Our friend Seibo Shen is founder of VapeXhale, one of the leading vaporizers on the market and the all-time favorite vape of The Stoner’s Cookbook CEO Matt Gray. In addition to his professional pursuits, Seibo is also a trained jiu jitsu athlete and is currently gearing up for a high-level competition. Like all of us, he is passionate about the liberation of cannabis, and is weary of the stoner stereotypes we are still all-too-familiar with. As part of his mission to debunk this false perception, Seibo shares his personal experience using cannabis to augment his performance on the mat. Check it out.
One of my biggest pet peeves is the common misconception that people who use cannabis live sedentary lifestyles. Based on the way cannabis users are portrayed in the media, it doesn’t surprise me — if that was my only exposure into the cannabis world, I would have the same viewpoint. My gut instinct is to counter that portrayal with the numerous examples of people that perform at a high level and also consume cannabis, but my belief has always been that it is better to show than tell.
I’m currently 38 years old and training for the Gracie Regionals, one of the bigger submission grappling events where the winners get to compete at the Gracie Nationals. For the uninformed, the Gracie family brought Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the world via the Ultimate Fighting Championship and revolutionized the way we look at combat sports. In jiu jitsu, we train everyday to figure out ways to put our opponent in positions so painful that they have to “tap out”. Since I started training, I knew that cannabis would be very helpful in aiding my recovery from these intense training sessions, as it reduced my joint inflammation tremendously.
While I was quite familiar with the healing effects cannabis can have on your body, I was also interested in exploring how it might enhance my own athletic performance. The thought of rolling (the act of submission grappling with a training partner) while medicated seemed like a daunting task. One thing that I discovered about jiu jitsu is that although it is an extremely physical activity, strategy plays just as big of a role in deciding who will emerge victorious. The chess playing that occurs requires you to be thinking 2-3 steps ahead of your opponent, but at the same time, you can’t be so committed to your moves that if another opening shows itself, you can’t adjust in real time.
After 4 months of rolling and numerous training partners recommending that I try medicating before class, I finally decided to put some HRK (Humboldt Royal Kush, 4:1 CBD/THC ratio) into my VapeXhale EVO and took three deep inhalations before class. Walking onto the mats for the first time in a medicated condition, I was extremely nervous. What if my reaction time is slower? I’m going to get choked unconscious. Lot’s of doubt went through my mind. Then I stepped on the mat and I could already feel a closer connection with my body and the floor. The bottom of my feet seemed extremely sensitive and I could feel all the different textures on the mat. My nervousness then turned into a bit of excitement.
After drilling various techniques for 30 minutes, it was now time to practice these moves during an active roll. I got paired up with Angel, a man that outweighs me by about 100 pounds. Instantly, all the confidence I had earlier disappeared as we began grappling with each other. As I struggled to get a dominant position, my body began to relax. It may seem odd to relax when someone is trying to choke you, but in this scenario, my body became more sensitive to his movements and my ability to anticipate what he was going to do exponentially increased. All the complex moves that I had learned in class began to flow through me like water — what many athletes call, “getting into the zone”.
I believe cannabis stripped away the last bit of competitive ego that was holding me back when rolling and allowed me to perform at maximum potential. For me, it was a huge learning experience and just another way cannabis has benefitted my life. Although I had great success with cannabis that day, it’s not something I find myself doing frequently, but rather a tool that I can use to enhance my jiu jitsu game both on the healing and learning side. While it will take some time for cannabis use to be more socially accepted, I urge everyone to share their personal stories of how you have used this herb to enhance your physical abilities. I’ll be back soon to share the results of the Gracie Regionals!
Featured image Quartz