Cannabis has never been talked about openly at the Olympics in its 125-year history, writes Forbes. But this year, elite athletes as beloved as soccer star and gold medalist Megan Rapinoe are using the biggest sporting event on Earth to promote cannabis — so long as it’s CBD, anyway.
Weed’s rep is on the Mendi
Rapinoe’s sister and fellow soccer player Rachael Rapinoe and Brett Schwager are the founders of CBD company Mendi, a line of “all-natural recovery essentials to improve sleep, mood or manage pain and inflammation,” according to their website.
In addition to leaning on Rapinoe’s star power, they’ve enlisted other elite athletes to help promote the CBD-infused tinctures, gummies and topicals at this year’s Olympics: basketball star Sue Bird, track and field competitor Devon Allen and long distance runner Shelby Houlian.
After the Forbes story was published, many were quick to accuse the US Anti-Doping Association of hypocrisy and racism in its approach to cannabis, pointing to Sha’carri Richardson’s gutting disqualification from competing in Tokyo after testing positive for THC.
So far, the Anti-Doping Association sees CBD as a recovery product and not performance-enhancing — but THC is yet to be deemed acceptable.
CBD a no-go in Tokyo
And while CBD is okay to promote and use in advance of the events in Tokyo, all cannabis products are still illegal in Japan. So no one will be bringing or using cannabis at the games themselves.
“Although cannabis is on the world stage for the first time ever, we’re not saying that it’s there in Tokyo,” Rachael Rapinoe told Forbes. “What we’re saying is, ‘we’ve been there on the journey to get these athletes to the world’s biggest stage, and they’ve been taking our products every day for the past year or two years to help them with marginal gains.’”