Making Sense Of The CBD Craze With CrossFit Legend Mat Fraser
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I’m not typically one to get star struck.
This is probably because, over the years, I’ve worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music, and have taken meetings with some of the most powerful politicians in the world.
After a while, you just get a bit numb to the excitement of it all. But this was not the case a few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to interview CrossFit legend, Mat Fraser.
I gave this some consideration, trying to figure out why I did get a bit star struck in this situation, and I came to the conclusion that it was because Mat Fraser is one of the most celebrated athletes in the world of CrossFit: a style of high intensity interval training coupled with a support system comprised of highly enthusiastic individuals.
I actually started doing CrossFit about three years ago, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Not only am I stronger and healthier today than I was 30 years ago, back while I was still in college, but I’m also more confident, more motivated, and less anxious and stressed in everything I do.
It has been incredibly beneficial for my mental health and my relationships. It has improved my quality of life in tremendous ways, and quite frankly, has just helped me become a better person.
So as you can imagine, meeting one of the most celebrated athletes of a sport that has had such a huge influence on my life, was a pretty exciting for me. Particularly because in this instance, my discussion with Fraser revolved mostly around CBD: a very popular chemical compound found in cannabis, and one that I’ve been writing about for years.
You see, last year, Mat Fraser joined forces with two other professional athletes to create their own CBD supplement that was essentially inspired by Fraser’s own supplement demands. What they came up with were two special blends of CBD, superfoods, adaptogens and compounds that can provide both mental clarity and restful sleep. One is called DREAM and the other is called CLARITY.
You can read my review of these blends, which are produced and sold under the beam brand, here.
Now, as a long-time cannabis and CBD consumer, I was certainly happy to review beam. But as a CrossFit enthusiast, I also wanted to know more about the product and how it really fits into Fraser’s life. And while Fraser is actively training at the moment, he was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his day to give me an interview that I’m very excited to share with you today.
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JS: Over the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of athletes get very vocal about using CBD to help with things like sleep, inflammation, stress, etc. And these are some serious athletes, too. Guys like Mike Tyson, Ricky Williams, Nate Diaz and you, as well. When did you start using CBD, and how did you discover it?
MF: Well, I had been hearing a lot about CBD, and I’m always on the lookout for things that can help me gain an edge. And if it’s something that helps, and I can implement it easily, then I’m all for it. I actually had my manager try it first though, to make sure I wouldn’t end up testing positive for anything. He took huge doses for a month, everyday, then he passed the drug test with no problems. So I began taking it to help me sleep. I sometimes struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, and this helps.
JS: Yeah, I read that you try to get about 10 hours of sleep per night. So I would imagine that struggling with sleep while trying to get 10 hours could be frustrating.
MF: Well, the DREAM blend helps me slow the chatter down in my head so I can sleep. I usually take it about 30 minutes before bed and it helps me get drowsy so I can fall asleep easily.
JS: Do you find that there are other CrossFit athletes of your caliber using CBD, too?
MF: Pretty sure quite a few are using it. I know the feedback about DREAM has been huge. I couldn’t be happier with the product, and hope people really benefit from it.
JS: Back in 2018, during the Crossfit Open, I saw a thread on a message board, where someone asked, “What are you thinking about while doing 18.2?” Some of the responses were, “Why am I paying for this?” “Am I going to die?” But I thought about it, and discovered that I wasn’t thinking about anything. I was so focused on the movements and pushing myself that nothing else was in my head. And that made me realize that this was essentially a form of meditation for me. Is this something that you or perhaps anyone else in the crossfit community has discussed? And for those who perhaps have a hard time getting those random thoughts out of their heads while doing a WOD (Workout of the Day), do you think CLARITY could help with that?
MF: Absolutely. And when you ask what people are thinking about while working out, you’ll get a million different answers. For me, when looking at the white board, it really helps to focus on just one piece at a time. Then, a few hours go by, and wow, you’re done!
Full disclosure: at this point I’m thinking to myself: A few hours?!! Thus the humbling experience of speaking with a professional athlete. :)
JS: When you were coming up with the various ingredients in CLARITY and DREAM, did you have any requirements regarding where these ingredients were sourced, how they’re processed, and what you expected from the blends?
MF: All the CBD is made from organically-grown hemp in Colorado, and tested for pesticides, metals, and other additives that sometimes aren’t disclosed by other CBD brands. There’s no excuse for unclean supplements, and ours are sourced from reliable people. Regarding what I wanted with the blends, I definitely wanted something convenient. Before going to bed, I was taking so many different pills. I wanted something equivalent to the nighttime routine, but without taking multiple pills. Something that would be convenient and just put together into one dose.
JS: Joe Rogan is a big fan of CBD, and of course, also staying fit and healthy. Sometimes he discusses crossfit, and he seems to have respect for it, but he never has an expert come in and talk about it. If invited, would you ever appear on his podcast? Seems like you would be the perfect guest to talk about the sport, as well as your relationship with CBD.
MF: I’m a big fan of his podcast. I throw it on all the time and love to listen when he talks with experts in various fields. Yeah, I would love to do his podcast.
This would pretty much be the ultimate trifecta for me: Mat Fraser, Joe Rogan, and a deep dive into the world of crossfit and CBD. So if you know Joe, ask him to give Mat a shout!