Article by M.E. Woodside, High! Canada
High! Canada Magazine Assistant Editor ME Woodside sat down with Muay Thai fighter and Canadian Cannabis Entrepreneur Angelina Blessed recently to talk about cannabis, floating, advice for newcomers, life lessons and silver linings.
Angelina began Muay Thai training in 2005. Unlike many Canadians who ly south to escape the bone chilling winter temperatures of Toronto, Angelina chose a much farther destination, Thailand… leading to the beginning of a true passion for the Thai culture and the art of Muay Thai.
Since then, she has returned each winter for a heavy dose of training, fighting and relaxation. As an athlete, Angelina pushes herself to be the best with intense training, self-care and injury recovery. During the span of her career (and because of the nature of the sport), she has suffered many injuries from both training and competing. As a result, the fuel she puts in her body is equally important to learning the best Muay Thai techniques and forms. However, Angelina takes it one step further. Over the years Angelina has explored many treatments and part of her regular program includes Floatation Therapy at Float Toronto and cannabis consumption to aid in athletic recovery, decrease anxiety and help with relaxation.
Can you talk to us about what you do in the industry?
Blessed Edibles is an athletic recovery based company that focuses on low sugar, ketogenic, diet friendly, cbd, vegan and gluten free, lab tested edibles. Our mission is to help others live a more manageable pain free life, and to help my fellow athletes to train, treat and repeat daily with the most pain management, rest and recovery assistance possible.
You have a few projects on the go right now – do you want to tell us about Blessed Edibles and a little about what you’ve been doing lately?
Blessed Edibles is a patient based pro j e ct where I ha ve been able to help patients with healthy sugar free edibles using the whole bud extraction method and cbd isolates as opposed to other unhealthy methods. I got to speak with Ricky Williams this weekend. I don’t watch a lot of football but our stories are very similar. It’s really great to be able to speak to other athletes and figure out how cannabis can help us. As well as discuss the different views on whether or not cannabis is a performance-enhancing drug. Two weeks ago I was in Vancouver for the Hemp and Cannabis Convention where I got to juice r aw cannabis live with Alison Draison who is the three times High Times cannabis cup winner for edibles. She is an incredible mentor for me. Juicing r aw cannabis was a treat seeing as in Ontario we don’t have a lot of access to the fresh cannabis. I think every body should be consuming cannabis in one form or another.
So where do you see the industry going in the next year and leading into the end of prohibition?
I think it will take a lot longer than a year. I don’t think they’re just going to push it through. Nobody else is in a hurry except for the cannabis users. I am afraid that it is going to go into big pharmaceuticals hands. But, I am hopefully Justin Trudeau will stick to his first conviction of wanting to keep craft cannabis in the hands of craft cannabis makers. We would like a chance in the market and/or the ability to consult with the people who will be writing the rules for us. Hopefully there will be people like us on the boards to help figure out the legalization process and what’s best for the industry, above all what’s best for the people who rely on cannabis medicine.
Can you give any advice to people coming into the industry?
Educate, live by example, believe in what you are doing, and the cheesy old follow your heart. This is the hardest I’ve ever worked. I’m exhausted most days, I haven’t had a day off in months but I’m living the dream right now. I found my people who understand my vision and are just as dedicated to this journey as me. I am really excited to have found my niche alongside so many other talented women. We seem to be kicking-ass!
Can you talk to us about cannabis and pain management?
I have had every injury known to man. Anything from neuropathy in my leg to pinched nerves to breaking my orbital bone in a fight from a spinning elbow! And, I’ve had at least two severe concussions. Yes, as a Muay Thai fighter I’ve been knocked out a couple times. When I was severely concussed I couldn’t form sentences and I had delays in my speech and movement. The hospital tried to give me every drug in the book and I just refused. As soon as the concussion happened I took a really heavy dose of CBD and then I just started eating edibles and that’s what I did for the next two weeks. The inflammation in my brain was brought from the cbd down to a much more manageable place. Cannabis was the only thing that could help me. I’m very grateful that cannabis in its various forms was available and I was able to get the best alternative treatment possible. Even after typical sparring sessions my legs are shaking and my adrenaline is pumping through the roof when I go home. Using cannabis to slow myself down at the end of the day enables me to get the rest I need.
What advice do you have for women entering the industry?
Support each other, educate yourselves, ask questions, and share the love and knowledge of the plant. There is a lot of room for people coming into the cannabis industry but I think it’s important you know what your niche market is. You need to know what you stand for. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who share a similar vision as you because those people can lead you in the right direction.
What is up and coming this summer for you?
I am going to be at the Vancouver Lift conferences doing magazine signing for High! Canada. I am also going to be spending some time with Ross Gold, which is amazing because I really support their vision. Ross Rebagliati and I have a lot in common being athletes who believe in cannabis for athletic recovery. While in Vancouver, Ross and I will be speaking live on the Expert Joint Podcast. It has also been really exciting meeting with many scientists and doctors over the last couple of conventions. Now I have direct access to doctors that are willing to work online. So when I have cancer patients come to me I know where to direct them. Being able to help people is truly fulfilling.