Article by Sam Riches, Growth Op
Veteran MMA fighter Sasha Palatnikov returned to the octagon this past weekend for the first time since 2020.
In the lead-up to the fight, he discussed his therapeutic use of cannabis and psilocybin in a wide-ranging interview with the team at Fanatics Fantasy MMA App.
Palatnikov, who was born in Hong Kong, but fights out of Las Vegas, said he uses cannabis after his fights as a sleep aid and to cope with pain.
“I’m a big weed smoker. I’ve been smoking for 12 years, but I’m very controlled with that. I don’t smoke a month out from my fight. I’m big on shrooms, I’m big on natural stuff, psychedelics. I’ve had a lot of positive experiences with that stuff. Microdosing, things like that,” Palatnikov said, per BJPENN.com.
Palatnikov added this is the first time he’s spoken publicly about his cannabis consumption.
In 2020, Toronto native and veteran UFC fighter Elias Theodorou made history as the first professional athlete in the world to be granted a therapeutic use exemption for medical cannabis in competition. Theodorou treats bilateral neuropathic pain in his wrists and elbows with medical cannabis.
“My doctor feels that cannabis is right for me and, as part of the process, I’ve had to exhaust all other first-line medicines, whether opioids or other types of painkillers and the side effects have been just as bad, if not worse, than the actual ailment that I have,” he told TSN in 2018.