By Jim Bendis

Have you tried CBD? What is your experience? Whether young or old, athlete or not, CBD has become an important part of our lives.  As an aging athlete myself, I thought it would be fun to share my journey to give insight on CBD and how it could help with your journey.

I founded Ablis to make all-natural CBD products in 2014 with co-founder, and son, Max Bendis.   Giving people access to CBD through functional products like craft beverages and essentials has become a lifelong passion that grew out of another passion of mine: competitive running. 

I have been a competitive athlete for over 45 years. It’s my favorite way for me to stay in shape and clear my mind. And CBD has become an integral part of maintaining my life as an athlete. 

This is my story of how I discovered CBD and why it’s an excellent option for anyone (not just athletes) searching for natural ways to support their wellbeing. 

Inspired By Charlotte Figi

I first learned about CBD in 2014. That was the year my home state of Oregon voted to legalize recreational cannabis. 

I’ve never been interested in getting high, and legalization didn’t change that. THC just isn’t for me. But I was excited about CBD, one of the non-psychoactive, naturally-occurring chemicals found in the cannabis plant. 

CBD intrigued me because of how it helped a little girl named Charlotte Figi.

Charlotte had Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that can’t be treated with pharmaceuticals. Charlotte’s seizures started when she was three months old, and by the time she was five, she suffered from uncontrollable seizures about every thirty minutes, until her family found CBD. 

With CBD, Charlotte was able to do things she’d never done before, like walking, playing, making eye contact, and even eating on her own. It was an incredibly remarkable story.

Charlotte recently passed away due to COVID-19 at just 13 years old, and we’re all grateful for the CBD movement that she and her family inspired. 

Natural Healing Is Possible

I’ve never suffered from anything like what Charlotte went through but connected to her story because of seeing just how unhelpful and destructive lab-made pharmaceuticals can be for our bodies. 

Like many people, I watched my parents’ health decline as they grew older. Before my father passed away a few years back, he was taking 11 pills every day. They were all FDA approved drugs, but there was zero research about their collective and long term effects. 

Over time I saw that those pills weren’t helping my dad. Instead, they were only hurting him. 

I think stories like this are pretty standard in our society – everybody wants a quick fix. So people pile on the prescriptions without thinking because it’s become normal in our culture. And I think that we’re now just starting to realize that perhaps mother nature is way smarter than we are. And perhaps natural ways of living and healing are really what we need. 

That’s how I live my life, with a deep respect for nature and knowing that my wellbeing is connected to living the way nature intended. And because of that, I have always been interested in plant-based products. 

It warms my heart to see more and more people looking for natural ways to improve their lives, and CBD is a great place to start. 

How I Use CBD 

Believing exercise is more like recess, I’ve been racing competitively for 45 years. 

My proudest race was long before CBD became available: when I won the Portland to Coast 170 mile Duathlon.  While others were consuming energy bars and energy drinks, I only consumed all-natural foods and teas.  And I ended up setting the course record at the time.  

Ultra-sports like competitive running are all about mindset, but you still have to take care of your body if you don’t want to burn out. Blending a little bit of ego and a lot of dedication, I’ve competed in over 300 races, triathlons, and duathlons – so grateful to still be able to run, let alone keep racing. A lot of people’s bodies just wear out because running can be so intense.  I thank God for genetics and a healthy lifestyle.

The first time I tried CBD, I wanted to know how it would impact my running. I’ve never looked back because I’ve never felt better.  The FDA doesn’t allow me to talk about the benefits of CBD.  It is all a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Here’s how CBD now fits into my daily routine:

  • 30 minutes before strenuous exercise, my regime is to take 25-50mg of Ablis CBD Concentrate. 
  • After vigorous exercise, I make sure to cool down with Ablis Muscle Rub. I especially use it on my Achilles heel, but I’ll put it all over as it feels so good with the natural warming and cooling ingredients.
  • I drink at least one Ablis infusion each day. It’s an easy way to get your CBD because it feels and tastes like a treat. 

My entire lifestyle, including CBD, has turned the clock back on my ability to be an athlete – and I feel amazing.

My Advice To You

I always recommend CBD to fellow athletes, but CBD is for everyone, no matter how you like to stay active. 

These are my tips for first-time CBD users:

  • Find your “sweet spot”: As I integrated CBD into my life, I found a daily dosage that works for me. I take about 50-100mg per day, but everyone is different. 
  • It doesn’t hurt to experiment: The general rule for trying something new is to start small, but I recommend starting with more CBD than you think you need and then backing off to a minimum dosage where you still feel the effects that are discussed all over the web. 
  • Do your research: This goes for CBD in general and companies that make CBD products. The research that’s been done on CBD is widely available, so I highly recommend reading it. And I also recommend carefully choosing your CBD company. In today’s market, more and more companies care more about making a profit than helping their customers. So find a CBD company that aligns with your values. 

CBD is part of an overall lifestyle, so don’t think of it as some magical cure-all. Think of CBD as part of a holistic approach to wellness that includes plenty of physical activity, healthy foods, and other natural, plant-based remedies. 

I hope that by me sharing my CBD journey, it helps you navigate yours. To learn more about CBD, check out Ablis online.