The Halftime Report

THE HALFTIME REPORT with D-REY | Episode 01

Ryan Rapaport joined The Halftime Report hosted by former NCAA Champion, D-Rey for a candid, infused talk on Episode 01.

Host : D-Rey | Guest : Ryan Rapaport | Production : Sports Cannabis

E. 01

When you think of cannabis industry leaders and dot connectors, you think of Ryan Rapaport.  He’s been pushing the green on multiple fronts and has joined The Halftime Report with D-Rey for a candid, infused talk.

Ryan Rapaport, is a former Silver Medalist, Jr. Taekwondo Champion, played football in college and today is passionate about Muay Thai and Kickboxing.  Before joining Vlast as the head of growth for North America, Ryan was an executive producer for green enterprise, as well as the former co-founder, COO at Digital Venture Partners.

In this conversation D-Rey and Ryan Rapaport will explore; Ryans entrance to cannabis, whether or not Cannabis is a performance enhancer, zone training, psychedelics, crypto currency, NFT’s, the blockchain and craft grown cannabis.


STREAM


E.01 : Transcribed

Ryan Rapaport joined D-Rey on the Halftime Report for a candid infused talk about Sports, Cannabis and everything in between;

D-Rey :

I’m very excited to have you on the Halftime Report powered by Sports Cannabis, introduce yourself for the community.

Ryan Rapaport :

“It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me today, my name is Ryan Rapaport. I was a lifelong athlete who got started in martial arts and played college football but was cut short due to head injuries. Over the past few years, I’ve spent time working in plant medicine as well as working on the content and influencer marketing side.”

D-Rey :

I appreciate you sharing.  So, we like to ask everybody, what was your introduction to cannabis? I know you said the head injuries in college that led to it for recovery and relief, but what was your real introduction to cannabis?

Ryan Rapaport :

“The real introduction to cannabis goes back to when I was twelve.  One of my friends from taekwondo got into his parents’ stash, and we all enjoyed taking a couple of hits. You know, it’s funny after that, I was actually away from the plant for quite some time because I was competing nationally, and I thought that it was really affecting me. I felt changed from it, and so I was like, “oh, this must be bad”, and I didn’t want to affect my performance and really got away from it for a really long time.  It started off as recreational and then over time I began to understand the plant and it turned into more medical. Today, I’m a pretty big proponent of plant medicine in general.”

D-Rey :

You said something, I was going to ask it later down the line. But she said something, and it’s the perfect segway. You said that it was affecting your performance, right.  I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But I have to ask flat out; do you think cannabis is a performance enhancer?

Ryan Rapaport :

“In my opinion, it’s not an enhancer. I don’t think it makes you any more tuned like when you’re popping an Adderall pill and they’re significantly changed and snappy all over the place, and it’s not like it’s a steroid, where you’re either getting muscle mass, or you’re healing faster because of it. It’s really just an equalizer in a lot of ways, which takes you down a level and helps with inflammation. There’s so many things (cannabis) does, but it won’t aid my performance or enhance my performance. It’s not like it’s giving you an added edge.  If anything it’s taking that edge off, and with hard work, perseverance, you have to make sure it’s not affecting your game.”

D-Rey :

I’ve heard you use the term unlocking your mind with cannabis. What did you mean by that? And was that idea centered around the time of those concussions, or was it just how you always felt about it?

Ryan Rapaport :

“Cannabis was already a part of my life away, and I think it really picked up after my freshman year in high school, actually, after my freshman year in football.  I was probably already sustaining head injuries and I played defensive line.  I was running headfirst into people and it was actually wrestling in high school where I got my worst concussion where I was dropped on my head.  That one kept me out for days and then ended up getting hit in the head a week later and had to spend a week in the hospital after that.  I was barely able to remember anything about that period of time, but there was like a noticeable shift. What I’ve learned about Cannabis is it’s not the THC as much as the other cannabinoids that are helping pathways through your brain, and so I can’t say that throughout this time it’s been an inhibitor, or stopped anything from happening.  It’s actually taken me to a place where I’m more open and understanding of what’s going on in my body and in my head and with my mental health.”

D-Rey :

What do you think does that? For me, I started smoking and it felt like certain doors in my mind started to unlock. It was almost like I reached a point where I couldn’t go any further on my own. I needed this thing to remove those barriers.  What does that?

Ryan Rapaport :

“I’m going to put science aside and say it’s magic. You can think about it, cannabis has been historically throughout time, it was a medicine for a lot of different ailments. It was used in ceremonies all across the world. I think there’s something innate about the plant that we don’t totally understand yet. I love to really geeked out on the sciences, like the cannabinoids and terpenes, all the different chemical reactions that happen and how to plant it’s just so weird. I mean, like, you can do crazy things, you can split, split  the stem in half and it will grow back. And then I think I think there’s something else that’s going on there. That’s not necessarily obvious, things happening in our heads that are chemical. It’s a little deeper than that, that there’s some there’s some tie back there longer than modern society, and that it’s something that’s been around humans for a long time. For some reason we’ve evolved around it, you will recall our cannabinoid receptors, you know that the plants have been a part of human culture for quite some time and I think there’s something there that we lost overtime.”

D-Rey :

You know it does allow us to tap into other areas. I have to ask you, what’s your trippiest experience?

Ryan Rapaport :

“Oh, man. It’s a high school one. It’s like one of the early ones, and I’ll never forget it because I just started smoking regularly.  We were at a friend’s house and my friend’s mom was around. We were all outside running around being crazy, and somehow, I lost all my friends. They went somewhere else, and I was just sitting there high as hell on the porch, hearing things out well, because we lived out in the middle of nowhere in farm country. I’m sitting there and I can hear people are talking in the woods, and I thought they were just f*cking with me, trying to scare me or they’re like, jump out at me. At some point I had enough and decided to walk inside, I saw my friend’s mom watching tv, and I said something to her, which made her just turn and look at me and give me the like, a deadpan, like “What?”.  I realized I didn’t know what I had just said. I paused for a second and just went straight outside.  I can remember what that was like now, it’s, you know, realizing the power at that plant, not just the emotional and mental power, but the actual power cannabis has.”

D-Rey :

You opened up a new conversation with the spirituality of it,  do you think it assists in that?

Ryan Rapaport :

“Yeah, for me, I think we’re more intertwined with plants than people want to give us credit for and the fact that we have used plants for so long, it’s only the last 100 years we’ve gotten away from plants being the remedy for distilling the plants and finding particular compounds.”

D-Rey :

Do you know why we got away from plants over the past 100 years?

Ryan Rapaport :

“Money, you can’t lock down plants, but you can lock down compounds.”

D-Rey :

Where do you think we’re heading next with it?

Ryan Rapaport :

What I hope is around the corner is more understanding.  It’s like what we’ve said, we got away from it and we have all the science but we weren’t putting the science towards actually discovering more about it.  Instead we were focusing on what can we do to make it stronger? How can we put more THC in there?   And, there really wasn’t really a scientific method around back then and today we’ve turned it into something else, you know, this THC powered mechanism, right? Where now, it’s like “How high can you get?”

D-Rey :

Pretty Much… I’m not gonna lie. It worries me, Like how much don’t we know? And how behind are we?

Ryan Rapaport :

“Well we consider ourselves advanced, but when you start talking about how these plants do what they do to us, whether it’s cannabis or psilocybin or Iowa Casca. I have a friend who’s a disabled combat veteran, and he eats more THC than I ever thought was humanly possible. I think that it’s the way that our body interacts, and he’s was in constant pain, and people in general that in constant pain can handle those higher levels of THC.  I have this theory that the more pain you’re in, the more cannabis you’re able to consume to a level that your body actually needs.”

D-Rey :

You’re absolutely right. I usually give people the toughest time depending on Tylenol and things like that, like my whole thing I would tell people to “just drink water, just go out to exercise”.  It wasn’t until my injury that number one, I was humbled to call it what it is, but number two, like you said, I realized not only do I need this, but I need a strong dosage of it.

I’m a medical patient. I didn’t realize it there were so many different levels to it, and they’re smoking for smoking sake, then they’re smoking to deal with pain. And that’s important to recognize. I feel like people need to do more research so that they can understand it. Because, I hope that we come up in a time where it’s like liquor, almost, you know what I mean? 

Today, you can go into a liquor store, people know; that’s the gin, that’s the wine, that’s whiskey and all of them have and do these different things. I like to think we’re coming up on a time where people are looking at cannabis in a similar light, but quite frankly, it’s something that’s better for you, it’s not poison, you know what I mean?

Ryan Rapaport :

“You know, prohibition for liquor ended right around a hundred years ago now. So we’ve taken all that time to figure that shit out. But, you know, cannabis is not even at that level yet. There’s still prohibition, you know, once you know the research is happening, at least we got you know, other states you know, There’s just a lot of states now that are on board. So we’re making our way there


HALFTIME INFUSED MOMENTS

D-Rey :

What type of cannabis do you have there?  I have a hybrid with me today, what you got over there?

Ryan Rapaport :

“I got a strain called TANGI, it’s an organic plant grown in my  backyard. So it’s unique because I know the source, and that’s a rare thing in cannabis these days. Right? It’s like, where does that flower come from? Who grew that shit? You know, and to your point; you’re talking about who made that bottle of wine because it’s a $1,200 dollar bottle of wine that has the signature from the, from the winemaker on it right.”

D-Rey :

I’m really a big fan of hybrids. Especially towards the nighttime, because it’s just I’ve noticed that having a hybrid at night helps because number one, you’re able to organize your thoughts throughout the day, and you kind of can, your mind is going enough to still understand about what you could have did better, what went well, blase blah, you can recap your day, but now your body is also relaxed.

So I’m a big fan of the hybrid at night…

Ryan Rapaport :

“Ya, it’s going back to classification, right, and totally understanding what the plant is like one day to be able to see to one which compound is there and what it does.”


D-Rey :

You spoke on this earlier, what is zone training?

Ryan Rapaport :

“That’s the only way that I work out.  It’s about getting into a flow state, which is  something that a lot of people struggle with.  People find different ways to do it, for me, cannabis has always been a way that I can easily get into that flow state where my mind is focused on the strenuous nature, not that I even go somewhere else, but that I am able to tune into that very moment and be in that moment. It’s very much for me, like a form of meditation. It’s funny, because when you use that, while you’re training to, yand when you’re doing something more strenuous, even if it’s not like sweating, strenuous, it’s like a stretch, right? And that you really feel that stretch, and potentially it hurts to feel that stretch, we still have to feel it. And, there’s the mental part of working out and competing that I think cannabis, either; for some people-it might close down some pathways, but for other people; it allows them to get into that flow state and tune into parts of their body that you know, we’re not normally listening to.”

D-Rey :

Let’s talk about the what the good, the bad and the ugly of the day will look like when  the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, the MLB the MLS all say, f*ck it… Give them Weed?

Ryan Rapaport :

“I hope that sooner than later, I think anyone’s closest to it, it would have to be the NHL funny enough. Because all those guys need pain pills for smashing faces, punching each other in the face, it’s basically like a combat sport.”

D-Rey :

It’s like the MMA on ice…

Ryan Rapaport :

“Yeah, it is. I think it’s funny because instead of giving someone like I was just reading Eben Briton’s book where he’s talking about the Percocet regiment that they put him on.  You’re hurt, here’s your 90 pills that you take every three weeks. Whereas, imagine here’s your nine joints you smoke over the course of a month. In the end, it goes back to science and  conventional healthcare had said something, and we know now that that was not in our best interest. So everyone’s kind of peeling back looking for new answers and you know, you have the military testing psychedelics, the UFC has recently come around a lot more towards cannabis as well. So I think that there’s change happening, but we’re looking at it microcosmally only. We’re seeing it happening all within a couple of years. Whereas, you know, we should be looking at it in a 20-30 year process to get to where we want to be.”

D-Rey :

So I got to ask a question, and you just said the word psychedelics.  What do you think those effects/benefits are? (and) where do you stand on it?

Ryan Rapaport :

“So where do I stand on it? I am a user, I use small doses of psilocybin, and as someone that’s had massive head trauma, I’ve come out of the darkest place in my life, thanks to that.  I believe that it’s a conversation that needs to be normalized, but it’s a really hard one to have, because it seems so unprofessional. If you know people that have dealt with trauma, head injuries, even depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, all of these, all of these afflictions are from damage, it’s happening in your brain. There’s studies coming out at Yale, John Hopkins, you know, all these prestigious medical universities that are finding that this is a life changing thing even from first time you consume it,.  Even taking the smallest non psychoactive doses, it’s regrowing brain cells and essentially it’s reconnecting your brain at the cellular neuron level that nothing else does. It’s something that’s been around us and just as long as human beings have been around.  We were pretty sure that mushrooms have been growing around, it’s another type of indigenous plant medicine.

So where I stand on it is, you know… I think it’s an important thing to have a transparent conversation, similar to when I joined the cannabis industry and started normalizing that conversation around people who were more conservative in their views around that type of thing. But now, here we are, five, six years after that, and, you know, not not trying to normalize another conversation, but it’s a conversation that’s, you know, essentially saved my life.”

D-Rey :

I love you for being honest. I think if cannabis is the next step, and the physical next evolution in humans, psychedelics is the next spiritual step, both of them have a spiritual component, but psychedelics provide spiritual help more commonly felt in emotional healing. I don’t think a lot of people understand that your emotions are very much tied to the rest of it.  I wrote it in my book (“What if the World Stopped Complaining about Mondays?”) that you have four elements, that as human beings that we’re made up of.  I described it in the book as fire being our intellect, water being our emotion/spirit, Earth being in our bodies, and air being our souls.  If one of those is out of whack or out of balance, you kind of get thrown off just like the elements around here, if it’s too f*cking dry, if there’s too much just earth or if there’s too much wind it’s a bad thing.  Too much of anything is a bad thing.  I think psychedelics, don’t get me wrong, can be great, but like you said; “you can’t just walk into a store and store and grab shrooms”. I do not want to see a world where everybody just has access to it. because it opens doors…

Ryan Rapaport :

“It’s interesting, because in Amsterdam they have shops, where you can buy an ounce of wet mushrooms”

D-Rey :

Yeah, but they’re a little bit more disciplined than us…

Ryan Rapaport :

“I mean, we’re I think it comes down to it’s an education thing.  You can walk into a store and you can go buy a handle of 699 Vodka and get to work.  Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean everyone goes and does it. People know, well, you know, some people learn the hard way. But it’s the same thing around cannabis and CBD and turmeric. Right, it all comes back to education, and a lot of the time that education is missing. So now we’re really learning about all these different plant medicines, and like we’re saying; all these different studies that are happening around cannabis around psilocybin around, we know that is what will be educating us and moving us forward.

Hopefully, we can have platforms like this, right, where we can talk about and educate a wider audience and even if it’s just you know, one person that learns something today and takes it away, then we did the service to the world.”

D-Rey :

Before we sign off, another hot topic linked to cannabis is crypto.  What do you think is next with all this coming together? What are your thoughts on this?

Ryan Rapaport :

“I think there’s what you’re talking about is blockchain, which is just like decentralization of communication. In terms of cannabis, I think it’s interesting for tracking. Imagine that you’re a farmer, a farmer in Africa, you have your cannabis strains, and it’s a strain that they’ve been growing for 1000s of years, and people are taking the seeds back, but you know nothing about the plant, or where it came from.  That’s the thing with NFT’s right? We know, if I buy this piece of virtual real estate, or I buy this piece of art, we can with Blockchain track it back to its source. So I would like to see that for something like cannabis genetics.  An opportunity to genetically tag and trace, and I’ve actually heard some people working on this type of thing. So that is interesting to me, to see where it’s gonna go.

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