We’ve partnered with Humble Bloom on A Men’s Session: Achieving Homeostasis in Vulnerability, Wellness & Cannabis Consumption and gather at The Assemblage and discuss as a part of a men’s community about how the plant is a conduit for larger discussions of wellness, modern masculinity and liberation from stigma and stereotypes. We’ve asked each of the panelists a series of questions around who they are, their relationship with the plant, their community and more.
Introduce yourself and talk about your path to starting your company?
My name is DJ Haley and I’m a seven-foot tall former basketball player that decided to start an apothecary for athletes with my best friend and former college teammate Treveon Graham (Tre). The name of our company is Apply Recover and we have a simple mission: enable athletes to play for as long as they can.
After college, I took some time off from the game to go into management consulting / data science. Roughly 2 years out, I got the itch to return to the game, worked my tail off to get back into shape, and unfortunately ruptured my Achilles in my first game back (it sucked). I spent two years in recovery and during that time I discovered a newfound passion in health & wellness, primarily in how to combat inflammation through diet and functional movement. My goal now is to educate others on the symbiotic relationship between the body and the mind and to develop human-first, algorithm-second recovery solutions, supplemented by fantastic service and a great experience.
What does masculinity mean to you in this modern era we live in?
Masculinity is an archetype that detracts from what I feel everyone should be focusing on: being the best version of ourselves. It’s main tenets are culturally-based, of which there’s unfortunately some toxicity from a power perspective that needs to reinterpreted / rewritten by this generation. However, it’s still a major component in the lives and identities of many men. And in its utopian state, it’s simply one side of the masculinity / femininity spectrum, which in itself is very much so human and very much so beautiful.
What your relationship with cannabis – how and when did you first experience it and how do you currently use the plant?
I started using cannabis when I was tired of taking Percocet after my Achilles rupture. Percocet made me feel extremely groggy and nauseous. Fortunately for me, my wife and I had just moved to San Francisco and I was able to get a medical license. It definitely helped me cope with the physical and mental tolls I was dealing with in my injury, and is still a fantastic option for me after a tough workout or when I’m dealing with stress at work.
What I find most interesting about cannabis is the promise it shows as an anti-inflammatory, in addition to it dealing with the endocannabinoid system (which by science standards is quite a new discovery). I decided to further my education by attending Oaksterdam University in Oakland, CA and I’m still a proud user / student to this day. Cannabis will definitely play a huge part in Apply Recover because I’m certain its use is very beneficial to athletes.
Mental health is a topic that people are becoming more and more comfortable discussing, share ways you go about clearing your mind or maintaining your focus in your daily routine?
There are 4 things that are a daily part of my routine: meditate, write in my journal, workout, and take my daily supplements. I believe that in order to take care of the mind, you have to take care of the body; in order to take care of the body, you have to take care of the mind. These 4 tasks are things I can do every day, are always in my control, and allow me deal with / express my frustrations and stresses.
I also believe in being aware of what the score is to know if you’re making progress, so I use an app called Streaks and Streaks Workout to track these tasks and keep score. I’m not perfect, but I get feedback on my habits and make improvements. In terms of supplements, they vary but I’m currently using Athletics Greens to get the vitamins and nutrients I need and Charlotte’s Web for full spectrum hemp. When in Cali, I typically will do a 1:1 THC/CBD tincture and / or partake in a high-THC flower after a long days work.
What are your thoughts on NY State and legalization and what this can mean for you and your community?
I think it’s about time. I grew up in Southern California and cannabis has always been a part of the culture. It’s nice to see that it’s becoming more accepted at the state and federal level. In regards to my community, it’s refreshing to see cannabis lose its stigma and become normalized. As a black man, I’m aware of the impact and history the war on drugs has had on my community, and legalization is a big step in righting our country’s previous wrongs.
What can men in our age group (25-35) do to take better care of our health?
Talk about it more and realize it’s okay to ask for help. Life gets hard and is a rollercoaster; it’s not one we have to ride alone.
We each are involved in the cannabis industry which remains largely racially marginalized, as legalization continues progressing – what needs to change for this industry to flourish properly?
Legislation. I believe in my fellow countrymen and I think it’s simply time to update our laws. Once the framework is in place, I think the stigmas drastically drop and cannabis becomes comparable to the wine industry in its natural form, and treated as over-the-counter/alternative medicines in any processed form. To be specific, we can start with reclassifying marijuana (cannabis) as a Schedule 5 drug, instead of just CBD. That’d allow the people to decide how we want to use cannabis in our lives.
There’s plenty of cannabis product targeted to women for a numerous health treatments, what are some male-centric products that you use if any?
None really, my favorites are Charlotte’s Web and Apothecanna. Flower is flower to me.