MMA Fighter Elias Theodorou Continues to Advocate for Medical Cannabis Use in Sports
Mixed-martial artist Elias Theodorou continues to fight against the stigma associated with cannabis in professional sports. Theodorou recently attended MJBizCon, a conference on all things cannabis, and spoke out about his experiences and the battle he has faced in trying to legitimize his use of cannabis. His message is being received with increased positivity, as North American society slowly opens up more to the health benefits of cannabis.
Born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, Elias Theodorou has been taking part in high-contact sports from a young age. Over the years spanning his early days as a skateboarder, to his time as a UFC fighter and mixed-martial artist, he has suffered many physical injuries and developed a nerve condition known as bilateral neuropathy. Theodorou sought out advice from doctors, but was constantly told that opioids were the only answer to his pain. Having tried a few different remedies, and not wanting to rely on prescription drugs, he instead chose to use cannabis for its health benefits and pain-relieving properties.
Theodorou found that cannabis was the most effective treatment he had tried, and since then has been advocating for a cannabis medical use exemption that will allow him to use it legally while training and competing in professional sports. In January 2020, he was granted such an exemption by the British Columbia Athletic Commission – making him the first athlete in North America to receive one. Two months later, the State of Colorado also issued Theodorou a medical use exemption, making him the first athlete in the U.S. to receive one.
Today, Elias Theodorou continues to champion the cause of medical use cannabis in professional sports. By sharing his story, talking about his experiences and advocating for change, he hopes to dispel the societal stigmas long associated with cannabis use. CAFE is proud to sponsor and stand behind this incredible athlete with a mission to drive social change. Watch our documentary on Elias as he talks about what it’s like to fight the stigma and work towards legitimizing cannabis use for therapeutic purposes in sports.