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Why Ironman champion Matt Hanson uses CBD

What are the benefits of CBD products for an elite athlete?

Five-time Ironman champion Matt Hanson announced last week that he was partnering with Resilience CBD, a US-based company that specializes in sport-focused CBD products. We caught up with Hanson to find out why he uses CBD products.

Matt Hanson. Photo: Jordan Bryden

Triathlon Magazine Canada: First off, how have you and your family been doing through the COVID-19 pandemic?

Matt Hanson: We are doing as well as can be expected. Living in small town Iowa has meant that not much has changed. We just got to double digit cases in the county this week, so expecting our ramp up in the next few weeks unfortunately. On the training side, I don’t have access to a pool still but the lake is starting to warm up enough for a few shorter swims. The water should hit the 50s next week so I’ll be able to do full workouts in there then. Biking and running haven’t really changed much at all for me. On the personal side of things, it has obviously been stressful not being able to race and trying to earn a living. But it has been nice to be home consistently. We have been forced to slow down. I’m enjoying the extra time with my wife and two pups. If all goes as planned, this fall will be full of racing. So I’m trying to soak up the time at home before that all starts up.

How long have you been using CBD?

I have been using CBD for about six months now. Shortly after I shut things down due to the sacral stress fracture last fall, the insomnia that I have battled my entire life returned. My training volume was pretty much zero, I was frustrated with how the season ended, and I just wasn’t able to shut my brain off at night so I could get quality rest. For some reason Melatonin causes nightmares for me every time I take it (not just the dreams about  getting a flat or a mechanical during a race, but full on nightmares). When I got desperate, I would try Nyquil or Zquill but certainly did not want to take that with regularity. I was recommended CBD by a number of people. I’ll be honest, I was very hesitant, mainly due to my lack of education on the product. I started reading up on everything and decided to give it a try based on what I found.

Related: Is cannabis the next recovery secret?

What is it that you find beneficial about it?

As I mentioned, I first starting taking CBD oil in hopes that it would help me fall asleep/stay asleep at night. However after trying all of the Resilience products, I really started to appreciate the topical sports cream. I have found that  massaging that on a trigger point or spasmed muscle helps to interrupt the Pain/Spasm/Pain cycle. This has been especially important for me being I have not been able to go in for the regular physio and body work that I do during  normal times.


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I am excited to announce that I have accepted a position on the advisory board for @resiliencecbd. In the future, I’ll be putting out information on the reasons I decided to start using CBD. But to start with, I wanted to share why I chose Resilience CBD as a partner. I had a few non-negotiable things when it came to a CBD partner. 1) Third party tested 2) No THC 3) Sport focused 4) Professional branding (I don’t want to be associated with pot leaves, vaping products, etc) and finally 5) I needed to love the product. Resilience ticked all of those boxes. So I am thrilled to be able to be involved with this company as more than just a brand ambassador and I am excited to be partnered with Resilience CBD for the foreseeable future! Watch this space for more information very soon.

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What makes Resilience CBD better as a product (separate to the other issues that you cited in your Instagram post – third party tested, no THC) compared to other CBD products?

When I first started looking for a CBD company to partner with, I made a list of “musts” that the company must meet. I needed to like the product, it needed to be THC free (below .3%), had to be 3rd party batch tested, and I had to like the product. I also had to be willing to be associated with the entire product line and the way the business was executing their marketing strategy. I had no interest in representing a brand associate with pot leaves, vaping, etc. I don’t think that fits me or it fits endurance athletes in general. There were surprisingly few companies who met all the criteria I had for a quality product line and had a brand profile I wanted to be associated with. I tested 5 different company  products, and Resilience was the one that I liked best by a significant margin. After having a number of conversations with the Resilience team about their current products and the direction that they are heading in the future, I knew this was going to be a good fit.

Matt Hanson. Photo: Jordan Bryden

Is there anything else that makes you “love the product?”

There are a number of things I am excited about with Resilience. I really appreciate their story of how they got started. They are a veteran owned company and continue to give back to those who serve. They use high quality ingredients (organic, GMO free hemp) which certainly cannot be said of all CBD companies. The thing that most excites me about this opportunity with Resilience is that they valued my story and educational background enough to bring me on to their advisory board. So rather than just being a brand ambassador, I will be more active in consumer education as well as helping to develop future products.