Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Daniel Rodriguez, the ‘Biggest Stoner in the UFC’

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.

Daniel Rodriguez says he’s the biggest stoner in the UFC: “I probably display that I smoke weed more than any other fucking UFC fighter out there,” he told me during a phone call while in the middle of rolling up a joint. 

The mixed martial artist is a loud and proud pothead, and luckily that gels with the UFC. Last year, the organization enacted a policy change and will no longer consider a positive drug test for weed a violation of its anti-doping policy. 

This couldn’t be better news for D-Rod, who utilizes the plant to help him stay focused (and entertained) while training nonstop. And the man gets results: After a 7-0 record as a Welterweight in the amateur leagues, an 8-1 record in Dana White’s Contender Series, he stepped up to the big leagues in 2020 with a UFC win, earning him the Performance of the Night award. 

“All these fools in the UFC are getting beat up by a straight-up stoner,” says Rodriguez. 

D-Rod says he wants to “shine a light on the idea that athletes can be successful and smoke weed,” and he’s pushing that message by partnering with California’s Tradecraft Farms as a brand ambassador. (FYI: Tradecraft Farms, which was founded by Brent Walker and Barry Walker, is a multi-state operator with full vertical ops in California and Oklahoma, as well as an upcoming site in Maine where UFC and MMA have huge followings.)

“The partnership with D-Rod has been organic since we met,” wrote Shadow Becker from Tradecraft. “We quickly realized he was elevating his craft beyond the norm which is what we like to do with our cultivation and brands. The pairing was perfect and together we will continue to push the collaboration between cannabis and Mixed Martial Arts. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come!” 

But first, get to know D-Rod a little. In a very mellow interview, the fighter brings us through his weed-laced training routine and talks about being stoned during his most recent UFC match. “It’s like the movie How High; if I train high, then I should fight high.” He also offers some choice West Coast hip-hop recs and explains why he wants to “smoke a joint with the whole world.” 

Photo by Petro Papahadjopoulos, courtesy of Tradecraft Farms

What’s your current favorite strain and how do you like to consume it?

Daniel Rodriguez: First off, I gotta say I probably display that I smoke weed more than any other fucking UFC fighter out there. Most people are discrete, but I put myself out there with my weed use. Shit, I’m going to roll a joint as we’re talking. I’m going to get into the zone, bro.

For my favorite strain, I’d say Gelato, I like that. I like pretty much anything that doesn’t get me slumped. That said, most weed doesn’t get me slumped. A lot of people tell me that weed knocks them out, or they’ll ask, “How do you smoke weed and still work out?” And I’m like, “I don’t know how you smoke weed and not work out.” It’s a mental thing for me. I am so focused on trying to be my best that it consumes my mind, whether I’m high or not. I think smoking weed enhances my desire to work. It takes my mind off the pain and gets me in my zone. It’s all mental.

I’m just constantly thinking about trying to grow and get better as a fighter, so smoking weed just enhances that shit. It actually makes me more creative and willing to try other shit. Plus, I train so much that I have to be able to stay entertained doing it — and weed helps with that. 

Does weed help you train, regardless of what type of weed it is?

I feel like weed is gonna help me, regardless of the strain. Whether sativa, indica, or hybrid, I don’t really feel a difference. For me, I’ll smoke a fucking joint, which is my preferred smoking method, and then I’ll pop on some headphones, get some good music going, and I can do this training shit all day.

Actually, my schedule is: I wake up, smoke a joint, go work out, eat some healthy shit, smoke a joint on my way to another gym, go work out, and so on. Weed just helps me get through the fucking day. 

Everybody knows when I show up to the gym — I smell like straight up weed, bro. I’ll stink it up. They smell me before I even walk in. Weed is my cologne. I’m that dude bumping music and hotboxing my car five minutes before practice. 

Photo by Petro Papahadjopoulos, courtesy of Tradecraft Farms

Do you ever consume cannabis before a professional fight?

Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I fought stoned during my last fight. It was against Kevin Lee, and I smoked a joint before we left the hotel to go to the venue. It was like two or three hours before the fight. I look at it like this, bro: It’s like the movie How High; if I train high, then I should fight high. And I’ll get high scores. 

Didn’t Lee get flagged for taking adderall before that fight?

Ya man. That’s wild bro. And he still lost. It shows that weed beats adderall. I’ve said this before, but all these dudes in the UFC are getting beat up by a straight-up stoner. And that’s me. 

Do you have any favorite weed products right now? 

So I have a partnership with Tradecraft Farms, and they have some fire-ass weed. They’re good people and the weed is fucking amazing. It’s a growing company and I’m happy to be a part of it and help bring the light to what they’re doing. They just opened a shop in El Monte, California, which is right next to my hometown, and we’re hosting an event on June 4th — a grand opening with a mural, a lowrider show, a band, food, vendors, etc. 

As far as weed products, I’m a flower connoisseur — you can call me that. I’m not really a fan of edibles. That shit just hits different, bro. I’ll do the occasional dab at the end of the day after I’ve smoked so many joints. But I typically keep like four or five different strains on me. So throughout the day, I’ll smoke joints with different flower strains in them. If I smoke the same strain all day, the effect plateaus. It won’t hit me as much as when I mix up the strains in my rotation.

Funny enough, I don’t like to mix strains together in the same joint. I tried it recently, and that hit me differently; I was lazy as fuck. That’s the only time weed really gets me slumped.

Photo by Petro Papahadjopoulos, courtesy of Tradecraft Farms

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten really stoned?

Honestly bro, everything I do revolves around fighting. If I have a moment where I can just kick it and be faded and not work out, I’m usually in recovery mode. I’ll chill in the sauna or hang out in the hot tub or an ice bath. Recovery mode is essential to me. Other than that, my life is totally consumed by training. I don’t play video games, or shit like that, you know? I’ll drink beers on my off time, though [laughs]. 

Can you recommend something to watch while really high?

If I have time to watch something, I’ll check out some stand-up comedy or NBA playoffs. I like comics like Dave Chappelle, Sebastian Maniscalco, Bill Burr, Jo Koy, Jeff Ross. I even like old school shit like George Carlin. 

Can you recommend something to listen to while smoking?

I listen to not-so-popular shit. I dig through a lot of music. Lately, I’ve been focusing on up-and-coming rappers from the West Coast. Of course, I still listen to YG and Nipsey, but lately I’ve been focusing on Dom Kennedy, Premo Rice, D Smoke, Polyester The Saint, this R&B artist called Blxst. Stuff like that, real mellow stuff that has positive energy and goes well with a side of bud. I like hood shit too, like RJ Mr. LA, B-Real, and Berner.

Photo by Petro Papahadjopoulos, courtesy of Tradecraft Farms

Can you recommend something to read once stoned?

The Mamba Mentality, which is Kobe Bryant’s book. It’s his personal notes, quotes, sayings, and stories. I love the complete Mamba mentality — situational stuff, like when he injured his achilles and how he dealt with that. I’m a heavy, heavy, heavy LA enthusiast. I’m huge on the vibe and culture. And since I’m from Cali, I really took stuff in from Kobe Bryant. I want to read something on Nipsey Hussle next. I’m into books on positive mindsets and LA legends. 

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation?

Anybody alive? I already smoked with B-Real. So definitely Snoop, Berner, Eddie Bravo (my jiu jitsu coach), and Mike Tyson. 

I haven’t tried Mike Tyson’s weed yet, but I’d definitely like to get my hands on some. I could see myself running into Tyson at some point with my line of work and career trajectory. Whether I go on his podcast, or he comes on mine, I feel like we’re gonna chop it up sometime soon.

Also, I want to smoke a joint with the whole world! We’ll solve world peace, you know what I mean?

Any upcoming projects you want to plug? 

I want to give rapping a try, but right now I’m really focused on training my dick off. Smoking good weed, training hard, and fighting these fools. I’ve been on the sidelines for six or seven months now. I finally gave my body the rest it needed, and now I’m ready to get back in there. People keep asking, “When’s the comeback? When’s the next fight?” So I feel the urgency to get back in there. Everything will come with time. I’m just developing my skills in areas that need work, instead of dropping bombs on these fools all the time. 

For more on Daniel Rodriguez, follow him on Instagram.

The post Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Daniel Rodriguez, the ‘Biggest Stoner in the UFC’ appeared first on High Times.

Medical Cannabis Advocate, MMA Fighter Elias Theodorou Passes Away

Elias Theodorou, known for his successful mixed martial artist (MMA) career and medical cannabis advocacy, passed away at age 34 on September 11 after a long battle with liver cancer.

Born in Mississauga, Canada, located in the province of Ontario, Theodorou’s career began after his first year in college. High Times had the pleasure of interviewing him in January 2021, where he explained that a video posted on YouTube of him losing a fight went viral.

“Demoralized, I confided in my father, and he said, ‘You love that [Ultimate Fighting Championship] UFC stuff so much, why don’t you go to a gym and make sure this never happens again?’” he told High Times. “And I did. At first my intentions were to win back my pride against the person that embarrassed me, instead, I won a sense of purpose—enlightening both body and mind now in ‘higher’ education.”

Theodorou’s career took him to great heights, leading him to become a UFC fighter, and become winner of “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia” in the middleweight bracket in 2014. He was released from his UFC contract in 2019, but continued to fight and win in the Prospect Fighting Championships in December 2019, Rise FC in March 2021, and Colorado Combat Club 10 in December 2021.

His coach and longtime friend, Lachlan Cheng, was a medical cannabis patient for more than 10 years. Seeing his coach using medical cannabis exposed him to the benefits of cannabis, the negative effects of prescription medications in comparison.

Personally, he began using medical cannabis to treat his bilateral neuropathy (nerve damage) in his upper extremities. “Fighting is a grind, so my options to medicate were opioids and painkillers or cannabis,” he said. “One is highly addictive and has caused death from abuse—not to mention the side effects like constipation, upset stomach, bloating and many other debilitating repercussions as both patient and athlete. The alternative is cannabis, a medicine that helps me compete and live on an even playing field while treating my condition.”

In 2020, Theodorou became the first athlete to receive a Therapeutic Use Exemption in North America for his cannabis use. “I was the first pro athlete and UFC fighter to apply for a therapeutic-use exemption in the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool, which is part of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA),” Theodorou said. “My [therapeutic-use exemption] for the UFC was not accepted, even with USADA agreeing with my condition and potential need for cannabis because it is funded by the U.S. government, which still has cannabis as a Schedule I substance. Meaning they don’t believe it has any medical properties… They only recommended painkillers, opioids and anti-depressant drugs.”

His advocacy for medical cannabis continued up until his passing. On August 29, he shared the support of a cannabis brand called Game Day. “Game on!  #PlantsOverPills @gameday.98 has officially launched! Couldn’t be more excited to be apart of a company and team ready to change the game in both cannabis AND sports! Ready to fight the stigma because “I choose cannabis instead”. #Dope #Sports” he wrote.

In the wake of his passing, many remember Theodorou’s career and his light-hearted personality during the course of his career. “I have the biggest smile and constantly laugh with my team throughout training camp and fight week,” he told High Times. “It might sound the opposite of what a fighter does, but I love what I do, so it’s easy to enjoy the process.”

He also served as a “ring boy” for Invicta FC, an all-pro women’s MMA championship, to promote equality. “The addition of ring boys is just another way to even the playing field in another area of the sport. I think we’re on the right side of history,” he told BBC in March 2018. “The response so far has been, I’d say, 70-80% positive. Some people don’t get it, but that’s okay. Anyway, those who know me will know that I put out a pretty positive conversation in general. When people troll me for other things, I show them kindness.”

Many noteworthy advocates have passed away recently, including Olivia Newton-John and Zahra Abbas in August.

The post Medical Cannabis Advocate, MMA Fighter Elias Theodorou Passes Away appeared first on High Times.

5 cannabis products MMA fighter Elias Theodoru can’t live without

If you broke your ankle and your doctor offered you 30 Vicodin or a single medicated CBD cream for pain relief, which would you choose? If you answered “CBD”, then you’re just like thousands of professional athletes in the world. But unfortunately for those athletes, due to the illegality of cannabis in most countries and the harsh penalties imposed by professional sports leagues, the only option is opioids or nothing. That is, unless you’re Elias Theodorou.

Elias Theodorou is a Canadian MMA fighter best known for winning The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia, an MMA-theme reality show he describes as, “Big Brother, but with punches and kicks.” He has also competed in the UFC Middleweight Division. 

Nicknamed The Spartan, Theodorou currently holds a 17-3 record — which means he’ll probably whoop your ass if you don’t wear a mask.

Past fighting, Theodorou is also the first, and only, professional athlete in the entire history of professional sports to be granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption for medical cannabis by a governing body (the British Columbia Athletic Commission). This means that, because Theodorou is a citizen of Canada, where cannabis has been recreationally legal since 2018, he can’t be barred from using the plant as medicine. 

Cannabis over opioids 

Of his journey, he said, “In Canada, because healthcare is a fundamental right, there’s avenues to argue on that fact. We were able to present a case to the Athletic Commission in British Columbia and they approved my Therapeutic Use Exemption. What makes this a really important cog in the wheel of medical cannabis rights is that because it’s the athletic commission, that’s a governing body, so this is another component of cannabis being considered a medicine, and most importantly, it’s the first time in professional sports.”

A huge medical cannabis advocate, Theodorou first saw the plant’s benefits through the eyes of his former MMA coach and friend, Lachlan Cheng. During Ultimate Fighter, they spent time training in Thailand, where cannabis is illegal for foreigners. His coach was a medical cannabis patient; however, without access to that medicine, he had to turn to painkillers. Seeing the negative effects opioids can have on the human body, Theodorou, who suffers from lateral neuropathy (nerve damage in his upper extremities), knew there had to be a healthier choice. 

“I already saw the pitfalls of first-line medicine, and I thought that cannabis might be a healthier alternative. I reached out to my family doctor and he essentially helped me through the process of getting medical cannabis. I’ve been a medical cannabis patient for the better part of 5 years at this point,” he told Weedmaps.

With cannabis being such a huge part of his everyday life, it’s only right that in discussing his fight for medical cannabis rights, we also asked him about some of his favorite cannabis products. Here are a few of the things Theodorou can’t live without.

High CBD tinctures 

Elias is all about a scheduled out regimen dependent on how his body feels. Most of the time, that regimen includes high CBD tinctures. “Usually when I wake up, it’s more CBD and tincture-oriented. I tend to do a 1:1 tincture in the morning, depending on how my body feels. At the end [of the day], I tend to do a little bit heavier CBD.” 

For those that don’t know, tinctures are a liquid form of cannabis oil that can be consumed sublingually, or applied to virtually any edible, including drinks. They tend to be great for medical patients, those who want to manage dosage, and anyone looking for a light experience that allows them to ease into their relationship with cannabis. Many tinctures come as CBD-dominant or with a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio.


“After my training session, I tend to vaporize for the most part. As an athlete, and also if I am going to advocate for the properties of medical cannabis, I think taking away the combustion component is a much healthier component.” 

Vaporizers are the little pens you see people hitting on the go. The cartridges are made up of cannabis hash oil that can come from a variety of strains. You can get them in all forms, including THC-dominant, a balanced 1:1, and CBD-dominant. As cannabis evolves, you’re even starting to see CBG and CBN vape pens hit the market. With the immense popularity of these products, you’ll see a flood of unregulated vapes on the street, so remember to only purchase from reputable companies that can provide a certificate of analysis.

THCA topicals

Topicals are the bees knees when it comes to rubbing cannabis into your skin. This especially applies to athletes and anyone else who uses cannabis to manage pain, arthritis, and other joint inflammation. Theodorou likes to ingest cannabis, but when it comes to topicals, he told me, “I’m trying to get as many cannabinoids on that knee area. I fight inflammation and pain when I ingest [cannabis], but on a topical sense, [I apply it] more directly on the area itself.” He specifically likes THCA topicals.

THCA is a cannabis compound that becomes THC after being combusted. THC is the active compound in cannabis that we associate with getting high. However, without the combustion, THCA doesn’t provide the high, but still has the benefits.


“During the day, I tend to use sativa. After training sessions, I medicate with indica. At night, I sometimes use indica, but it is still heavy with the CBD flower.” 

Two strains that Theodorou specifically called out are Chocolope and Dr. Who. Chocolope is a sativa cross of Chocolate Thai and Cannalope Haze that many people love in the morning for its uplifting and energizing qualities. Dr. Who is an indica-dominant hybrid cross of Mad Scientist and Timewreck. It’s championed for being a relaxing strain that doesn’t necessarily sedate you, so many people love it at any time of day.

CBD flower

Lastly, Theodoru can’t live without CBD flower. As part of his nighttime regiment, he likes to consume CBD strains, though he doesn’t have a specific favorite. Most strains are THC-dominant or balanced, because that’s what the market demands. But there are still CBD strains out there like ACDC, Harlequin, and Sour Tsunami.

Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

The post 5 cannabis products MMA fighter Elias Theodoru can’t live without appeared first on Weedmaps News.

MMA Fighters to Act as Test Subjects for Topical CBD Treatments

Ultimate Fighting Championship athletes will be the next group of players to participate in a multiphase clinical study on CBD’s effects on pain relief in their famously high impact sport. The league has announced that it is partnering with a Canadian cannabis company to examine the effects of non-psychoactive cannabinoids on its players’ health.

The study will be used to develop a line of hemp-derived topical treatments manufactured by Aurora Cannabis. Officials from the league say that care, recovery, injury, pain, and inflammation in the mixed martial artists will be gauged by the investigation.

Currently, 30 UFC athletes have signed up for the trial, which will be headed by a University of Alberta research scientist and Aurora’s VP of global research and medical affairs. They will receive support from a group of UFC Performance Institute sports performance researchers based in Las Vegas.

“Collaborating with Aurora is the best way to educate ourselves and our fighters about the impact of CBD on MMA athletes and our sport,” said Duncan French, UFC’s vice president of performance. “We want to apply science and see where it leads us. Ideally, these studies will give us the clarity we need to determine the effectiveness of hemp-derived CBD on athlete health and injury recovery.”

“Our partnership with UFC is about committing to the science that will educate and advocate,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth said. “We are going to work together to change the way people think, to change the industry, and to launch the first hemp-derived CBD products that are backed by scientific research.”

This is not the first pro sports league that has signed on for testing the link between athletes and the benefits of CBD. Earlier this year, the NHL Alumni Association announced that it was a co-sponsor of a study of CBD’s effects on 100 former hockey players with brain trauma.

In May, the NFL — which has traditionally held a hardline position against athletes and cannabis — made public its plans to conduct studies on cannabis as a pain relief agent. That’s a big deal. As recently as 2018, the league denied free agent Mike James his request to swap opioid painkillers for cannabis after breaking his ankle while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Professional sports have had a largely sketchy relationship with medicinal cannabis and its derivatives, even though many insiders say that marijuana use is prevalent, if not the norm in many leagues. In 2018, a group of former pro basketball players including Kenyon Martin and Cutting Mobley announced that most NBA players consume cannabis — in their estimate, 85 percent. Prominent ex-administrators like onetime NBA commissioner David Stern have come out in favor of athletes being able to treat their aches and pains with marijuana, but most leagues remain reluctant to allow players to use cannabis.

UFC officials said that they hoped the project would have ramifications felt around the rest of the world of professional sports.

“When you think about this, the amount of money that’s going to go into the testing and the research of this deal is going to affect our athletes, then it’s going to spill into the NFL, the NBA, and soccer,” said UFC president Dana White.

The post MMA Fighters to Act as Test Subjects for Topical CBD Treatments appeared first on High Times.

Friday, March 22, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, March 22, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// You can’t own more than three pot shops, but these companies are testing the limit – and bragging about it (Boston Globe)

// 50 unlicensed medical marijuana shops to be shut down by Michigan officials (Michigan Live)

// Portland’s $6 Eighth-Ounces Are the Future of Cannabis (Leafly)

Today’s headlines are brought to you by our friends over at, California’s top one stop website for legal marijuana delivery. If you live in the golden state, swing over to to see if they are active in your area. With deliveries taking place in less than an hour, it’s never been easier to get legal California marijuana delivery. And of course, if you don’t live where Eaze delivers, you can still benefit from all the useful bits of industry insight and analysis they’ve developed using their properly aggregate and anonymized sales data stream.

// New York Legalization Lives or Dies by Friday Senator Says (Leafly)

// Marty Walsh writes in to New York Times after article on legalizing recreational marijuana (

// Illinois Senate panel passes bill to protect banks serving cannabis businesses (Marijuana Business Daily)

// A North Dakota House Bill would Increase Patient Access to Medical Marijuana (KXNet CBS)

// Smokable medical marijuana sold for first time in Florida at Tallahassee dispensary (Orlando Sentinel)

// Florida Commission Plans To Loosen Regulations On Marijuana Before UFC Event (Low Kick MMA)

// Military Veterans Organizations Press Congress On Medical Marijuana Research (Marijuana Moment)

Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Robert Linsdell/Flickr