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

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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.

Jon’s Stone-Cold Cop List #22: the 4/20/22 Special Edition

With a week left until the big day, you know I couldn’t let you go into the holiday without some new heat to celebrate! Although a bit earlier than usual, I wanted to make sure you had some time to get set up before our favorite day, as, like any vet knows, it’s always a bad look to shop on the actual holiday. That day’s meant for smokin’!

With this in mind, I present to you a special 4/20 edition of the Cop List. Dedicated pretty solely to California this time because you know I gotta get hands on before I recommend something, though we’ve got some new Michigan heat and a universally available, although extremely limited edition, treat I think everyone will dig.

As always, don’t forget to hit me up on twitter to let me know what you picked up, and what you’re excited to try next!

The 4/20 Special

710Labs Starburst 36 Pheno Pack

Courtesy of 710 Labs

I’ve long celebrated 710 Labs direct to consumer play, the List, and while I’m not sure this is the first time they’ve done this, I’ve got to call out how they’re operating at a whole new level right now. Their latest List-exclusive, the Starburst 36 Pheno Pack, featured 5 different expressions of the aforementioned cultivar in one kit. While this is an awesome varietal to consume, what’s more exciting is how the brand is educating consumers on just how different plants can be, even amongst siblings. From different terp profiles to the differences in consistency, this flavor flight does a great job distilling how many different ways what consumers often consider the same thing can actually exist.

Alien Labs Galactic Gummies

Courtesy of YBG

I recognize this is a bold statement, but although these are just on the cusp of releasing, they may already be the best edibles on the market. Similar to Nerds Clusters (my current candy obsession), Alien Labs Galactic Gummies are vegan gummies in the shape of their iconic alien head, with a delicious sprinkling of softer, but still nerd-like candies on the back. Available in Cotton Cluster (cotton candy), Blue Moon (blue raspberry x coconut), Lunar Orange (you can guess this one) and my personal favorite, Cherry Eclipse (cherry vanilla), these are going to be DANGEROUS for microdosers simply because they’re impossible to put down. No joke, I’m really hoping they make a non-medicated version of these because I will eat them by the pound.

Cann’s Blue Rhuberry

Courtesy of Cann

Since I might’ve just put the microdosers safety at risk, here’s another one you’re going to want to overdo it on, though these guys make it a bit easier to keep your portions in control. Widely regarded as the most successful beverage brand in the cannabis category, Cann has another hit on their hands. While I’m not the type to drink a small number of mgs, I do love delicious, and the Blue Rhuberry is nothing if not that. While I don’t typically rush to blue colored drinks, this is the one I’ll surely be grabbing going forward. I was a big fan of their Pineapple Jalapeño flavor, and while I’m not saying I’m retiring that one forever, the Blue Rhuberry is for sure my new fav. It’s also just so fun to say!

The Cure Company’s Curelato Runtz

Courtesy of The Cure Company

Coming in as the early contender for hype strain of the decade, The Cure Company has done it again. Taking arguably the two most popular strains of recent years and smashing them together to create something truly special, the brand’s new Curelato Runtz should be every trappers dream. Combining the best elements of their Curelato, which remains one of the best Gelato expressions I’ve ever seen, with the hype-leading Runtz, this cut provides all the gas and candy terps the streets could ask for in a new pheno, and it improves upon both parents’ legacy. You’re not going to want to miss this one, especially if you get off on impressing your smoking circle.

Timber’s Watermelon Mimosa

Courtesy of Timber

This is a special one. The team over at High Rise are dear friends of mine, and while pretty much everyone we know now has a weed brand, there are few people that I know who respect the culture as much as this crew. While it admittedly took me a bit longer than expected as I sort of hibernated for the winter, I’ve finally got my hands on the gang’s products and I’ve got to say, they did it right. While I had no question that they’d immediately become contenders for best packaging design in the space, I’m proud to report that the flower (and price) are even better than you’d expect given their flashy bags. What’s more, they’re leveraging their thorough understanding of the market to ensure the best trees are ALWAYS in their bags — not just your first taste!

Old Pal’s Grow Your Own (Redux)

Courtesy of Old Pal

So this was on my 4/20 list last year, but they’re doing it again and this time you’re getting more notice in case you want to participate. To celebrate the holiday, Old Pal introduced their ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign, which provides consumers a living plant to raise, as opposed to just light up. While I admit, they are leaving the hardest part up to you, this is a great way to get some hands on plant experience — especially if you’ve never grown before. Besides the ‘teenage’ plant, they provide some tips and tricks, as well as a fun playlist to play for your new lady to keep her feeling the love. While you probably won’t be winning any awards for the harvest, few flowers are better than those you grew yourself.

Viola x Iverson ‘01

Michigan, this one’s for you. You might’ve seen all the noise about Viola’s first collaboration with hall of famer Allen Iverson, ‘96, last year. The second edition is here, and this time it’s a daytime vibe, not a knock out. A true hybrid, and dubbed ‘01 in honor of Iverson’s MVP year, the new cultivar is a cross of F1 Durban x Gushers x Runtz, which while seeming heavy on the Indica side actually presents itself as a bright and uplifting smoke. I’ve been rinsing this in the early afternoons and it’s been sure to chill out my frustrations and help me focus on the task at hand. Although launching exclusively in Michigan, I have a feeling they’ll be taking this star out on the road before long.

Uncle Arnie’s Pineapple Punch

Courtesy of Uncle Arnie’s

Microdosers, you can skip right over this section. Where Cann fills your needs, this one’s reserved for the big boys. If a measly 5 mg isn’t enough to get you going, how’s 100 look for you? If you answered ‘desirable’, it’s time to tap back in with Uncle Arnie’s. In the past I’ve written about their Arnold Palmer, and their Peach tea is a sure favorite for those of us with a sweet tooth, but over the past few months the team at Arnie’s has turned toward a new challenge: fruit punch! Their latest, Pineapple Punch, shows there is truly no beverage they can’t infuse in a way that you’ll actually crave, and given all the tincture-based nonsense on the market, this one’s a welcome addition. Also worth noting that they make an Apple Juice for those with a more refined pallet!

Tradecraft Farms Goji Berry Wrapped Pre-Roll

Courtesy of Tradecraft Farms

Y’all know they’re making papers out of fruit now?? I’d smoked the Tradecraft cacao joints in the past, so I knew these guys were forward thinking when it comes to acceptable wraps for their product, but this one amazed me. As soon as I picked it up I couldn’t wait to spark it up, just like the first time I got a pack of Juicy J’s when I was a kid. But even better than those, goji smokes GREAT. Like, so good there’s barely anything there, great. I was expecting a bit more of the sweetness to come through from the berry, and while it may be because it was processed and not hand rolled that it lost a bit of its flavor, but this was one of the smoothest smoking experiences I can remember. Shout out to Tradecraft for continuing to stay on the forefront of paper tech!

Skullcandy x Doritos

Courtesy of Skullcandy

Now I’ll be honest, when I first heard about this I wanted to hate it. It seems like over the past few years EVERYTHING has had a Doritos collab, and I’ve never craved that nacho dust in my ear canals, so why would a pair of headphones make sense? Well y’all, maybe it’s the pre-4/20 glow, but now that I’ve actually got them in my hands, these things make me weirdly giddy. Not only is the sound quality great, but they’re Skullcandy so they’re much lighter than they look like they should be. While normally that wouldn’t be a great sign, it definitely works for this brand, as you’ll likely forget you’re wearing them. I’ll tell you this, as I often say, what I thought would be a joke is actually heat. I’m leaving my AirPods at home when I go to New York next week, bc these things bang.

Bonus: 4/20 in NYC

I’m going to make a longer post about this in the coming days, but in case you’re not following any of us on social consider this your notice: High Times is headed to the Big Apple for the big day. We’ve got a whole slew of treats lined up for you, and a whole lot of friends from across the country in tow. Don’t miss our Secret Smokeout, which will take place at an undisclosed location somewhere on the island. It’s totally free and open to all plant lovers in the area, RSVP here. We’ll also be pulling up to Webster Hall that evening to close out the night with performances by Inspectah Deck & Cappadonna at New York’s first-ever state-sanctioned cannabis event. Let’s celebrate!

The post Jon’s Stone-Cold Cop List #22: the 4/20/22 Special Edition appeared first on High Times.