The Healer

May 9, 2023 · Cannabis Now

Culture is multifaceted and encompasses many disciplines including the arts, food, sports and pop culture, each with its share of larger-than-life celebrities and thought leaders. When the lives of these personalities intersect with cannabis culture, their experiences can shed light on how the plant can be integrated into the lives of others, giving new insights into the benefits and pleasures of cannabis. Riley Cote, a former National Hockey League player who now teaches yoga and advocates for a naturally healthy lifestyle including plant medicines, is no exception. 

Cote spent four seasons with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. He largely filled the “enforcer” role on the team and has become an outspoken advocate for cannabis and hemp, as well as other natural medicines. He’s also the co-founder of Advanced Alchemy Labs, a project developed in conjunction with Cheney University in Pennsylvania, the oldest historically Black college in the US. The enterprise is helping the university develop a cannabis curriculum for its students and is building a hemp-derived cannabinoid lab and processing facility to serve the growing hemp industry.

As one of its enforcers, Cote was often part of the fighting that the league is known for, and the sport took a heavy toll on his well-being. As he learned about different cannabinoids, Cote says he began experimenting with THC-rich strains and high-CBD varieties and tinctures to help manage some concussion-related issues he was dealing with.

As one of its enforcers, Cote was often part of the fighting that the league is known for, and the sport took a heavy toll on his well-being. As he learned about different cannabinoids, Cote says he began experimenting with THC-rich strains and high-CBD varieties and tinctures to help manage some concussion-related issues he was dealing with.

­­Instead of just “smoking out” or consuming an edible with 50 to 100 milligrams of THC to get high, Cote started focusing on cannabis’ medical and therapeutic benefits. Now, he’s more apt to microdose with gummies containing 2.5 to 5 milligrams of THC.

“I still enjoy flower, but I use it more mindfully and more ceremonially,” he says. “I like to have a little ritual around it.”

As his knowledge grew, Cote tried other natural medicines, including psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, which is currently receiving wide attention as a potential treatment for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. The journey has been worth taking for Cote, who says, through mindful application, he has “been able to work through my concussion-related issues and mental health issues with cannabis and psilocybin in different forms.”

Cote says he’s eager to share his knowledge, and his story, with others. “I feel like my role in this, in one small way, is to be the bridge back to this spiritual component of this, the true essence of natural plant medicine.”

Cote recalls when he got serious about plant healing. “Upon retiring from the game I love at 28—and leaving my last year of my one-way contract on the table—I was committed to healing myself holistically and instantly became a devoted student of the world of wellness,” Cote, co-founder of BodyChek Wellness, a CBD company, says.

“I read a book called Hemp For Health that changed my life. I began to understand and tap into the world of the various non-psychotropic cannabinoids—such as CBD—as well as the world of functional mushrooms and other healing plants. I knew I wanted to be in this plant medicine space, and I began to build out what that could actually look like.” (Full Story)

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