WWE star Sasha Banks is used to beating her opponents inside the ring. Outside it, she conquered an even more daunting foe: addiction.
The professional wrestler and actress, whose real name is Mercedes Varnado, recently opened up on how she was able to overcome her dependence on pain medication and alcohol. Her secret move?
“Being a professional wrestler, it’s so draining,” Varnado said in an interview with Cannabis & Tech Today magazine. “It’s so, so hard. We’re never home. We’re always banged up and always hurt.”
She continued to share with the magazine how her life was impacted once she implemented a CBD regimen. “And once I got introduced to CBD my life just fully, fully changed. I noticed that anxiety I would get, once I took CBD it all just dissipated. I started to feel like myself again. I started [working] with Manny and Abby, and the more that we learned and grew, we just wanted to create our own project.”
Varnado, who stars in the hit Disney series “Mandalorian,”
Sasha Banks as a CBD Advocate
The wrestler and actress used the interview to extol the virtues of CBD, and to assuage any concerns that individuals may have.
“I just think the more education, the better,” Varnado said. “I think people are so afraid of hearing CBD comes from the THC plant and think, ‘Oh, psychoactive, I’m going to turn into this …’”
She continued: “There are so many misconstrued labels on it. And for me, I was drinking every day to help with my anxiety and pain. I was taking ibuprofen. Once I switched to CBD, I stopped drinking. I stopped taking all these other pain medications to help me feel better.”
Varnado also said in the interview that she has encouraged fellow WWE stars to use CBD for pain relief.
“And there are so many people in the locker room that I gave CBD to and they’re just like, ‘Wait, what is this? Oh my God, this makes me feel good,’” Varnado said in the interview. “So you see, not even the culture in wrestling, the culture all over the world is changing.”
Entering the CBD Business
The cover story put a spotlight on Varnado’s CBD brand, Kanndela, which promotes healthy physical and mental wellbeing.
“At Kanndela, wellness is a fundamental human right. By producing alternative products, we hope to alleviate some of life’s daily struggles,” the company says on its website.
“Kanndela was designed with peak performance and homeostasis in mind,” the copy continues. “We are confident our groundbreaking product, combining nutrition with the power of phytocannabinoid extracts, is a game changer in both the CBD and wellness industries! Because we spent a lot of time painstakingly working on coming up with something unique, and something essential for everybody, no matter what your goals are, we are confident you are going to LOVE it!”
In addition to Varnado, Kanndela was co-founded by Emanuel Rodriguez and Abigail Villalpando. Rodriguez was previously part of the WWE under the name Kalisto.
“The founders of Kanndela wanted to bring to market something that the consumer could relate to, benefit from, and was a simple delivery method, keeping it efficient and effective,” according to Kanndela’s website. “Focused on wellness from the inside out, the conclusion was to develop something for everybody, that is portable, easy to use, and delivers results; this is how Kanndela was born! Kanndela gives the light to vitality.”
Kanndela says it has also partnered with Wells of Dharma, “a non-profit organization that builds wells in remote villages in India.”
“Through our partnership, we were able to build a well that provides water to a small village in India,” the company’s website says.
The company sells CBD oils, vegan gummies and CBD whey protein mix.
“Sasha Banks” has not competed for WWE since earlier this year, when she walked away from the professional wrestling circuit citing creative differences with the company. Rumors have swirled as of late, however, that she could be preparing to make a comeback.