5 questions with Danica Patrick about why she invested in a CBD company

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Danica Patrick’s post-NASCAR career is largely about health, fitness and self-improvement. Her book and her podcast, both titled Pretty Intense, focus on those themes, and lately, in addition to regularly posting her workout routines on social media, she’s been leading workouts on Instagram Live while people are social distancing because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

And Patrick’s latest business venture aligns with her brand. She recently invested in the Boston-based company beam — a wellness brand that sells organic CBD (cannabidiol) products made from hemp that are THC-free — and contributed in a $5 million seed round in September 2019.

“I hope that people trust me, especially at this point in my career where I’m past the days of needing a sponsor to go racing,” Danica, who will also be a brand ambassador, told For The Win.

“In fact, I pay for things I want to do now. … I’m very much in the stage of wanting to offer help and wanting to help people grow and help people feel their best mentally and physically.”

Former pro baseball player Kevin Moran and former pro hockey player Matt Lombardi started beam in 2018. They were training for the Boston Marathon that year and began looking into CBD to help their “beat-up bodies,” Lombardi said, when they realize it was an emerging market with inconsistent products.

Other professional athletes use (and promote) CBD, including former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who partnered with a similar company. Moran and Lombardi said current NFL and former NHL players are anonymous investors.

For The Win spoke with Patrick — along with Moran and Lombardi — about why she likes CBD and her investment in beam.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

FTW: Why invest in beam?

Danica Patrick: I really believe in the product. I really believed in everything they had going on and their view for the future as well as the product itself is really effective. And I had used a few CBD products over the years — things you can get at a grocery store — and never noticed anything, so I was like, “I don’t know if this stuff works.” But beam does, it really does.

FTW: What made you want to try CBD initially? Was it curiosity or were you looking to cure an ailment?

Danica: I’m just always looking for new things to help function and feel better. And I’m also not afraid to invest the time into it. So in any form, short- or long-term, direct effect or delayed effect, I’m always interested in new modalities, new supplements, that resonate with me and could help me feel 20 when I’m 60.

I’m also very comfortable with and a big fan of anything that is natural. Plants are natural — going all hippie here — but we’re connected to everything, and the cannabinoid receptors are an example of that. So whatever you can do with nature to balance the body out and ease the body and fuel the body and calm the body, all of those things I believe are things we should all be doing. And I love that we’re learning more about it.

FTW: Do you use other beam products often?

Danica: For anyone that’s following me on social media, you know that I put a bunch of fun powders in my food a lot, and I’ll post about that some times. Things like ashwagandha, reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane — those are some of the more mainstream ones that maybe people have heard of before. beam created a [powder] product called “clarity” and “dream.”

And the first time I took “dream,” 20 minutes later, I was passed out on the couch. And when I had to wake up to go to bed, it was like I didn’t even know how to walk. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so out of it.” It’s an extremely effective tool.

And then a few weeks ago, I was traveling back from France — just in time to not get caught there in some kind of quarantine — and I had an overnight flight coming back straight from Paris all the way to L.A. So I got a cup of hot water, and I put a packet of dream in the water, stirred it, drank it, covered my head up with a blanket, laid there, and slept on a plane for eight hours! I was so happy. That’s more than a full night’s sleep for me.

FTW: Would you have invested in this if it didn’t work on you but you saw it as a lucrative business opportunity?

Danica: I don’t think I have to do that now. [It’s] not the point in time to sell out on the brand in any way. This is the authentic phase where I show you what I stand for and what I truly love and what I’m interested in or believe in or want to know more about because I’m not sure what to believe in.

A huge component about it is being consumables and about being healthy, and it’s right up my alley. When they said adaptogens, I was like, “Ummm, I take like 13 a day, sometimes more.” And I get sore a lot, so it’s really helpful.

FTW: Was there something in the science that attracted you to CBD?

Danica: We talked a lot about the powders when it comes to the adaptogens. We’ve had long conversations about them and how I use it and what I use pre- and post-workout and for recovery as well as energy, so we’ve talked a lot about that.

Kevin Moran: A lot of the powders are stacked with other ingredients like different mineral compounds, ashwagandha, lion’s mane, adaptogens, things like that. And there’s scientific evidence as to how that works. CBD just hasn’t been taken enough to have a ton of scientific evidence around it, but we’ve coined this term internally of citizen science. We’re working to invest in some science and be thought leaders in the space from a purely scientific perspective.

Matt Lombardi: In our bodies, we have what’s called an endocannabinoid system, and that’s essentially why there are so many different benefits of CBD. Our endocannabinoid system keeps our whole body in balance and promotes homeostasis, and it promotes normal functions in our body like sleep, stress, inflammation, digestion. CBD supports our endocannabinoid system to allow it to do its job more efficiently. Just think of as engine oil for your body.

Danica: I have a question actually. My understanding of cannabis is that we have cannabinpoid receptors in our body, which is why our body knows what to do with it. Is that right?

Moran: Yeah. So think of high-quality CBD, it’s almost like spark plugs igniting what’s already in your body. Your endocannabinoid system gets out of whack and leads to all these chronic issues people deal with, and over time, it gets worse and worse. But then when you’re putting something back in your body to reignite it. It’s like premium engine oil for your body bringing it back into balance.

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