NBA Star John Salley Explains How Cannabis Fits Into A Healthy Life

John Salley talks wellness, veganism and, of course, cannabis.
NBA Star John Salley Explains How Cannabis Fits Into A Healthy Life
Javier Hasse

When it comes to incorporating cannabis into a healthy lifestyle, more and more people from all walks of life are starting to get on board. These people include current and former professional athletes. We’ve covered the stories of various football players advocating for free cannabis use. But it it’s not just former NFL players that are getting behind cannabis and CBD. Among the list of pro athletes overtly supporting marijuana use is four-time NBA champion and actor John Salley, who recently announced the launch of his new premium cannabis brand, Deuces22, and his involvement with marijuana testing company GreenSpace Labs.

John Salley is a well-known vegan and advocate of healthy living who tried cannabis for the first time at the age of 36—and still looks that same age at 53—High Times decided to reach out and ask him how he felt cannabis fits into a natural lifestyle like his.

“It’s a matter of maintaining a mentality of only putting the best of the best into your body,” Salley said, explaining that this applies to cannabis use as it does to eating.

“You need to make sure your weed has no pesticides, no stems, no sticks… Nothing that can harm your body,” he added. “It’s clean, healthy and organic; or it is nothing at all.”

In fact, Salley’s daughter, Tyla, who serves as the President and CEO of Deuces22, shares that same perspective—and is thus also a vegan.

“I notice all kinds of little things when I smoke weed, like when the paper canoes, or having a lot of coughing… Very little things that mark the difference between great, clean, organic cannabis and regular weed.”

‘That Premium Sh*t’

John Salley was born in Brooklyn, New York.

“I understand you sometimes have to have the cheapest sh*t there is. But, if you can afford something better, you should. You should never mess with your health,” he said.

“People often tell me to chill, to just smoke the weed and be happy. But that’s how you die.”

As the conversation progressed, we found out that Salley fits cannabis into a healthy lifestyle that includes yoga, healthy, vegan eating and plant-based medicine.

“Testing cannabis for purity is fundamental to this approach,” he added, bringing up his involvement with GreenSpace Labs, which recently launched a portable testing device.

“I was taking eight to twelve Advil a day for nine years. Can you imagine how my liver and kidneys looked like then?” he continued, returning to his own experience with cannabis and healthy living.

“Cannabis changed my life, and I know it will change a lot of other people’s lives as well.”

Getting Used To Using Cannabis

Cannabis was always around John Salley. His family was fine with it, he said.

“But I was the stiff one, same as in my squad, in my NBA teams. So I was always telling my teammates to take care of their bodies, to be aware of what they were pushing into their bodies… I only tried cannabis in the year 2000, when I retired from the NBA.

Now, I want to be helpful. But I don’t want the credit. I want the plant to get the credit. All I want to do, and I want writers like you to do, is to create awareness around the benefits of the cannabis plant.

Cannabis fits into my healthy lifestyle because it allows me to medicate without damaging my liver, my kidneys or my spleen. In addition, I don’t have to look like an old man, I don’t have to take any drugs…”

One of the things Salley mentioned several times in the conversation was that holistic approach to wellness. This approach includes yoga, healthy eating, veganism, meditation, and medicating with cannabis. Having noticed that other former athletes like Ricky Williams take a similar approach to wellness, we asked Salley why he thinks athletes take this holistic approach to wellbeing.

“Well. I can’t speak for others, but my reason is, in 1991 a doctor suggested I changed my diet because my colon was not healthy. I was literally full of sh*t,” he said.

“First, I went micro-biotic, then I became a lying-vegetarian and then in 2008, I became a full vegan. This transition started when, at the age of 27, I felt my body was worn out. I wasn’t feeling good or enjoying basketball.

So, I became conscious at 27. I became woke at 40. Since then, I’ve made it a point to lead a healthy life. Many NBA players die before they turn 60; I don’t want to die that young. Everything I do, I do to get extended life on the planet.

Cannabis helps me relax my body. Combining it with a healthy lifestyle gives me the feeling of wellness I like. It’s not just one thing… It’s a whole way of life.”

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