Brand Ambassador Spotlight: Paralympic Medalist, Joe Jackson
Over the years, cannabidiol, or CBD, has earned its reputation as a plant-based remedy that can enhance overall health and wellbeing. As the industry expands, continuing research indicates it may have functionality with conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia. Athletes, in particular, are finding utility in the medicinal potential of CBD. One such athlete is Lazarus Naturals Brand Ambassador Joe Jackson. Joe’s is an inspirational story of hope, resilience, and perseverance. As a lifelong athlete and wheelchair rugby Paralympic medalist, he’s experienced firsthand CBD’s ability to boost vitality, promote optimal muscle and optimize athletic performance.
Joe’s life was indelibly changed on November 5, 2005. At 16, he broke his C-6 vertebrae during a high school football game, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. “All four of my limbs are impaired, but I still have use of my arms and hands,” he shares. “[I have] no voluntary movement in my fingers, and I use a wheelchair to get around.” That life-changing accident may have forced Joe to give up one contact sport, but through hard work and sheer determination, he was able to embrace another: wheelchair rugby.
An intense, collaborative sport, wheelchair rugby incorporates aspects of conventional rugby, handball, and basketball. Paralympic wheelchair rugby is composed of athletes with varying physical disabilities. Players are classified based on their abilities using a system that advances in .5 point increments ranging from 0.5 to 3.5. No more than 8 points from 4 players can occupy the court at a time. “I am a class 1.0, and my role is to set picks (blocks) on the court like a fullback, or offensive lineman does in football,” Joe explains.
After discovering the sport in 2007, he made it his personal goal to join the US national wheelchair rugby team. “While I was in inpatient rehab at St. Joe’s Hospital, I was shown Murderball,” he elaborates. “It’s a movie about men who had become quadriplegics, due to various accidents, that were playing wheelchair rugby for Team USA in the Paralympics. At that moment, I knew I wanted to continue being an athlete. It was a goal to make the Paralympic team because I wanted to represent my country at the highest level. So I suppose in 2017, once I made the national team, I decided I wanted to be a Paralympic athlete.” Not only did Joe Jackson fulfill his dream of becoming a Paralympic athlete, but he also took home a silver medal for wheelchair rugby at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo this past August.
While being a Paralympic medalist is no small feat, Joe remains grounded and humble about his accomplishments. “I’m able to have a special bond with my teammates where we put everything on the line to be the best we could be. It’s a constant reminder of all the hard work and sacrifices to be a medalist.” By embracing camaraderie, cooperation, and collaboration, Joe embodies team spirit.
As a professional sportsman, Joe Jackson represents the growing number of athletes who can attest to the therapeutic value of CBD. He was introduced to cannabidiol by a friend who was quite knowledgeable on the subject. “I started using CBD 5 years ago to help with sleep, pain, and recovery due to the volume of training I do to stay in shape,” Joe confesses. And he’s not alone. Research suggests that CBD may support healthy muscle and joint functioning while facilitating the processes necessary to enhance muscle health and speed recovery. In a relatively short time, CBD has become a go-to for many athletes who prefer natural, non-habit-forming alternatives to alleviating pain and sustaining maximum fitness. “I’d rather use something natural if I can.”
Although he appreciates its versatility, efficacy, and ease of use, his favorite products are the CBD Body + Massage Oil, the Relief & Recovery CBD Muscle Gel, and the Blood Orange CBD Oil Tincture. “I appreciate the simple fact that Lazarus Natural products are made at a high quality and are effective,” he tells us. “I use the Relief & Recovery CBD Muscle Gel after every training session and after a game. [It] helps greatly and has my body feeling pain-free the next morning.”
When it comes to athletic success, Restorative sleep is as imperative as sports training and a healthy diet. “Sleep is super important for recovery and muscle growth; without it, it’s very hard to make gains,” Joe divulges. “CBD helps me get effective sleep, instead of waking up every couple hours. I use the blood orange tincture every night to help with sleep and relaxation before bed. Sometimes I can get my wife to give me a massage using the body and massage oil; it’s fantastic!”
As Joe Jackson continues to reach new heights, he leaves us with hard-won insight and advice: “Set goals, big or small, and keep achieving these goals throughout life. Stay open-minded because you just never know what door it may open.” No doubt Joe’s drive and determination will serve him well as he pursues gold in the Paris 2024 Paralympics!
Whether you’re a casual gym-goer or an elite athlete like Joe, CBD may boost mind/body wellness and help you function at full capacity. Our expansive range of safe, sustainable formulas includes topicals, tinctures, softgels, and edibles that leverage top-quality CBD with potent functional ingredients. Stop by our shop to discover how our offerings can improve your performance and quality of life.