If you had any lingering notion that CBD — shorthand for cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid extracted from the hemp plant — would get you high, let one product dispel that idea for good: Defy, a sports drink new to the market this year, is helping retired running back Terrell Davis sprint, lift, and generally train harder than he has in years.
Far from producing the mellow haze CBD’s cousin phytocannabinoid THC produces, CBD seems to help people perform at their mental and physical peak. Davis hadn’t been able to exercise properly since injuries ended his Hall of Fame NFL career back in 2002. Now he’s in the best shape since his playing days, and he fully credits that to the benefits of CBD. He’s such a believer in the stuff, he actually co-founded the company that produces Defy.
But Davis wasn’t always sold on CBD. In fact, during a recent conversation Davis (who often goes by TD) explained that: “I was a skeptic. I didn’t believe in the stuff at all. I thought it was an excuse for people who, you know, enjoyed cannabis. It was Beau and Megan” — that’s Defy co-founder and CEO Beau Wehrle and co-founding COO Megan Bushell — “who had done a lot of research, who started taking CBD themselves, and they were asking me to try it. They asked for a month or so, and then I said ‘Alright, alright, I’ll try it.”
Beau Wehrle’s background was in investment, and as he and longtime friend Megan Bushell were based in Colorado, of course, the growing cannabis industry looked like a fertile ground for investors. A number of cannabis companies approached them but, as Wehrle related, it was CBD that caught and held their interest: “Once we started understanding what CBD is, what it does for the body, it started to become very compelling. But we weren’t sold, though, so we started testing it on ourselves.”
Within a matter of weeks, Beau and Megan were indeed sold. Then they started talking to TD.
During his six years playing pro football with the Denver Broncos, Terrell Davis racked up two Super Bowl wins, 60 rushing touchdowns, and earned a record he holds to this day as the Bronco’s all-time leading rusher. Little wonder, then, that he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
As good as TD was at the game and as good as the game was to him, his years of high school, college, and NFL playing took their toll. “When I retired in 2002, TD said, “I had a torn ACL torn, meniscus, a microfracture, I didn’t have any cartilage in my knee, and from the time I retired until about a year ago, I was constantly in pain, I always had some kind of inflammation in my joints, my knees, I just couldn’t work out the way I wanted.”
Then Beau and Megan started pushing the CBD, and eventually, TD tried it. Within a month or so, he started noticing changes.
“When I started taking the CBD, I noticed, slowly, things were starting to happen to my body. My energy level was up, my joints weren’t aching as bad. So I got convinced, I really did.”
“When I started taking the CBD, I noticed, slowly, things were starting to happen to my body. My energy level was up, my joints weren’t aching as bad. So I got convinced, I really did. There was no question the CBD worked. And that started the path of me thinking hey, for a 46-year-old former player, if this helps me then we need to be at the forefront of making sure this is a product that is available to former athletes, but also to all people who want to feel great.”
The market was already saturated with CBD creams, teas, coffees, sodas, sprays, oils, and more, but if cannabidiol was helping a former pro athlete perform again, what was the logical product to develop? A sports drink fusing the long-established need for proper rehydration and replenishment of lost electrolytes with the inflammation-reducing benefits of CBD.
Defy was born. Or rather the idea for Defy, the CBD sports drink, was born. Beau, Megan, and TD partnered up to find a company and develop their product over the course of many months, and finally, in 2019, the first three options — Lemonade, Orange Mango, and Mixed Berry — headed to market. You can pre-order your bottles now and find them soon on shelves far and wide.
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