With so much misinformation out there surrounding CBD, it’s hard to know what and who to listen to. Our new series of interviews with CBD advocates, across a range of different industries, aims to help strip back the stigma and offer fresh and new perspectives on how and why CBD might work for you.
First up is Denis Betts. For rugby fans, he needs no introduction. For those that don’t know their union from their league, Betts is a former English rugby league coach and player. During his playing days, he was part of Wigan’s hugely successful team in the 80s and 90s – during which he picked up six Championships, three Premierships and seven Challenge Cup medals – enjoyed a stint with the Auckland Warriors and holds the joint record for Great Britain’s most capped forward. Moving into coaching, he became Head Coach of the Widnes Vikings and Assistant Head Coach of the national team.
Having enjoyed such a long and successful career in a collision sport, it’s perhaps not surprising that it has taken its toll on his body. After at least seven major operations and struggling with painful arthritic joints, Betts turned to CBD. We caught up with him to find out why he became an ambassador for Kannaway and how he incorporates CBD into his everyday routine.
How did you come across CBD?
I first became aware of CBD when my mum was diagnosed with MS. She suffered badly from the symptoms of MS, especially brittle bone disease. However, she did find relief in smoking cannabis, though it wasn’t legal at the time [medicinal cannabis became available to patients in the UK on NHS prescription in November 2018], it was one of the ways that really helped her manage and relieve pain. Naturally, I became intrigued with the physical properties of the hemp plant, the different strands of the cannabinoids and discovered CBD.
Throughout my career I became very aware of my body and the trauma my body had gone through and have since educated myself on nutrition, anatomy and how to get the best out of myself. CBD was a supplement that was on my radar but I had to be wary of THC levels while I played professionally. Now I no longer play, I am less worried about the levels of THC and can feel the full benefits of supplementing CBD. If it makes me, my body and mind feel better, then I’m happy to try it.
What benefits do you get from taking CBD?
It may come as no surprise given my sporting background, but I suffer with arthritis. I have had seven or eight major operations and I suffer with tennis elbow. CBD has provided me with a way to enjoy day-to-day life while still managing my aches and pains.
I took it upon myself to educate myself about CBD and learn the best way it can benefit my body specifically. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’ve ever slept better. Taking CBD throughout the day in different ways, with my morning coffee or vaping before I go to sleep, has enabled me to find the perfect balance to manage my pain and take full advantage of the day ahead.
Speaking to more recent events, I’ve found that CBD has helped both me and my family during lockdown. While my family don’t supplement CBD as often as myself, they have used it occasionally. Collectively, we have found that lockdown, surprisingly, has been a calm period (a big difference to the chaos and fireworks I was expecting). We’ve had a really enjoyable 12 to 14 weeks.
How did you discover Kannaway?
In the past, I was using different types of CBD oils from various over-the-counter brands, and while they did work to an extent, I knew my body wasn’t getting the full results. A friend of mine actually referred me to the Kannaway website and after doing some research and actually trying the products, I’ve never looked back. It’s a fantastic website.
I use its Pure Gold [a broad-spectrum filtered CBD hemp oil] for my joints. It’s fantastic. I love it. Each 120-ml bottle contains 1000 mg of CBD. I’ll take a couple of pipettes of that in the morning, under my tongue and let it absorb.
I also use the brand’s vape – even though I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. After a bit of research, I found it helps to get CBD/hemp oil into your system really quickly. This settles me after a busy day working.
Kannaway really stood out to me as it has great ethical operations. They have a soil-to-sale commitment, which uses a CO2 fluid extraction process to turn the hemp plant into natural biomass.
How do you find the right dose for you?
Each person is different. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have done extensive research and gained deep knowledge into the plant, the brands I use and the dosage I take. Each person will have a different product and strength that works for them. My advice would be play around but start small. You can come off it for a little bit and then go back on it for a little bit until you find the results that you’re looking for.
What advice would you give to someone looking to try CBD for the first time?
I’m really careful to make sure the quality is right. It’s been fantastic for me because I’ve found the right kind of CBD and product that I’m comfortable with. It’s important to actually do a bit of research and read about a company’s background.
I would also say try it with an open mind and don’t expect to get miracle results. It’s about finding the right balance and incorporating it into your routine. It’s not life changing but it will definitely help.