You’d think professional Rugby players might be a little too busy to put their nose to the grind on a brand new startup.
However, after each found themselves laid up following a spate of injuries and ops, professional forwards George Kruis and Dom Day independently discovered CBD- and found it so helpful they decided to start their own brand.
Several years later and the company is thriving, offering a range of products perfectly suited to both professional athletes and active lifestyle enthusiasts from across the sporting spectrum. What makes them stand out in a crowded market is their unique third party 0% THC certification, enabling users to know exactly what they’re putting in their body and giving them the peace of mind that comes with that.
We recently caught up with Dom, who’s also an avid surfer and George to talk surfing, rugby and CBD.
WL: Dom, Tell me about where you grew up and how you got into surfing?
D: I grew up in a little village in Pembrokeshire. The summers were taken up with myself and my two brothers getting up early and driving to the beach to see whether it would be a day of surfing or a day out on the boat fishing. All my close mates grew up surfing or in the sea, it was a great place to grow up.
WL: What role does surfing play in your life now? What’s its appeal for you?
D: Surfing for me now tends to be only when I get home in the offseason. My brothers still surf daily. I love being in the ocean whenever I can, it gives me a calmness and helps me detox from rugby and living in London, both of which can be stressful.
WL: You just signed with the San Diego Legion for the 2020 season. Are you excited about the surf prospects living out in California?
D:Yes absolutely, the guys there go surfing for their recovery sessions. I will be living in Encinitas which is a beautiful little beach town with some good surf. There are heaps of good surf spots within an hours drive.
WL: There are lots of surfers who golf and do jiu-jitsu. Are rugby and surfing complementary disciplines do you find?
D: I would say surfing helps with recovery from training, being in the saltwater is great for you. Also, the mental side of having some time to yourself is something I enjoy.
However years of rugby has certainly caused my body to stiffen up, I am nowhere near as flexible as I should be and that really doesn’t help with surfing. I blame rugby but I am probably just getting old.
WL: And does being hammered up and down the rugby pitch lead to total fearlessness in the water? Surely the hold down from a 6-8 footer can’t be worse than being at the bottom of a ruck?
D:They might be big guys knocking you about all day but that’s nothing, I’ve always had the biggest respect for the ocean. I’m nowhere near as fit in the water as I used to be so I know I have to be smart if I ever head out into the bigger surf.
WL: I guess a decade of playing proffesionally takes its toll, which leads us on to you guys business venture, fourfive CBD. George, can you tell me about your first experience with CBD oil?
G: I had an operation on my ankle early 2018 and Dom mentioned he used CBD previously, I gave it a try and one of the first things I noticed was how great my sleep was. Quality sleep is great for recovery.
WL: Can you tell me about your decision to start this company?
We were both very fond of CBD after our personal experiences with it. That combined with how popular CBD had become in North America made it an easy decision to make a business out of it.
WL: Opioid painkiller addiction is a massive problem in some pockets of the surfing world. With the constant need to meditate pain, is it something that can be an issue for rugby players too?
D: It’s something that has been highlighted in recent times. I think when you look at some of the problems that contact sports like American Football have at the moment, it’s something that needs to be looked at very closely.
WL: In your experience, how widely used are cannabis oil products among fellow pro rugby players and other pro athletes?
G: When we started the business we knew of 3 or 4 players at every club using CBD. That’s why we wanted to go about making the safest products we possibly could to keep athletes as safe as possible. It can be a difficult market to navigate at the moment with some products not having in the bottle exactly what they claim.
WL: Tell me about the specific steps you’ve taken to make fourfive particularly good for pro athletes?
D: We have the only product in the world that certified 0% THC and tested for cross-contamination of banned substances. This is something we had to do in order to give our product to drug tested athletes. We use a laboratory in Los Angeles which at the moment the only lab in the world testing to this level.
WL: What’s been the reaction from your teammates? Have they all been trying to tap you up for freebies?
G: The guys have been very supportive, as have Saracens as a whole. And of course, who doesn’t love a freebie?
WL: Have you faced much opposition from coaches, other players or the media?
D: Our coaches have been awesome and extremely supportive. We fully expected some backlash from the media but everything has been positive to date. Everyone is interested in our story and when you begin to educate people about the benefits of CBD, what it is, but more importantly what it isn’t, then the response is always positive.
WL: Interestingly, throughout the history of CBD, science has always lagged a little way behind user reported benefits. Do you keep up to date with all the newly released scientific findings on CBD, or are you more interested in exploring how it can work for people on an individual basis?
D: The science and research should become more prevalent with its popularity increasing. There has certainly been an emphasis from the big pharma companies to slow down the research into CBD with the possibility of them losing a lot of money.
We are absolutely interested in the scientific findings along with people’s personal experiences. We plan on publishing our own studies in the next couple of years.
WL: Lastly, French rugby player Romain Ntamack was filmed surfing (sort of) on his Top 14 trophy. George, can we expect to see any similarly outrageous stunts with the world cup if England take it home this year?
G: Haha, wouldn’t want to spill any of the champagne out of the trophy.