Hulk Hogan, real name Terry Gene Bollea, is done with painkillers and alcohol, swapping the two for CBD, which is being studied for its role in battling addiction. He revealed the switch in a candid interview with Muscle and Health magazine.
A legend in professional wrestling, Hogan underwent some 25 surgeries over the course of his career, getting loaded up with opioids prescribed by doctors. But Hogan said he continued taking the opioids long after the physical pain was gone.
Now at age 70, he revealed that a combination of opioids and alcohol spelled a decades-long relationship with addiction. Going sober meant dropping vices that felt destructive. Muscle and Health Editor-in-chief Danni Levy sat down with the wrestling icon to discuss a variety of topics.
“I’ve had a lot of practice drinking because I wrestled for about forty years, so those guys have a beer every once in a while,” he told Muscle and Health. “But about seven months ago, I decided not to drink any more alcohol. I was at a New Year’s Eve party and saw a bunch of stuff that I didn’t condone or like. I saw myself in this environment, and I went, “You know what? I don’t know how I got here, but I’m done.’ It was just that one thing.”
It was then he realized it was a negative thing he didn’t want. Being around people who believed and behaved differently than he did, he decided he wanted out. And he says it feels much better to be clear-headed and that he’s no longer tempted to drink alcohol.
Hogan explained how going sober meant losing some friends and gaining others. “I’ve had certain wrestlers look at me in the face and go, “If you don’t have a drink with me, you’re not my friend,” Hogan said. “Well, I am your friend, but I’m not going to drink with you. What are you going to do about it?”
Some consider the 1980s as the glory days when American pro wrestling was at a peak. In the October, 1981 issue of High Times, writer Chester Patton wrote about the history of American professional wrestling, from Clarence “the Kansas Demon” to “Animal” Steele, eater of turnbuckles. Wrestling led to blockbuster cameos and more for Hogan.
Like other high impact sports, wrestling injuries lead to surgeries and subsequently, painkillers. Opioids proved to be equally devastating, creating another dilemma. “I had doctors writing me prescription after prescription, and all of a sudden, it became a vicious cycle,” Hogan added. “I was hitting the pain pills hard because I’d had to endure twenty-five procedures, including ten to my back, facial operations from being kicked, knee and hip replacements and abdominal and shoulder surgeries.”
Most recently, the wrestling legend has been talking about Hogan’s Hangout, a restaurant he recently opened up in Clearwater, Florida.
Replacing Addiction with CBD
Hogan mentioned last May that he found success with CBD, and that he was planning to launch his own brand. He said it was another wrestling legend who actually introduced him to CBD. Wrestling icon Ric Flair launched a cannabis line “Ric Flair Drip” with Carma Holdings founder and president Chad Bronstein.
“Ric Flair, Mike Tyson and the founder and president of Carma Holdings, Chad Bronstein introduced me to CBD,” he reveals. Those three came at me like ‘The Royal Rumble.’ I didn’t have a chance.”
Hogan may be on to something: CBD can help lower cravings for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions, with research on humans to back it up, Peter Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School wrote. Animal models additionally suggest it may also help lower cravings for alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulants.
“At first, I was confused because I’d never used CBD,” Hogan said. “I didn’t understand the health aspects of what it can do for you as far as energy, sleep or getting off hard drugs or pharmaceuticals slowly and winding down are concerned. It took me a while to figure it out because I am a little slow. I had to do a lot of research and do my due diligence. I figured this was something that really would benefit a lot of people that needed help—and I know it will.”
Hogan also went into a lot of detail about how CBD specifically replaced opioids.
“We’ve found CBD is a logical alternative to prescription drugs that helps people to wind down slowly,” says Hogan. “I’m really focusing on helping people with their health, whether that’s guys coming back from the war, hardcore drug users or people who’ve got themselves into the prescription trap following illness or anxiety. CBD is amazing for sleep and can also help overcome alcohol abuse.”
Hogan’s brand Immortal, coming soon, will feature vapes, cartridges, pre-rolls, and more.
CBD is showing promising results in treating addiction, reducing inflammation, and a handful of other benefits as researchers continue to back it with science.