Written by Sharon Letts
Trainer Brian Kaho shares that if you smoke cannabis, you are already familiar with a few of the ten breathing techniques he teaches his clients, many of whom use the herb for increased stamina, and to fight off inflammation and subsequent pain.
Kaho was late to the table where cannabis was concerned, and didn’t partake until after high school, at age 19. Three months later, he became a runner.
While attending Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, California, near Lake Tahoe, Kaho was on the wrestling team as a heavy weight one season, and the football team the next where he played Left Guard and was awarded “Second Team All-League” in his senior year, graduating in 2003.
A meniscus tear during his junior year put the brakes on his athletic career, and it was music, not sports, that led him to the beneficial herb, allowing him to come full circle, back to sports.
“I started rapping at the age of 16, and wrote many songs in my composition notebook,” he shared. “It wasn’t until I moved back to San Jose and finally gave into the pressure of friends, that I began to smoke weed.”
Peer pressure came via a “Hip-Hop Cypher;” a freestyle circle of rap.
“My creativity with lyrics, rap patterns, and cadence to ride the beat was impeccable with cannabis,” he continued. “I discovered how focused cannabis made me while rapping; with increased endurance for beatboxing. Time after time, I knew what was happening, but from the outside, looking in, I thought I was ‘just high.’”
Kaho said he performed a great deal on stage. Smoking cannabis before taking to the stage became his routine, putting him in the “right zone.” Today, as a trainer, he helps others get into the zone, many with the help of cannabis.
The thirty-two-year-old was born in San Jose, California to immigrant parents. His mother hailed from the island and Kingdom of Tonga, with his biological father from Guadalajara, Mexico. Raised by his stepfather of German descent, Kaho said his nationality was misunderstood in the predominantly white school.
“My high school didn’t have much diversity at 98 percent Caucasian – I was point one of one percent,” he laughed. “This was as much a culture shock for them as it was for me. Most kids thought I was Black or Hawaiian. In the end, Sports helped me fit in, and I made a lot of great friends and gained a profound understanding of humans.”
After high school Kaho said he was still carrying a footballer’s weight. He was tired of being called a “Teddy Bear”. After a friend’s advice that he “Wake and Bake,” he added cannabis to his morning workout, with excellent results.
“I knew I was going to go for a run and didn’t think about how I would feel after I smoked,” he explained. “So, I smoked the weed, and I was extremely high, but didn’t feel sluggish or tired. I felt a weird sensation of pleasure and energy. I grabbed my running shoes and went outside for a jog in my neighborhood. As soon as I began to run an instant rush of endorphins hit me. I was so in tune with my body and mind that the jog seemed effortless.”
According to Leaf Science.com, Dopamine is a brain chemical responsible for the pleasure you feel when eating, having sex, or when using drugs. It fuels our lab rat mentality, causing us to push that button until our fingers bleed – even if what we are doing is not good for us.
Luckily with cannabis, the rewards are equal to the health benefits found within the plant. Humans will self-medicate, the trick is knowing why, and being educated on healthful options.