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Ryan VandenBussche Special


About Ryan

Born February 28th 1973, he grew up playing hockey in Delhi, Ontario (near Simcoe, Ontario). He enjoyed playing the game and hanging out with his friends on the ice. When he watched NHL games, Wendel Clark was his favorite player because of his mix of talent and toughness.

As time went on, Ryan’s skills improved and his passion for the game grew as well. He found himself on the path to becoming a professional hockey player after spending four years in the Ontario Hockey League with the Cornwall Royals, Newmarket Royals, and the Guelph Storm. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs selected VandenBussche in the eighth round of the 1992 Draft (173rd overall) and he began his career in the American Hockey League when his OHL career concluded. He spent two seasons with the St. John’s Maple Leafs before becoming a member of the Binghamton Rangers, the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers at the time.

It was during the 1996-97 season, his second season in Binghamton, that his diligent work and dedication paid off – he received the long-awaited call to the NHL. VandenBussche would play 27 games over two seasons with the Rangers before a late season trade in 1998 sent him to the Chicago Blackhawks organization.

While he continued to spend some time in the AHL, Ryan became a regular in the Blackhawks lineup during the 1999-2000 season – taking to the ice with players like Tony Amonte, Steve Sullivan, Bob Probert, Phil Housley, Alexei Zhamnov and Eric Daze during his time in Chicago.

Constantly the advocate, Cote works for increasing visibility for people with multiple sclerosis. During his time in the NHL, he used cannabis for pain relief as opposed to prescription opioids. He advocates for the use of medical hemp and cannabis with his group Athlete for Care, he also created the Hemp Heals Foundation to educate the public about the nutritional benefits of hemp and its numerous eco-friendly industrial uses, they hosts an annual music festival in Philadelphia to raise awareness about the various benefits and applications of hemp, also a board member of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council.

Ryan VandenBussche Special

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Ryan Vandenbussche 0:00
You know, in my mind, it’s like, you’re gonna you want to be able to feel the pain to a little bit to some degree because then you know, you got some issues and you need to work on them from the inside out. And I feel like hemp slash CBD just helps and creates you know, gets through the inflammation because we’re you feel pain, that is inflammation. Inflammation is pain, pain is inflammation, how to get rid of inflammation, when you create homeostasis radically on the stasis, it’s all boils back to plant based medicines and making sure your levels are all running at optimal levels. And how do you do that? Well get your bloodwork done, and have a hormone specialist to analyze it. And, and start with CBD. For people that just want to kind of, you know, some people are still completely dead against cannabis because it makes you high and, and some people just don’t like that. And that’s totally fair. So there’s, you know, in our facility here, we also we do nano emulsions, and we do T free, so we take out so when you when you grow, have we grew up, you know, a couple 100 acres of hemp in the last couple of years. And you know, you have to isolate that, that CBD and then you know, from there, you can also take out what little THC is in there. It’s got to be below point 3%. Right. Right, take that right out. So we’ve free. So you know, for the people that are a little bit scared, try the T free distillate T free CBD, go into your local stores and see what you know if they have that available. And then start giving yourself five to 10 milligrams before you go to bed at night and see if asleep, my dad’s been doing it for a while now you can get great sleep.

Nick 1:39
And just for the listeners, so they understand. So T three is is basically the whole full spectrum oil, or the distillate minus the THC part. So if they’re worried about, you know, the THC is going to give me psychrotrophic Or, you know, it’s going to make me high or anything like this. Now, obviously, at point three, I mean, we’re talking about like, such a small level.

Pete 2:03
Again, anything at that, but

Nick 2:04
which you’re not going to get anything, we like to use it because of the full spectrum entourage effect. So we like having a little bit of THC in there. Now. Again, it’s still such a small amount. We like we’re working on something now that actually by weight, we could get more THC in it for people that want that legally without using a medical marijuana card. But you Let’s go back to the fact of the pushback, because that’s something I wanted to ask you people do you find that people are reaching out to you asking you more about cannabis or health related questions? Or are you doing anything to kind of get out there and educate locally nationally? Just curious if players have ever asked you your experiences or just family members or friends? How do people respond to you? And what are you doing to kind of get your get the education out yourself?

Ryan Vandenbussche 3:03
Yeah, that’s a good question. Just talking openly about it, just like we’re what we’re doing right now. You know, you know, I see my my father, my post family, it starts with our close family. Even my kids could be taking CBD before games, which they do, too. And it’s just about education. That’s the biggest thing right now. Because a lot of people don’t know the difference between cannabis and hemp, right? And then you got industrial hemp, and then you got medical grade, have, you know, CBD hemp? So it’s all about education right now. And what do I do to promote that? Well, sometimes if I am when the time that I’m on social media and I, I kind of scroll through some stuff, and I will follow people that I’m you know, I think I’m learning something from because I love this industry, and I want to know more and more about it. So I’ll I’ll retweet the article, something that resonates with me. So just kind of get it out like that. I don’t want to be constantly pushing stuff in people’s faces, but it’s I think it’s something needs to be out there. It needs to be out there. And and I’m not afraid to talk about it. But yeah, so basically that and just, you know, we’re we’re a new business, we’re a new company, we’re not that new. We we, you know, been around for about four years, but we’re just building this business and the way regulation has changed over time. It’s hard to, you know, to get established, right. So, you know, I would that’s part of my, my game plan, once we have this company up and running and we have everything in place is you know, social responsibility is is huge on my radar, and to be able to educate and advocate, you know, what we’re trying to do.

Nick 4:43
Of course, we love what you’re doing and you know, it’s it’s kind of something it’s been a passion for mine for so many years. You know, I can’t say that I have the injuries that that you’ve gone through, but the people that I’ve tried to help With so many different modalities out there, and it’s not just pain and inflammation, right? So we have, you know, we have people that are epilepsy, we have people that have GI issues, they have fibromyalgia, they have mental health, mental health issues. I mean, there’s, there’s so many things that people have no idea that can really be helped with using something from the plant natural. Instead of all these, these medications. I mean, it was funny, something you said, Ryan, you said, You’ll, if you stop taking the opiates, you’ll know that you’re like a little hurt. Like, you’ll feel your body telling you that there’s there’s some healing that still needs to be done. Not that and that’s hugely important. You know, if if you’re going out there, and you’re masking all that pain, you really don’t know how much more you’re hurting yourself. I mean, nobody really talks about that part, right. And again, if you’re creating more damage, your great creating more damage, right? So if you don’t, I mean, the pain is your body telling you Oh, there’s something wrong, right? I mean, this is like, Wait, stop. This is this, I’m hurt, slow down.

Ryan Vandenbussche 6:08
I feel sometimes cannabis does that on its own, like, you know, sometimes I’ll, I’ll smoke some weed and, and, and then all of a sudden, I’ll be like, Oh, my neck is a little site sore. So that’ll force me to go work on it.

Nick 6:25
Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a really good point as well. So, you know, I love the fact that you’re always trying to do education, we are in, you know, something we could do. Try and afford the narrative together. I mean, that’s really what hempire is about. That’s why we do it. There’s so many people that are misinformed. uneducated, and, and, you know, so like to do a little entertainment as well. So, you know, I always ask, is there any thing from the NHL, that you remember, and we’ll go back to him in a minute, but just something that you remember. I don’t know. Just a backstory of something that you were in your career that really stuck out? Couldn’t be with you could be without you something you saw on the ice, something that just made you turn your head and go, Wow, I never thought growing up as a kid, you know, the NHL was this way. But really it is because it’s a business or just anything wild that’s happened or in and out of the ice. Just anything that you remember that, that that listeners would just, you know, just bring them into the eyes of Brian for a couple minutes.

Ryan Vandenbussche 7:32
Yeah, well, the first time stepping out on the ice and it was like, No, that’s kind of sequel to what we talked about earlier. When I when I met Wayne Gretzky, so that that evening, I was literally like, I come from St. John New Brunswick, flew to LaGuardia, and then took towncar into Maple Leaf or Madison Square Gardens. And then I remember that first time putting on the New York Rangers jersey. And I remember just that just that initial feeling of like, oh my god, I can’t believe I’m a New York Rangers jersey. And I can’t go Rangers. Yeah.

Pete 8:13
Ranger fan right is you know

Ryan Vandenbussche 8:18
so yeah, putting up putting on a jersey and and just skate on the ice and Madison Square Gardens was definitely a feeling that I’ll never forget. You know, being on the ice with Wayne Gretzky and sca you know Brian Leach. Mike Richter all these Hockey Hall of Famers is will all the greats.

Nick 8:39
I think it’s kind of funny because you know, people forget that the athlete was the kid. Right? You know, like, you think back and you you’re always when you’re a kid, you’re like, you know, the fourth quarter making the last shot or you’re in the third period and you’re down a goal or you know, whatever, whatever the sport is, you know, and you always picture yourself in that stadium or everybody watching and was that something that was crazy for you? The amount of eyes the media the cameras you know, that just was that ever a factor that kind of blur out? You know, because you’re in the game right? So you’re not really paying attention to that as much yeah initially

Ryan Vandenbussche 9:23
you know, that that you kind of get groomed into it basically from you know, when you’re when you’re playing Adelheid, double C hockey to junior B hockey and you know, in junior C hockey, you get 200 fans, then you go to Junior A, and our home rink was a couple of 1000. So that’s when I started getting a little nervous, but then he just kind of be able to put that out to you. And the coach has always said play in between the glasses. Don’t even worry about what’s outside of those glasses. You just focus on what’s right here in front of you right now for the next three periods, you know, two hours, and then that kit that kept there real simple, and then just do your job on the ice. And it doesn’t matter if there’s five people in the stand or or by 1000s, you know, and then you step up another level when you go to the NHL, and that’s like, whoa, damn. You got to remind yourself this is playing between the glasses, you know, and so he’s kind of you get used to it, but initially it is a bit of a nerve wracking but yeah, he get over it. I’ll never forget my first. Here’s one here’s a more one of them of my most embarrassing moments to my second year pro St. John’s Newfoundland, Toronto’s farm team. I’m Tom Lott was our coach. And he wanted us before the game first game of the year to come out of the Zamboni area with the MOT comes out and skate as fast as you can see the blue line and stop. Well, as soon as you said that here is like, you know, manifesting your own destiny. I’m telling myself, I’m gonna fucking fall by itself. So sure enough, my name gets called I skate out to the blue line, I go to stop my knees buckle, I slid right across the red line where the red carpet was their mascot by the Puffin was on it. I knocked out the red carpet which flipped buddy that busted. I had to jump over the red carpet, stepped on bit, a bit of the red carpet almost fell again gets the blue line, I got a standing ovation because of Rick and sold out first game of the year. I just did a bow. And yeah, it was it was quite interesting.

Pete 11:21
And everybody knew who your name was after that.

Nick 11:25
That See, that’s what I was looking for. I was hoping for something, just just something we always try to make it personalized. And, and we want to we just want to hear from you. You know, we’re so we love bringing everyone on that that obviously we’re all in the same fight together. Right? We’re trying to educate, we’re trying to bring medication to people that can use it without giving them side effects. We’re trying to do it naturally. And just talking about that, because I do know that obviously saw that cup and everything I know you’re you’re a little bit into the psilocybin as well. Is that something that the cannabis kind of was the first part, and then you got more into the Soviet psilocybin a little bit kind of opened up the gate? Not not necessarily, you know. But is that maybe opened up your mind to other natural healing? I mean, I just today, I mean, breaking news, Aaron Rodgers comes out and says, I mean, literally, it’s all over the news today, how he was messing around with Ayahuasca, and it’s helped him through the years to MVP seasons. I mean, you know, it makes frontline news today. And I mean, obviously, it’s not cannabis, but it’s still another non natural alternative. That helped. He said, with focus. I didn’t read the entire article. But, but I did read a little bit of it. And it just said, how it just helped him more focused, to be in a better mindset. You know, to speak upon that, I guess, what your experiences?

Ryan Vandenbussche 13:03
Yeah, no. So it’s funny that you say that I have asked I experienced that. Right at the beginning of COVID. There, well, no, it was June of last year. And, and, and, and cannabis, actually, and you know, brought it to me, I look, I looked up Ayahuasca way back, when I was doing my research and cannabis back in 2012 2013, I was filing some articles like the Rick Simpson oil, good for cancer and this and that. And so I was collecting all that kind of stuff. And then I always wanted the experience with Ayahuasca and I must be a psycho naughty, always want to experience with psychedelics, but I find it fascinating that, you know, from 1950 to 1965, the US had like, over 1000 white papers on psychedelics on how it was helped the mental health back then. And then of course, the Nixon government comes in and, you know, put the war on drugs and then Reagan after that. So yeah, I definitely feel cannabis brought me to psychedelics. And, and, and an Ayahuasca on top of that, and I think anyone who’s experienced with, you know, whether it’s mental health or chronic pain or, you know, anything health related. Why wouldn’t you try a plant based medicine where the indigenous people have been using it for 1000s of years, and somehow it just got taken away. So it’s getting more mainstream and people like, like, Alan, you said, Allen Iverson, right. They need to speak up like that. And no, no,

Nick 14:42
no, Aaron Rodgers. Oh, sorry. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

Ryan Vandenbussche 14:48
Yeah. Good for him for speaking up and just being open about what he’s doing. It’s only going to help 1000s of more people.

Nick 14:55
Yes, I mean, I could tell you I think Allen Iverson deaf. wick is all about marijuana, that’s for sure. I don’t know. But he definitely is not a stranger to cannabis. No, you know, and it’s funny because again, there’s so many different things we we have a lot this weekend or when we go away, you know, to these events and things and they talk about ketamine treatments, and they talk about, you know, micro dosing of mushrooms. And but, you know, getting back to what we were talking about in the beginning with the athletic, there’s so many doctors, when I tell you, the board of doctors that we’re supposed to be like, the experts are still I wouldn’t say clueless, but still do not have a great handle on the benefits of cannabis or they’re worried about things that, you know, they’re worried about how it impedes your performance, okay, cannabis impeding your performance, like, when should I tell the athlete to stop using cannabis before they go on the field? Or they go on? And I’m like, no, no, like, there’s so many athletes that are coming on and saying, like, I mean, bringing Riley up again, or bringing up a kind of the other athletes that we’ve had that basically said, no, no, it helps me. I had we had Michael Moore the other day is like, I wish I was smoking, you know, more than I was, you know, and because of just not necessarily the mental acuity thing is more of like, just my body, right, just helping with the pain afterwards and faster recoveries. But then, you know, you talk to someone like Riley, he said, I smoked, you know, all through the time I was in the NHL and use cannabis. And it definitely helped me. You know. So it’s kind of like, it’s just, it’s so misunderstood right now of where we need to be. I mean, now we’re talking about children. And they were talking about and let’s not say children, but I say children, because they’re still like they’re in college, you know, they’re trying to figure out how much can I take before I, I don’t pass the drug test, or a lot of it is becoming now with a recruiting that I’ve heard. I mean, we’re talking about major and for if Oh, wait, we can’t, because there’s some Bible Belt schools, and there’s some schools that are against completely against candidates. And they’re saying, Well, we have a zero tolerance policy. Like that’s it. And these people in their culture, have grown up smoking or their family has, or it’s used them and just and now they’re saying, Well, you go to college, and you can’t, well, they’re they’re missing out on recruits. I mean, you’re talking about you didn’t use it, because you were scared that you would have a black mark, on on yourself, right? Being in the NHL, where these kids are going these blue chip players saying, Well, I’m not gonna go to that college if I can’t smoke. Use cannabis.

Ryan Vandenbussche 17:53
Yeah. Yeah, I think times are changing, the younger people are gonna really change things that people that are doing that right now. And they gotta continue to fight for that speak the truth. And as long as you’re, you know, like, I have great workouts, when I smoke a little cup class, you don’t need to smoke a whole joint. But whatever I feel you, you get used to whatever it is, you feel, but you have that intention before you smoke of what you want to accomplish. And you stay focused on it, and you get it done. And you do it to the best of your ability no matter what. And whether you’re a little you know, your your little higher nine, I mean, whatever it is, just get it done. I mean, now, that’s not to say when you’re driving, I’m not promoting smoking and driving by no means but of course, if I’m going to you know, I playing some rock hockey, and I’m sitting there and some guys are smoking before they go on the ice and I was already smoking weed on a regular basis at time, but never every what I thought I would do before I went on the ice, but I thought heck with it, I’m going to try it out. So I did and I actually had one of the best games ever.

Nick 18:52
You know, it’s funny.

Ryan Vandenbussche 18:55
away that was actually this hold on the puck a little more and more patient more relaxed out there.

Pete 19:02
Definitely more calm. Yeah,

Nick 19:03
definitely more calm. And I think and now now now here’s where I feel like I’ve never exactly like when I was playing or anything that that was never part of my my game plan. But, but I will tell you, it’s probably going to be a little different when you go when I’m playing rec hockey, or I’m jumping out on an NHL game. And but you know what I like, to that level, right? Their level of competition or how quick the game is or what’s on the line and jobs and things like that. And that’s where I think you’re right though I feel like so many people have the under misunderstanding of like, well, it’s just gonna make me feel dumb. When I smoke, I’m socially awkward or I’m just want to be left alone or, you know, you know, a lot of people feel like that and a lot of people don’t. And it’s also knowing what type of terpene profile What type of strange you’re using how you’re dosing, I mean, nobody’s telling you to go and get super high, and then basically, you know, go out and do something, they’re just saying a little bit, is helping you perform better, just a little bit now that you’re so you know, brain dead, that you can’t even figure out how to you know how to do anything where you’re just almost, you’re forgetting things, just a little bit of mental acuity, just a little bit of relaxation, let you see the ice a little bit better, or the game a little slower. And that is such an important thing, because the stigma of I never thought about taking marijuana, and then going into playing a game. That’s just not something I would have put into it.

Ryan Vandenbussche 20:43
Never in my head ever to do anything like that, you know, I grew up in the 80s and 90s. Basically, I was like, Well, no, but you know, there’s things we can do now to with DNA, like we get our blood, we get tested against certain cannabinoids, certain terpene profiles, and I had that done. And some, some some kind of wine profiles are will make me feel like a little bit too anxious, and some are good for me, you know, like the myrcene limonene. And there’s the so the scientists coming out, if people are real serious, and they want to try something new, then you know they can, it is a science. And you can do that now just gotta go online and find it. There’s not a lot out there, but it’s coming.

Nick 21:26
And that’s why we say everybody go out, get educated, you know, experiment, see what works for you. If you’re not a proponent of cannabis, and CBD, well go out and try it and see what works for you and start low and start slow, go slow, you know, you don’t have to, you know, go into it, you know, full force. But understand that there are a lot of health benefits. And there’s a lot of different ways that it can help you. But you got to find your specific terpene profile or your strain or your dose, I mean, the it’s what’s going to work for one person’s not going to work for another, but get educated because so many people are getting relief from this beautiful plant, as well as, you know, just helping them in their everyday life. You don’t have to be a professional athlete, we say it all the time. You could be a soccer mom, you could be you know, someone that’s on their feet all the time, you could just someone that has some GI issues or gotten a car accident had some back issues, or I mean, there’s so many, maybe depression or some other things, there’s so many ways that you could utilize this plant, just get the knowledge and talk to people from a reliable source. We’re always available at pure Well, you know, Ryan is obviously, you know, if you could reach out to him somehow, Ryan, would there ever be a way where see people or do the company or they could find out a little bit more about what you’re doing as well? Yeah,

Ryan Vandenbussche 22:52
follow me on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter. And whenever there’s something, I’ll post something on there up and show people my full name and Nereo you’ll find me. But, yeah, and then we’ll I’ll just keep people up to date on what’s going on with my company, as we have updates.

Nick 23:11
Of course, and honestly, just what we’re saying is go to a trusted source. There’s a lot of information out there, but there’s a lot of bad information. Okay, so that and that is difficult for people because they’re like, Well, I’m doing my research, but they don’t realize that, you know, 70% of the stuff out there is just it’s BS. So so to a trusted source, you can always call us pure well 24/7 We’ll help you we’re online we’re on the phones where you know, you could you always chat with us. We’ll be you know asked enter questions as possible. THC or CBD, you know, we can we can help you out with that. And just, that’s the sole we’re here to do. People we’re trying to educate, we’re trying to let you help you. And, and we’re so thankful you came on the show, Ryan. You know, we’re definitely going to work together on something, I think you’re gonna like what we do and we’re gonna get you some products so you can try some cool stuff, getting some swag. And, and just thank you for being on.

Ryan Vandenbussche 24:10
Well, thanks for having me. And if you ever need me, I’ll speak on some talk show every once in a while so I don’t know if you ever do that. But stay in touch and you can check out one of the companies that a bit of a side note that spun who we spun out of this, this building here inside here is a company called serenity spelled psi r e n i t y and it’s a health and wellness virtual health clinic. Basically what they do is we’ll have nurses go right to your door take your bloodwork and then analyze it through our homeless specialist. And and then and create homeostasis with you know, you know, just nutraceuticals and hormone therapy and then eventually we’ll be supply and other products as well. But certainly that would be Yeah,

Nick 24:58
it’s Yeah, I love that. All right, Ryan. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. Why don’t you take them out Pete tell us a little bit about where they can find us on podcast.

Pete 25:07
Well, they can find us anywhere you listen to your podcasts and talking about I Heart Radio, Apple, Amazon, Spotify, and of course the flagship cannabis We thank you guys again. Really appreciate your time there, Ryan.

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Mitch Pfeifer and Joey Brabo Special | Hempire

Mitch Pfeifer is the Founder and CEO of Respect My Region, a digital lifestyle publication and marketing agency. He’s written over 1200 articles on cannabis and music published across various websites, publications, and magazines. In a previous life, Mitch was a legacy cannabis operator who also worked in retail, sports apparel, the music industry, and real estate marketing.

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