Earlier today, the ROKiT Venturi Racing Formula E team announced a new partnership with Craft 1861, a New Mexico-based CBD company. This is the first CBD sponsorship for the electric series, and it signals a growing shift towards similar partnerships in the future for all racing series.
CBD means cannabidiol, which is the second most common active ingredient in marijuana, behind THC. THC is the component that creates the psychoactive “high” marijuana – but CBD interacts with brain receptors to soothe anxiety, depression, and body aches without creating the same dazed effect.
Additionally, CBD can also be extracted from hemp, which is why you can often find legal CBD in areas that otherwise prohibit the sale and use of marijuana.
Craft 1861 then creates a line of CBD-infused products that includes everything from oral sprays to face creams, all designed to aid relaxation and recovery – and all of which are THC-free.. Founder Eric Lujan created the brand in part to ease the burden of physical exertion and travel exhaustion experienced by athletes.
“What stood out for us with Venturi is the commitment to social and environmental change and sustainability – using the motorsport platform to do good in the world,” Lujan said in a recent interview with Jalopnik. “We were like, it’s an organization that shares the same philosophy.”
Lujan went on to describe that his company helps develop recovery plans for all Venturi crew members using Craft 1861 products as a way to combat things like jet lag and the physical, mental and emotional strain that occur during a race weekend.
“Our main areas of focus as a company are around stress, pain and sleep,” Lujan said. “If we look at a very competitive program like Venturi, we look at the whole organization. So we don’t just look at the drivers, we look at everyone who is part of the crew and everyone who makes it possible to get on the track. We examine how we elevate human performance [within that].”
At this time, any the company’s CBD products must undergo rigorous testing to ensure a legal low level of THC before that company can put its name on a racing car. Craft 1861’s process, however, was a little easier this time around, since the company had already gone through this verification when it sponsored Carlin in the 2019 Indianapolis 500.
“It was a bit easier this time because we had already shifted gears,” said Lujan. “For us, it was more about education.”
In the same interview with Jalopnik, tTeam principal Jerome D’Ambrosio emphasized that the partnership with Craft 1861 aligns well with the team’s goals of promoting diversity and well-being within Venturi – which he has qualified as “valid, whether in the engineering department, the business department, the communications department.
“Every day we wake up and think, ‘How can we get better?'” he added. “And it’s not just about track results. It’s only part of the business.
Venturi’s new partnership with Craft 1861 also signals a bigger shift in the global sponsorship landscape in motorsport as a whole. Where tobacco sponsors once ruled, we are now entering the world of cryptocurrency and CBD.
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