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  • Emily Drayton, Staff Writer

Liz Carmouche: CBD Champion is MMA Champion

I’m sure everyone here has a favorite female mixed martial arts fighter, right? Or used to. But now that Ronda Rousey has retired and Holly Holm has lost a few times, who do you love?

Here’s a new target for your pugilistic ardor: Liz Carmouche.

Known as the GirlRilla, Carmouche now trains with Team Hurricane Awesome out of San Diego, and at 36 years old… after 24 professional bouts … she is finally the Bellator world champion in the flyweight division.

A few days ago, she defeated Juliana Velasquez with a 4th-round Technical Knockout at Bellator 278.

(For fight fans, there was some controversy that the fight was ended too early and that Velasquez could have escaped at the end but the ref was bad … Tell you what… watch the video: Carmouche was on top, had both of Velasquez’ arms pinned, and was raining elbows into her forehead. Velasquez had been doing well but Carmouche reversed her and at the end, Velazquez was defenseless ... The ref saved Velasquez some serious damage.)

My hero Carmouche is a former Marine who has used CBD for years in recovery of this most brutal sport.

I interviewed her four years ago ("Fighting Damages Your Body...CBD Helps Me Manage" - The Liz Carmouche Interview") at the CWCBE cannabis conference in New York City – back when one of her sponsors was a company called HempMeds, which was at the time a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana, Inc.

And I can tell you, as a person Liz Carmouche is great. She was generous with her time and an open book about anything I wanted to ask. She’s rock and roll and relatable at the same time.

Which is pretty interesting since many people would consider her extreme in many ways. She’s the first openly gay professional MMA fighter. She’s a Marine Corps veteran who was a helicopter mechanic in Iraq. She used her GI Bill to jump start her training. And she uses CBD as an essential part of her training.

Like I said, totally relatable, all-American woman.

As a cannabis spokesperson she’s the real deal. She was in the vanguard of athletes who used CBD for recovery.

And as an athlete she’s completely intimidating! Put it this way: technically, she may a flyweight, which is 125 pounds max, and she’s about 5’4” but straight up, she scared the shit out of me. Solid muscle. Boulder shoulders.


The thing I found interesting about her, like many people who use cannabis medicinally, is that she started using it after studying the side effects of Pharma meds. She told me there are basically three choices to manage pain and inflammation in her sport: opiates, which will eventually kill you; or as she said in our interview, “you could take multiple 800 mg Ibuprofen multiple times a day”, which will damage your bones, your teeth, your kidneys (and basically fuck you up slowly); or you can go with CBD (by which she means whole-plant extract featuring CBD, not CBD-isolate).


And in fact, she even turned her mom on to CBD years ago. Momma Carmouche had had two knee surgeries and was in constant level-10 pain. She was afraid of becoming addicted to pain meds, so Liz shared CBD, her pain went from 10 to 2 and she could sleep through the night and recover from the surgeries.

Congratulations, Liz Carmouche! It's been a long hard road, and NOW YOU ARE THE CHAMPION!


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