• Reveal Cannabis

Why Should Athletes Use Cannabis?

Updated: Nov 9


cbd in sports, should athletes use cannabis? Why do athletes use CBD

*Note: I know many people would rather read a blog than listen to or watch a video. That's why I provide this rough transcript of our conversation, which is not meant to be a perfectly edited blog post. Thanks for your understanding (and not blasting me in the comments.)

What you will learn:
  • Who is Angelina Blessed? Her "Coming to Cannabis" Story

  • The Blessed Chocolate Bar is NOT Your Regular Cannabis Chocolate Bar

  • What Does The Blessed Chocolate Bar Tastes Like (TL:DR - It's delish!)

  • What Can you Do With Cannabis Chocolate (Besides Just Eat It?)

  • Why Should Athletes Use Cannabis?

  • Who Are Some Other Athletes Who Are Open About Their Cannabis Use?

  • What Should Athletes Know About Using Cannabis?

  • Why Is Rest And Recovery So Important?

  • Cannabis for Concussions

  • What's Next For Blessed Edibles and Angelina?

  • The Cannabis Community is Much Different than Corporate Cannabis

  • The Difference Between Producers Like Blessed Edibles and Some of the Big Players

Andrea Meharg: Welcome back to another video at revealcannabis.com. My name is Andrea Meharg and I'm a Certified Cannabis Coach and Educator, and I have been waiting a long time for this interview with Angelina Blessed. You're gonna learn so much in this interview from how she views cannabis as an athlete to her role coming from a legacy producer of cannabis edibles to help people who were sick all the way into the Canadian legal market, which is extremely hard to do. And I am most excited for this interview, if I'm gonna be totally honest, because you're gonna find out later that she makes these beautiful chocolate bars. So I'm gonna sit back and ask her all these questions that I wanna know the answer to, and I'm gonna eat chocolate and it's gonna be the greatest interview of my life. So I'm gonna open it right now. If you don't know how to open legal cannabis edibles, you need like a Hacksaw or a grinder or scissors that's the best way. And while I'm like munching away, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your story of coming to cannabis? Like, how did you find yourself as a cannabis consumer and then a million more questions after that.


Who is Angelina Blessed? Her "Coming to Cannabis" Story

cbd in sports, should athletes use cannabis? Why do athletes use CBD

Angelina Blessed: Amazing, please dig in. Andrea. Thank you so much for having me such an honor to be here. Look at that pretty thing.


Andrea Meharg: So pretty.


Angelina Blessed: My name is Angelina Blessed. I am the founder of Blessed Edibles. I am a professional Muay Thai fighter turned, uh, cannabis brand founder, The kind of role that I never kind of thought I would find myself in.


So I was an athlete who was taking super, super good care of herself under strict, uh, diet regulations. And, uh, Just really a very kind of living, a healthy athletic lifestyle, living on chicken and spinach pretty much. And I was training and living life and grinding as hard as humanly possible. And it just kind of got to me after a bunch of years, every winter training in Thailand, I would see all these Muay Thai fighters smoking cannabis and, uh, getting back into the ring and training and I was filled with what I thought that stigma was all about. And then after enough concussions and after a couple of big professional fights, I, uh, I couldn't take the pain anymore. So I just really needed an outlet when all the other doctors were just offering me opiates. And that was definitely a road that I did not wanna take.


So after, um, after consuming some cannabis, uh, things just kind of rolled with it. And so a little bit of cannabis led to a little bit of sleep and then realizing, I didn't want to smoke cuz I had very sensitive lungs. So I went to, uh, starting to make butters and oils, which led to a cookie. Uh, and from there that got onto a Vice documentary where I got to, uh, beat up Damien Abraham at Vice and I put 'em in the ring and then I took them outta the ring and then I fed up a bunch of cookies.


So that was uh, and first, uh, the first kind of thing that happened and it, so it was all the, the, uh, edibles makers out of, uh, out of Toronto. And so everyone was wearing Bella lavas and having their voice over it. And then there was just me being like, hi everybody, I'm Angelina. So from there, we, uh, we started, uh, at 2016, we were in the green market and, uh, selling edibles, uh, that started with, uh, a dear friend of mine, Jackie Power, passing away from cancer and, seeing how awful the world could be when it comes to cannabis and, uh, finding the proper medication and finding the right support. So, um, you know, I'd been kicked out of St. Mike's Hospital for, for cannabis edibles. And, uh, I think the difference was we just wanted to kind of show people how it could help.


And, uh, and we just started to figure out ways and help people answer some of the questions that they had about it. So for us, it was never about getting really high or anything like that. It was just about trying to find a bit of peace and, um, and then, uh, or 2017 rolled around with legalization.

So I took everything that I had off of the market. I found the, uh, the right partner in 2018, and then, you know, 2020 hit. So it was a couple more years until we could actually do anything. So, you know, I think it was start to finish seven and a half years later that I was able to get my chocolate bars onto the legal market through the OCS, uh, in Ontario.


And, uh, and now we're, we're four months past that. So it's, uh, it's been, it's been an amazing journey so far, so.


The Blessed Chocolate Bar is NOT Your Regular Cannabis Chocolate Bar


Andrea Meharg: And delicious. But we need to talk about this, cuz this is not a regular cannabis chocolate bar. Can you talk about what this is.


Angelina Blessed: I, um, I'm just, I'm just so lucky to have the coolest friends in the planet. So if you know anything about a chocolate chocolate in Toronto or chocolate through north America, there's an amazing guy named Brandon Olson. So he is the, he is a top chef. He, um, he was, uh, he owned, uh, CXBO, so it's chocolate by Brandon Olson.


So he just has this super, he did all the disco ball eggs. I don't know if you ever saw those in Kensington market. So he just did this really special thing, and we just did this really special thing together throughout the legacy days. And, uh, it was pretty top secret back then. And now we can talk about it, but he fortunate enough to be able to share a recipe with him and be able to, uh, co-formulate together. And, um, it is a very special chocolate. It was nothing like that was on the market. And, um, yeah, it is vegan, it is gluten free, it is hand painted. Um, the colors to me represent the colors of the gold of the temples of Thailand and the, um, the, uh, the other orangeish color is the, uh, the monks robe.


So it was just very special to my heart for the time that I spent there and, uh, and a really cool calming feeling. So, uh, for me, I wanted to put as much into it as possible. Uh, the legacy bar was 120 milligrams of THC and 60 milligrams of CBD still an absolute reasonable dosage per square, cuz we're all adults and we should be able to moderate ourselves and our own usage.


The new bar I went with, uh, with a hundred milligrams of CBD and the, uh, allowed 10 milligrams of THC. So still I find it very, very relaxing.


What Does The Blesssed Chocolate Bar Tastes Like (TL:DR - It's delish!)


Andrea Meharg: Let's talk about that for a second .One, it doesn't taste like a regular chocolate bar. Sometimes people, when they come to cannabis as medicine and they're looking to get healing or relief or to just feel better, they don't wanna be eating like, I don't know a Mars bar, but this is dark chocolate, it's got some mint. It's got sea salt. It's a little tiny bit crunchy. Like, is that the cacao nibs?


Angelina Blessed: That's the cacoa nibs yes. And then there's sea salt on it as well. Right. So it's just, you know, it's just those little differences in texture. And, um, you know, we added a lot of mint because we thought that the cannabis flavor was gonna be really strong. Now for myself, I really like the cannabis flavor, but I can't even taste anything weedy in it at all. Um, I was kind of hoping for that. Now. I really liked the original chocolate bar because he did have that cannabis flavor. Um, That was the whole process though. Like we did all the research and development with Val and, uh, but the way that legality goes, we were able to pass, uh, samples back and forth as we, uh, as worked together to get them, to get it as close to what we did as possible. I never got to taste a final product until I went into the store. I went into Mah Cannabis and, uh, and purchase it myself to take it around back, open it up, cry some tears and hope that it was proper.


Right. It was a cool, scary process, but, um,


Andrea Meharg: That was bonkers. When you told me that before that, because you're touching such a dangerous plant that has the potential to kill billions, that you weren't able to touch your own extremely moderately dosed cannabis chocolate. So what she was talking about earlier, if you have a cannabis chocolate bar and it, what did it have? 120 THC for the whole bar?


Angelina Blessed: 120 milligrams of THC and 60 of CBD.


Andrea Meharg: So that's perfect. You break off one square and you have about 12 milligrams of THC and six milligrams of CBD. And that for lots of people is like the right dose. Even maybe half of that is the right dose. But because we are only allowed to have 10 milligrams maximum in our edibles here in Canada, you producers have to like work around this and have to be creative.


I was really surprised the first time I had it, um, about just how like mellow and good, I felt cuz a hundred milligrams of CBD is more than most people would take in a dose, but I wanted the 10 milligrams of THC. So I was like, bring it on. . Um, but yeah, I had such a great day that day and I was working and I was gardening, I did like all the things, but it was for me, a new dose. I don't usually do like a 10 to one ratio of CBD to THC and it was excellent. So, and I also did not, I don't find it taste like weed at all, and I'm super sensitive to the taste of cannabis and would not have liked it if I could taste cannabis in there.

I just think it's the greatest thing. So, thanks for making it.


What Can you Do With Cannabis Chocolate (Besides Just Eat It?)


Angelina Blessed: Awesome. I'm so glad people are really enjoying it. And that's really, that's really amazing. Like people are taking squares and throwing it into their coffee. You know, you can melt it down with some more milk, make yourself a hot chocolate, like any kind of way people are throwing them into smoothies. It's just, you know, like I I'm really glad that people are getting it and I, I wish people could eat more CBD. It shouldn't be as expensive as, as it is, you know, it shouldn't be the same cost, but. I, you know, I feel that if the world could all eat a little more CBD, we'd all be just, I think it would be a much better place, you know?


Andrea Meharg: A hundred percent, if you could just like walk down the street and be like, here's a piece for you and here's a piece for you. We'd all be a little bit happier.

cbd in sports, should athletes use cannabis? Why do athletes use CBD

Why Should Althetes Use Cannabis?


Andrea Meharg: Can you talk to me more about the athlete piece for me? You're a really stigma busting person for me in loads of different ways when you're not just an athlete, like she casually talks about how she's a Muay Thai fighter, but you're like world renowned Muay Thai fighter and have been doing in training for years.


And I've met you in person and holy shit, this woman is in shape. Like you have really pushed your body to the limit for the course of years and years. And I wonder about that transition from feeling stigmatized about cannabis use as an athlete and then smoking some and realizing like, holy shit, this actually does work.


And what does that look like for you? Why should athletes be consuming cannabis?


Angelina Blessed: It's been, um, it's been a really kind of crazy process because like, as it, as I said, as I started, I was just like, like, what are those guys doing? I don't believe, like, why are they doing that? And I didn't, I didn't understand it at all. I thought it was really going to, uh, like be an impairment. I just thought it would really kind of slow down the process, but I didn't, I didn't realize, uh, I actually became such a better athlete using cannabis. So, uh, for the longest time I was using it for recovery. Uh, because of concussions and just like at night, but then after a really bad concussion where I had to kind of stop all activity, um, I started using it during the day I'm like, okay, well, I, I can't go to work.


I'm not doing anything right now. So, you know, I would, you know, I would smoke a little or consume a little and then I would go in shadow box and then it became less about, uh, physicality and much more about mental health. Then I looked around the Muay Thai gym and I'm like, no, everybody that's here isn't here to be in shape. You know, it's about, um, self care. It's about, um, mental health. It's about, you know, all I'm like all of the people in here are just as squirrly as I am. So I was just kind of looking around being like, no, if I'm not training my mental health is not doing great. So it became the realization of cannabis and movement and how those things can help so much.


So like with the crash to the pandemic and people not knowing what to do with themselves, For me just became about like every single day, making sure I was getting up, moving my body. Uh, if it was Muay Thai, if it was dancing, if it was like power walking. If it was running around, I like basketball. I found that every time I moved, I just felt better.


It was great to be a professional athlete. I got to fight for over 15 years and, uh, you know, see a lot of countries and stuff like that, but it was for now. and where we are at in the world. I just think that me being able to tell people just like, "yo get a skipping rope and put your headphones on and smoke a little weed."

And for me, it's just a bit of a, I don't wanna call it an escape because it's not really about escapism, but I just find that it paints a little bit better picture of the world.


Andrea Meharg: That's a totally different story to feel that cannabis is working for you, that it's supporting both your physical and your mental health to reap all the benefits, but it's a big step to, to step out in the athlete world. Are you not an anomaly among athletes that you're like, Hey, I believe cannabis is medicine and can, and should be part of your life as an athlete. I don't hear that a lot. I have a book here called. The Athletes Guide to CBD. And when I take my books out, out and about people gravitate to this one, because it feels like what, like that can't be a thing. So what's it been like to bust that stigma? What's been the pushback?


Angelina Blessed: It's it's a bit of a package deal. I think the old stigma, especially as fighters, is that we have to go, go, go, go. Um, what I had to kind of bust my head into learn was that it was actually the steps back and the relaxation and the off days and the healing.


That was actually what propelled me forward more as an athlete. So learning that rest is just as important. Um,

cbd in sports, should athletes use cannabis? Why do athletes use CBD

Who Are Some Other Athletes Who Are Open About Their Cannabis Use?


Angelina Blessed: But there are, you know, um, I think you have to give, uh, praise and thanks to the athletes that came before us. Like the Ricky Williams. Like he got kicked out of the NFL, had to come to the CFO, um, you know, the Ross Rebagliati's, uh, and the Elias Theodorou's, uh, rest in peace. He is like, he is the cannabis athlete, right?


He was the one that was able to, um, to change things for us. And I hope that when the legality of CBD and THC gets taken off of all of sports things, that it does become the Elias Rule or the Elias Law. Because, you know, he was as stigma busting as they kind of came as far as athletes. Um, I, I I'd love to take all the credit for it, but he was as silly as they came.


So that he did all of those things is just incredible. But I think that, uh, people will really need to see how far we can get using, uh, CBD and THC as, as just as healing benefits. And, you know, I, I haven't taken an Advil and I don't know how long, because things like that. Um, as we learn to regulate our whole bodies and systems, you know, we will, we'll be able to figure that out in, in way, better ways than, than a pain killer or, you know, or pushing through.


What Should Athletes Know About Using Cannabis?


Andrea Meharg: What can you tell an athlete who's new to using CBD about how it might help them?


Angelina Blessed: Um, CBD for me is, uh, I use it as an anti-inflammatory. So say if you are a fighter of any sort and you know, that you will be having to spar, um, the benefits on your brain for preemptively stopping the damage that could happen.


So just taking it, taking it just for that, just for that alone would be an amazing thing. Just as you said, Andrea, the, the level of calm that comes from you and, and that is, that is a beautiful thing as well. Now for myself, I don't like to use CBD to train. I use it strictly as a recovery thing.


I'm very squirrely minded. I'm very ADHD. So, um, I do like the little bit of the push that a THC product could give me for training. Um, now I know this should be strictly about CBD.


Why Is Rest And Recovery So Important?


Angelina Blessed: But I think, um, sensory deprivation in an epsom salt bath, um, at place like Float Toronto is integral to healing and to slowing the body just for a second. Like the way that the world moves, that you can hear the street cars going by, the lights are flashing, whatever it just doesn't allow your brain, the ability to stop. So, you know, even if we're stopping, we're sitting here scrolling, even me sitting here there's pressure on my feet. So getting into a sensory deprivation tank is adding a thousand pounds of epsom salt into your life. It is magnesium therapy. It's the closest thing to going back to the womb.


So that added with CBD added with a little bit of THC is just, um, so regenerative and so beneficial. So it's just about giving yourself a little bit of that break. Um, I feel that with the pandemic, we're all kind of showing like all the stuff, all the stuff that we were so busily trying to hide is very evident on everybody.

So especially if you didn't have the time or the patience to kind of do your own work and healing through the pandemic. So being able to give yourself a little break, a little pause, I think is the most beneficial. So where before I feel that we would all try to push through.


Andrea Meharg: I gotta say, I, I didn't expect, like, I didn't expect this from you. I can hear you saying like loud and clear, like rest take time. Like train hard, but take time also to take care of your mental health and making sure that you're okay, and that you're ready to go. Do you feel like some of that um, attitude is new because of cannabis or is this post cannabis or is this just something that you're learning? Cuz we're all getting older.


Angelina Blessed: Yeah. A bit of the rest came with age because I would try to take a day off here and there. And my like my mental, like I, I could mentally push through, but my body started physically breaking down. So even though I mentally wanted to keep going, like, it's like, no, no, oh no.


Take a moment. And that's when the sensory deprivation and all of that really, um, made a difference. But, um, yeah, like I would love to tell all new athletes like that the rest and the recovery days are just important as the training. Cuz I see everybody over trains, everybody over pushes.

Everybody tries to do too much. So I think you could from like a world perspective and from like an athlete perspective and.


Andrea Meharg: I gotta say overtraining is not my particular problem in life necessarily. So, um, maybe I should like strive for overtraining and land somewhere in the middle.


Angelina Blessed: Do you push yourself every day? Do you have any sort of a routine that you do or want to achieve?


Andrea Meharg: It's funny because I think about this a lot too. I had an unexpected vacation this summer where I thought I was gonna be able to work the that whole vacation. And it turned out that I wasn't going to be able to, and I needed that break significantly more than I knew, and I knew I needed a break.

And for me that was really eye-opening about just how much more productive I could be if I actually turned off for a little bit. I'm just starting to learn, you know, like I'm, I'm 45. So I'm finally figuring out some of this adult stuff now

cbd in sports, should athletes use cannabis? Why do athletes use CBD

Cannabis for Concussions


Andrea Meharg: Can we talk about concussions for a little bit?


Angelina Blessed: For sure.


Andrea Meharg: You brought that up right at the very beginning. In fact, there are, um, physicians who are saying to football players, fighters, hockey players, et cetera, consider taking cannabis before you step into the hockey rink or, you know, the football field exactly for that, for the neuroprotective benefits that CBD in particular may offer. So. if you get a head trauma or a head injury that your, recovery is going to be better, or the injury won't be as grave. It's interesting to me that you like that was your foray.

I had enough concussion, so I was like, I'm gonna try cannabis.


Angelina Blessed: I had a doctor refer to it as a bit of an as CBD as a bit of an airbag, right? Like an airbag brain. I'm not a doctor and I, but, um, the, uh, yeah, the neuroprotective benefits it's just, what was always kind of pushed on me.


and I always did find that it just kind of made my body feel a little bit better. And just with so many different CBDs on the market, you don't really know which, what you're getting. When it comes from isolate, it's, you know, it's been isolated, so it's gonna be only one compound. I feel like you're taking a big chance with it, but, you know, I just, for myself, You can feel it.


You can feel it when you have a couple squares at the chocolate, you know, it is, it is, uh, it is calming the body. It is calming the mind. It is a bit of that airbag where it's just, it's a bit of that hug before you go and do some damage. So like night before, like to take it before I sleep and then I would wake up and then I would go and train.


And I know it's in, it's in there, but not calming me enough because I do wake up and throw coffee and sativa strains at myself and stir myself up and then go, you know, I'm not gonna throw CBD on top of that, but I will take it like the night before and then post to recover.


What's Next For Blessed Edibles and Angelina?


Andrea Meharg: All right. Can you tell me what's up for you next in, you know, the rest of 2022 and beyond.


Angelina Blessed: Um, well, we have, uh, through Blessed, been working on some, uh, new SKUs which has been, uh, very exciting, but I've been mostly been doing a lot of, uh, research and development with other products and input materials, which has been extremely fun. I've also in the last, uh, Four months been learning to make hash.

So that has been, uh, through my, with my partner, Joe. So, that's been fun and I'm sure we're gonna be doing a lot of that as harvest season soon approaches.


Andrea Meharg: That's right. Actually, you should never ask anybody who grows cannabis like what's coming up for you in October, cuz it's always like trimming. That's all. That's the only thing that I can be doing.


If you haven't already watched the interview that I did with Joe Davis, I'll link it down below. This is Angelina's partner and it was a fascinating interview as well. I would love to be around the dinner table with you two, just chatting cannabis one night. It must be super interesting.


AAngelina Blessed: I'm very lucky to have found someone like him. So it's been, uh, our, um, our research and development has just been hilarious and fun and incredible. And we both, uh, we both come to the table with a lot of really cool ideas, so I'm sure you're gonna see a lot of stuff from us coming soon.


We make some really nice hash hash things together that is just, um, it's just, it's the kind of like THC and CBD, but it's just all the ways that you wanna feel. Remember when you smoked hash and when you were like in, you know, in high school, like that's, I think that's what people expected to get to, but that's where we can't get to with distillate.


Right. But I think where I think it comes from hash. That kind of beauty. That's been really fun cuz it's for me relaxation. It is about the full spectrum. It is about the body healing. And I, I do feel that way from hash.

cbd in sports, should athletes use cannabis? Why do athletes use CBD

The Cannabis Community is Much Different than Corporate Cannabis


Andrea Meharg: If you were the queen of the cannabis world, what problem would you change?


Angelina Blessed: Um, for me, cannabis is supposed to be about community. And for me, anybody that came from the legacy market, weren't there be because they were a bunch of white guys in suits who wanted to make money. These were all people who had an understanding or a love or a need to figure out cannabis, because we were all there to either regulate to fight pain, to help somebody that had cancer.


So these were all people who were not, you. MBAs. We were not, you know, like we were just here to try to spread love and help people. So, um, with the death, with Eli's death, um, it was a real eye opener. You know, I was a medical patient first. I think that that's, I think that's the thing is that we have to remember that we wouldn't have like cannabis never would've been legalized. Cannabis would've never been legalized if it weren't for the medical patients. So now that it's legalized and every, you know, every Brad and Chad can suck on a disty vape pen, you know, I think we've forgotten about the people that really needed the medicine the most. So, um, that to me should, uh, be priority.


I think supporting medical should be priority. Things like Hybrid Farms, uh, things like Mendo Medical. I think companies like that, organizations like that are companies that we should support because they didn't forget. And, you know, with Elias passing, I think that needs to remain relevant and remain, uh, a bit of a focus and less about, you know, hunting the big whales of the cannabis industry and just remembering where we came from.


Andrea Meharg: A lot of people look to Canada as a world leader in legalization, and we have done a lot of things, right. But it would be such a stretch to take, to say that we took care of the people who fought and gave up and had family implications. And in some cases are in jail or have lost lives in order for us to be sitting around and talking about, you know, disty vape pens and stuff like that.


Many of the big players in the Canadian cannabis space give two hoots about the end user. They really don't. It's all about, um, it's all about money. It seems to me from just listening in on the sidelines, that it's extremely hard for someone like you, who was just trying to help your family, your friends, your, the, your, your fellow athletes.


To take it from that type of business model all the way into the legal system. And you're doing well at it. And you produce like a beautiful product that works really well, tastes great. So you're a real success story in this community driven cannabis space. And I think it behooves all of us as cannabis consumers to look into who is producing what I am consuming, what are their values? Where did they come from? And in some cases that might be like big cannabis and that's totally fine. But if you really care about the the cannabis legalization path and about who's gonna survive this kind of like big corporate explosion that is slowly starting implode back on itself, then spend your dollars on products like, like Blessed Edibles and other local products or small, women owned, however you wanna get into this industry, wherever your lens is, spend your money there.


The Difference Between Producers Like Blessed Edibles and Some of the Big Players


Angelina Blessed: It's about asking questions. It's about knowing where your product comes from. Like we walked into a store the other day and asked for a pre-roll we wanted an infused pre-roll now. So we got it. And we asked for no botanical terpenes. So we got it. Read the package, it had botanical terpenes We cut the, we cut the joint open. The level of flower that was in, it was super gross, super gross, had a stem like, and then it was like, it had dist distillate on it.


So it was like a hemp paper, distillate sprayed, and then you weighed the weed and you weighed the paper and the paper weighed more than the weed. So what are, what are we paying for and what are we consuming? And then to me, nobody loves that product. Nobody asked for that product. So I like trying to put money back into the people's hands who love the product, who can answer the questions about the product who, you know, the product can help. Like legacy is done and I hope there is space. I hope there is space for the Blesseds and the Fritz's and the Hash Corporations in the world, because these are people that truly love their products and truly love what they do.


Andrea Meharg: So if you do not wanna go by a super crappy infused, pre-roll go pick yourself up one of these beautiful babies and some scissors so that you can get into it and keep your eye on Angelina and everything that Blessed Edibles has coming up. I'll link to everything we talked about down below in the description so that you can go and check her out and write to her about how awesome everything tastes.


And I just wanna thank you again so much for coming on and giving us your time and talking to us about all these things that are so important.


Angelina Blessed: No. Thank you. Thank you so much for what you do, Andrew. It's super important. Super happy to be here.


Andrea Meharg: All right, we'll see you on the next video.


Angelina Blessed: We'll see you soon.

cbd in sports, should athletes use cannabis? Why do athletes use CBD

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