CannaLifestyle – Quincy Taylor, Bodybuilder

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Quincy Taylor

Ex-BodyBuilder

Feature: Quincy Taylor (Twitter: @QualityInMass / Facebook: /quincy.taylor.169067)

Retired Professional BodyBuilder + Active Cannabis Advocate

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Quincy Taylor has always been a competitor at heart, and as such he knew that he had to treat his body with respect. When he was first prescribed prescription medication for injuries he incurred from bodybuilding competition, he knew he wouldn’t be able to stay at the top of his game and follow his passion if he took them. Instead, he decided to explore the benefits of cannabis.

Choosing this path positively changed his life in ways he couldn’t have ever imagined, and helped him to become the person he is today. I got the chance to catch up with Quincy and learn more about his journey. We talked about his bodybuilding career and how cannabis provided him with a healthier alternative to what was being prescribed to athletes at the time. He also shared his perspective on how cannabis is helping to re-shape the world, and his hopes for how it will continue to impact the future.

Don’t be fooled by the big bulky bodybuilder physique. This man is loving, joyful, thoughtful, insightful and straightforward.   I was really excited to hear his insight as a professional bodybuilder who integrated cannabis into his intense lifestyle, and Quincy didn’t disappoint.

Here is what Quincy had to say…

Quincy Taylor

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CM: I was excited to hear that you would be doing a feature with Cannabis Magazine! Your story gives us insight into parts of the cannabis lifestyle that we don’t often get to hear about. Before we get into that though, I’d like our readers to hear more about how you got your start. Will you tell us what inspired you to go into bodybuilding?

Quincy Taylor: Of course! One of my uncles – my youngest uncle, he always worked out. I saw him and that made me want to do it. Plus watching too much television – watching Steve Reeve’s movie’s. Steve Reeves was this guy during the ‘50s who made these Hercules movies! And then The Incredible Hulk came out on television. I saw that!

the original incredible hulk

One of Quincy’s Childhood Heroes – The Incredible Hulk

[CM Note: The Incredible Hulk TV Series starred Lou Ferrigno – an actor and fitness trainer that was inspired by Steve Reeves. It ran from 1978 to 1982.]

 

CM: So your bodybuilding career was inspired by your childhood heroes?

Quincy Taylor: Yeah! I think when I was about twelve I got my first set of weights for Christmas. And then every year after that my mom would get me weights for my birthday, Christmas – every holiday! That was the only thing I really did [lift weights], so I spent a lot of time in my room working out on my own, by myself, and just reading books.

 

CM: When did you start to get really serious about bodybuilding?

Quincy Taylor: One summer I really trained. I had a lot of anger – major anger issues, like most teenage boys do. Especially when you grow up in Vegas and there really isn’t anything to do.

That summer I had a real bad incident with one of my family members. We got into a really big fight and I was just angry all the time, so I started working out with the weights. I stuck to it for a whole three months out of school, and when I went back the response was kind of like, “What have you been doing?!”

 

CM: I’m sure it was exciting to see that people were recognizing all the work you put in. Do you think it played a part in motivating you to get into bodybuilding?

Quincy Taylor: Oh, yeah! That just threw gasoline on me! I was 12 or 13 and by that time. I just kept going. Eventually – I think when I was 13 or 14 – my mom said I got stuck on weights. But my ego was bigger than my muscles really were.(laughter)  

 

CM: Oh man I can imagine that!  A bulked up pre-teen thinking he’s a badass.  (laughter)  What do you mean by getting stuck on weights?  Like you got stuck under them?!

Quincy Taylor: Lifting can be dangerous – people died from lifting weights by themselves. I vividly remember having too much weight on a bench press and getting stuck under it. My mom had to go next door to get one of the neighbors to come over and help get it off me.

After that she just was like, “You’re done. You can’t do this at home anymore.”

 

CM: I bet she must have been super worried.  So where did you  start going to lift?

Quincy Taylor: She sent me to this gym called George Eiferman’s Gym – right off Maryland Parkway. George Eiferman was a Mr. Universe candidate from the ‘50s. He actually knew Steve Reeves – got me a picture of Steve Reeves! When I went in there, I actually saw other pro bodybuilders in there training. For me, that was the only thing I really needed to see. It was kind of like a done deal.

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bodybuilding weights

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CM: That must have been inspiring!

Quincy Taylor: Yeah. Then my football coach would come and pick us up at 11 o’clock at night during football season and take us years later, so I just made that my permanent place. I lifted in Eiferman’s gym for many, many years. I met a lot of people there. That just became my thing, and I never stopped.

 

CM: Were you ever tempted to quit?

Quincy Taylor: You can’t. If you’re really dedicated to something, then you have less time to be screwing up and getting into trouble. Basically, as soon as I got out of school, if I wasn’t going to practice or doing something I would go home and work out.

When I couldn’t work out anymore, I went to the gym and I went to the rec center.

 

It just became a passion and I never stopped.

 

CM: How did your training help to pave the way for your future?

Quincy Taylor: Because of me doing that, I actually got to go to college, and leave here. I went for a scholarship off of track and field to a junior college, and then I transferred out of the junior college and went to Cal State Los Angeles.

 

CM: That’s when you first got into bodybuilding competitively right? What made you decide to start?

Quincy Taylor: One of my roommates – James Bivens, he wanted to compete in the bodybuilding show that we had at the campus.

 

CM: There was a show on your campus?

Quincy Taylor: Yeah. One of the professors – the weight training coach, he was a writer for Iron Man Magazine. He would throw a bodybuilding show, so I went – it was my first show – and I went to see my friend compete. While I was there I saw Shawn Ray – he was a really famous bodybuilder – and he was on stage guest posing. Once I saw Shawn Ray on stage, actually saw him perform, it just mesmerized me because I had never seen anything like that. That was the year I started competing in the NPC shows.

[CM Note: NPC stands for the National Physique Committee. It is the leading amateur physique organization in the world. NPC has produced 24 Olympia and 38 Arnold Classic winners.]

 

CM: That’s quite the introduction to such a competitive sport!

Quincy Taylor: Yeah! I think I did like four shows that year. From that point on I averaged at least two shows every year from the time I was 19 until the time I was 30. I never took a year off, so I was constantly out of work. Finally in 2001, I turned professional for the Mr. USA bodybuilding show right here in Las Vegas – but it didn’t come easy.

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Quincy Taylor Bodybuilder and cannabis advocate

Quincy Taylor| CannaLifestyle of a Pro Bodybuilder

You’ve got to know what you’re doing, and it took me many years to figure out my body, figure out what I was doing, and figure out how to get to where I wanted to get to.

 

CM: I know that most people in the bodybuilding community at that time didn’t consider cannabis as a viable medication option. How did you get your introduction to cannabis?

Quincy Taylor: Well I worked in juvenile hall for many years, and I would go to work, get off work, and go straight to the gym. When I was working in juvenile hall, I walked in on a room early in the morning and saw something that freaked me out. I couldn’t sleep and the doctors gave me sleeping pills because I couldn’t get what happened out of my mind.

 

I couldn’t take those sleeping pills. I couldn’t take them because you felt drunk even the next day.

 

My roommates when I was in college, they smoked a lot of grass. That’s all they did. They did it for recreation. They did it for fun. I couldn’t sleep so they told me to try some of that. They said it guaranteed I’d fall asleep. Well, I fell asleep and that did it for me.

 

CM: Did you consider yourself an avid user at that point?

Quincy Taylor: At that point, I only used it sparingly. But when I hurt my sciatica they prescribed some serious pain meds for me again. The doctor said no therapy, none of that stuff, just stop lifting weights.

[eltd_blockquote text=”I wasn’t going to stop lifting weights, so I just started consuming cannabis on the regular.” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]

[CM Note: Pain in the sciatica is caused by an injury along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, through the hips, and down the legs.]

 

CM: And it made a considerable difference?

Quincy Taylor:  Definitely. Some of the best feelings I had I think, was doing cardio, smoking some grass and putting on music. Smoking cannabis – it’s a very beautiful euphoric feeling.

 

CM: How many other bodybuilders that you knew at the time used cannabis to help progress their training?

Quincy Taylor: Back in the day, they weren’t prescribing that stuff. These guys were taking stuff for animals and injecting it. That’s part of the world. I think they were attracted to the other drugs because they just didn’t know. The education really wasn’t there.

 

CM: Why do you think they decided against trying cannabis?

Quincy Taylor: The problem with bodybuilders, some of them – not all of them, is they’ll consume anything. Once they start taking steroids at those high dosages and they’re poking themselves all the time, they start to just not care. A lot of guys would start using things like ketamine.

But cannabis was my mainstay. I stuck with that most of the time. I’d go out to parties, and these guys were consuming ecstasy, all kinds of other stuff, but the cannabis was a joke to most of them. To me it wasn’t.

 

CM: How do you think the recommendations to use drugs like ketamine affected your competitors?

Quincy Taylor: When you start moving up in the rank, you’ve got to take a little bit more drugs. And those steroids will make you more achy, more angry, more aggressive – all that stuff. You can calm yourself if you’ve got the brain, but marijuana sure cuts that edge off way faster! Not to mention help with the pain and just coping with life on some levels.

 

CM: How difficult is the transformation process and keeping on top of your training regimen? It must have been difficult to keep yourself in competition mode and still maintain a balanced life.

Quincy Taylor: Mentally, it’s not something that’s easily done – not to mention all the drugs you have to take. People think it’s just you take these drugs and you turn pro. No, there’s a whole lot more. That’s where cannabis comes in.

 

[eltd_blockquote text=”If it weren’t for pot, I wouldn’t have been able to compete for the last eight years of my career. I don’t think I would have been able to do it because I had so many injuries, achy bones, and joint tendon aching. I didn’t know that it was the CBD that was helping until I started working in the cannabis industry, but that’s exactly what was doing it.” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]

 

CM: Has the perspective of the bodybuilding community changed towards cannabis?

Quincy Taylor: Yes. Now it’s become a lot more mainstream, so I’ve got guys contacting me constantly. Guys my age, 40s, 50s, they’re all getting on board with cannabis because they found out about the information I’ve known for years.

 

 sporta and cannabis

 

CM: What’s your position on cannabis being illegal in a lot of sporting events? Do you think the people who organize these events would have a different opinion on cannabis if they talked to more athletes who benefited from its use?

Quincy Taylor Taylor: The people who control the organizations of all the sporting events? Yeah, that should not be an illegal drug. If anything should be made illegal, it should be the pain.

To main thing for me that I’ve learned is, these guys that consume all these pain injections and all this stuff, they’re popping pills like crazy. Doctors are quick to give people these pain pills, these meds – and it’s all legal – but cannabis isn’t? Something you can grow in your backyard? It’s just kind of insane [not to legalize it] when you get more benefits out of it, and there’s not going to be any long-term pain.

They’re using a lot more of the cannabis than what they’ve ever used, and I think they should be using it, because long-term you’re going to be a whole lot better off than any of these painkillers these doctors are prescribing.

 

 

 

CM: Why do you think they’ve been hesitant to make cannabis legal in sports competitions?

Quincy Taylor: To me, it seems like the pharmaceutical industry has cornered that. They want you to take the pain meds, and the pain meds are killing people by the thousands. But nobody has died from marijuana.

I think that someone’s getting paid. Somebody is making money from just giving the stuff to these cats, and people are being hurt, but no one seems to care as long as someone’s getting their pockets lined. That’s my personal opinion.

But the younger guys, they really need to be aware of it. And these organizations need to get with the times.

 

CM: I agree. I know from some of our previous conversations that you used to grow your own cannabis. Can you tell us more about that?

Quincy Taylor: I think I was in my 30’s when I bought my first house and started growing cannabis. At that time, you could always buy it, but you didn’t know what you were buying. You didn’t know what you were really getting sometimes, so it was just simpler. After a while, 90% of the stuff I consumed was stuff that I grew myself. That just made life a lot easier – made everything easier.

 

CM: Were you selling cannabis during that time period?

Quincy Taylor: No, not at the time.

 

CM: How did you transition from growing cannabis to becoming part of the cannabis industry?

Quincy Taylor: Well, I was sitting here [a few years ago]. I was watching the news – I’m at that age where I TIVo the news – and they were talking about one place in particular near me opening up as a dispensary. I just went up there and they hired me.

I’m glad they did because I wound up learning a lot more than what I thought I was going to get out of it. I’ve learned a lot from working at a dispensary. I’ve been there ever since – since day one.

 

CM: Can you tell us about how your experiences at the dispensary have impacted your views on cannabis?

Quincy Taylor: Because I work at the front, I visibly see people come in. I had one guy, the first time he came in he was angry. He was upset, and he was mean as all out. Two months later, he was smiling all the time. He was a whole different person. He was just in pain, and he needed his meds all the time. He hadn’t had them for a week – that’s why he was so angry.

 

Cannabis helps people. Why wouldn’t I want to be part of that and make life better? If you can’t do anything, try not to do harm, and if you can – help.

 

If they gave that stuff out at retirement homes, I think that would make a whole world of difference. I believe it’s already changing our society as it is.

 

CM: What changes do you see the cannabis industry making in our society?

Quincy Taylor: It’s giving people alternatives to being hooked on drugs that are going to kill them and put them in the ground. I’ve seen people become happier.

You’re going to adopt a whole lot nicer way of seeing things [when you smoke cannabis]  – and I think our society needs more of that.

It will make you dive into your own mind and have you look at things in a new way – our society needs that right now. I think it’s fueled a lot of great things in our society. I don’t think it’s done anything negative whatsoever.

 

CM: How do you think the cannabis industry will continue to progress?

Quincy Taylor: I think it’s going to get to a point where you’re going to be able to buy the stuff at a 7-Eleven. It’s going to be all over the place, the same way you can buy a can of beer. It’s already happening. Different countries are already passing laws, and I think it’s going to replace a lot of these pain pills, which is going to save lives.

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 Generic pharmaceutical drugs

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CM: Do you think the pharmaceutical companies are going to step in and become involved?

Quincy Taylor: Yes. Cannabis is not going to stay small. When the pharmaceutical companies and big businesses do get involved, because they’re forced to – because they’re losing their profit margin – it’ll make things better for people.

It’s good in some ways and bad in others, because smaller guys won’t be able to make any money – but that’s the American way.

 

CM: That’s interesting. Tell me more about what you mean by that.

Quincy Taylor: Well, big businesses come in and they’re buying people out, which is good because they’re walking away with money – that’s fine with me. It’s when they’re forcing people out [that it’s bad]. I believe the cannabis industry, in the next 10 to 15 years, it ain’t going to be owned by small people. It’s going to be taken out of the hands of the small people. The pharmaceutical companies are not going to let people in, they’re going to own the whole thing. That’s what I believe.

It’s the way things are set up. At least the product will be available to everyone, and it will take the stigma away from it.

 

CM: I know what you are saying about big pharma is totally possible and it makes my stomach turn because I love the startup nature of the industry right now. However, to your last point about the decreased stigma, I think the stigma finally being lifted will help to empower a lot of people in our society to make choices that will help to increase their quality of life.

Until then, however, the majority of people will have a lot of back road exploration to do before they figure out what works best for them. Can you tell our readers what cannabis product you find most beneficial to your lifestyle?

Quincy Taylor: I like the high CBD products – minimum THC. And I like the Harlequin pre-rolls big time. I don’t smoke as much flower because my asthma won’t allow it, but I do use the vape pen and a lot of the edibles.

[CM Note: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produces the majority of cannabis’ psychological effects, while cannabidiol (CBD) works to relieve pain without inducing a ‘high’ state of mind. Also, flower is another term for bud  – the plant material that comes directly from the cannabis plant and is smoked in most blunts and joints.]

 

CM: I enjoy using CBD products as well. Can you tell our readers about how a predominantly THC product influences you compared to a predominantly CBD product?

Quincy Taylor: For me, if it’s high THC it straight gives me anxiety. It gives me panic attack type of anxiety where I think I’m going to die.

I gave up on it [THC] but the CBD stops anxiety and reduces inflammation. When I use it, my pain goes away, and if I’m in a bad mood and I’m angry, the anger just dissipates.

[CM Note: THC has been known to cause anxiety in many cannabis users. This is caused by THC binding to the receptors in the amygdala (the part of the brain that helps to process emotions). Sometimes cannabinoids like THC overexcite these neural receptors and cause anxiety.]

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Cannabidiol (CBD) 

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CM: Do you think people will gravitate more towards CBD products, or THC products?

Quincy Taylor: I think people are hooked on this high THC stuff. When they walk into the dispensary, they go straight for the stuff that’s the highest THC content they can find.

I’ve got a feeling in the future, dabbing is going to take over, because if you want high THC, that’s where it’s at.

 

CM: What are your concerns for people who want to start off with the high THC products without any previous cannabis experience?

Quincy Taylor: Most people are not that smart when it comes to edibles and they hurt themselves. That’s the one thing that I do think needs to be addressed on a lot of levels. There has to be education on edibles consumption.

 

CM: How do you think it needs to be moderated?

Quincy Taylor: It’s like anything else. The human animal – I’d like to say – we’re a bunch of psychotic apes running around this little ball. I mean, it’s what we are.

I’ll use myself as an example. I ate a little piece of one of our candy bars. One of the girls at work told me, “Don’t consume this with any fats.” So, I thought yeah, yeah, yeah – you don’t know what you’re talking about. I ate half a pizza – next thing I know I’m walking around my block for three hours. It’s two o’clock in the morning.

People aren’t going to get it until it happens, but the problem is when I’m walking around because I’m having an episode where I consumed too much THC, I know to walk it off and keep moving because it’s all in your head. Other people, they may snap and go hurt someone, or hurt themselves. You’ve got to be careful and really educate people – especially with certain products.

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 edibles buffet

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CM: I agree. I love hearing people in the cannabis industry being vocal about these types of issues and doing their best to educate people about how to be safe.

I’ve really enjoyed interviewing you, but unfortunately this just about ends our time. Is there any advice you’d like to give Cannabis Magazine readers that may want to become part of the cannabis industry themselves?

Quincy Taylor: Yes.  One core piece of advice that seems simple but should really be taken to heart.

[eltd_blockquote text=”If you’re going to get involved in the cannabis industry, you better be doing it because you love it.” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]

 

CM: That’s solid advice Quincy! Something that a lot of people probably won’t understand the depth of until they are actually on the inside of this industry.  Thank you so much for interviewing with us today!  I always love speaking with you and hearing your view points.

Quincy Taylor: You’re very welcome.  Anytime.  Thank you.

 

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