Odom, 38, visited Sunrise Caregiver Foundation in Torrance, California, to promote Rich Soil Organics, his new marijuana company (which also shares the name of his clothing line). The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year, who helped the Los Angeles Lakers win two NBA championships, says he’s made improvements since falling unconscious at a brothel in Nevada in October 2015 due to an accidental drug overdose, which placed him in a four-day coma. The incident caused him to experience multiple heart attacks and strokes, and Odom says marijuana has been instrumental in his recovery.
“Marijuana has helped, especially with my stroke,” Odom tells PEOPLE. “With my coordination, my balance, and my overall physical attributes—all my doctors say I’m a walking miracle. I think marijuana attributed to that.”
Odom says he suffers from anxiety disorder—a common mental illness that affects more than 40 million adult Americans, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
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Anxiety can change how someone participates in daily activities, and can negatively affect how one performs in school or their job, or how they interact with loved ones, says the National Institute of Mental Health.
Treatments for anxiety include therapy and prescription medications, but some research has shown that marijuana can help with symptoms. Odom says his anxiety causes him to not think clearly in situations of importance.
“For me, having harsh anxiety, it cost me a lot, when it comes to decision making in life,” he says. “The anxiety makes me overthink, or, not think enough, and then I put myself in terrible situations in life.”
Treatments for anxiety include therapy and prescription medications, but some research has shown that marijuana can help with symptoms. Odom says he uses the OG Kush strand to help with his anxiety.
“I wanted to find a way I could help my anxiety,” he says. “OG Kush is medically tested to help anxiety. That’s why it’s one of my favorite strands.”
Seeing how marijuana has helped in over the last few years inspired Odom to sell organic marijuana that could also help others.
“Of course, I do understand marijuana is a profitable business,” he says. “I also wanted to help people. Why not help them get high, and get well?”
And profitable, it is—the U.S. marijuana industry took in nearly $9 billion in sales last year, according to CNN, and it is only expected to grow as legalization spreads from state to state.
About a year after the incident in Nevada in 2015, Odom and Kardashian finalized their divorce, officially ending their relationship of eight years. Kardashian, 33, welcomed her first child, True Thompson, on April 12, with boyfriend Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The birth came in the midsts of surprise cheating allegations stemming from a combination of videos and photos that were released in early April showing Thompson allegedly kissing one woman while a different woman groped him at the Darna hookah lounge outside of Washington D.C., and cozying up to an unidentified brunette at the PH-D Lounge New York City.
“Tristan has been consistently cheating on Khloé,” a source told PEOPLE. “He’s a serial cheater. And there will be more women to come out of the woodwork.”
A source close to Odom previously told PEOPLE Lamar was deliberating whether he should reach out to his ex-wife after Thompson’s alleged infidelities were made public.
“Lamar feels terrible for Khloe,” the source told PEOPLE. “He wasn’t sure if he should reach out and see how she’s doing. He feels for her.”
Odom declined to comment on the Kardashians when approached by PEOPLE.
According to a report from TMZ Sports, at 38-years of age, Odom is considering a return to professional basketball—just not in America. The former NBA champion told the news outlet he is hoping to land a contact overseas, almost five years since he last appeared in an NBA game.
While eating an assortment of candy (as is his trademark), Odom tells PEOPLE the name of his company, “Rich Soil,” is meant to signify growth. For as far as he has come in his recovery today, Odom, himself, may symbolize that as well.
- With reporting from KAREN MIZOGUCHI, AILI NAHAS, and MELODY CHIU