Cannabidiol products have surged in popularity over the past few years, including into golf. Commonly referred to as "CBD," it is a property extracted from cannabis or marijuana plants known for its healing powers, said to reduce anxiety, inflammation, sleeplessness and chronic pain.
They are also items of debate. Not only is there a lack of medical evidence on CBD's effectiveness, the industry is relatively unregulated. Andy Levinson, executive director of the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program, told Golf Digest's Brittany Romano that his department has seen an increase of inquiries regarding its legality on the PGA Tour.
"CBD in its pure form is not prohibited," Levinson told Golf Digest. "But the use of CBD in any of its currently available forms would be at a player's own risk." According to the advocacy group Marijuana Moment, the PGA Tour issued a warning to its players in early April that “CBD products (like all supplements) pose a risk to athletes because they have limited government regulation and may contain THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis that is prohibited.”
Nevertheless, a number of players, including Scott Piercy and Champions member Scott McCarron, have endorsed or invested in CBD-related companies. On Wednesday, Bubba Watson became the highest-profile player to officially sign with a CBD company, announcing an endorsement with cbdMD.
“I’ve personally felt the benefits of cbdMD’s products,” said Watson in a statement. “cbdMD is the safest on the market and I am proud to partner with them to help millions feel better.”
As part of the multi-year agreement, Watson will wear the cbdMD logo on both sides of his headwear at all PGA Tour events, starting at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. The deal also includes a wide range of additional, integrated marketing opportunities to promote the cbdMD brand.
cbdMD claims its products are 100% organic, USA grown, non-GMO, gluten free and vegan, with no traces of THC. Some of its more popular offerings are CBD oil, tinctures, gummies, and bath bombs.
“By joining forces with one of the biggest names in the sport, we’re excited to see how the golf community embraces the newfound popularity of CBD,” said Caryn Dunayer, president of cbdMD. “We’re looking forward to the continued success of Bubba, while educating the public on the many benefits of hemp-derived CBD.”