“When you find out what’s really in it, what isn’t in it, that it’s natural and that the levels of THC are so minute, I think it’s going to continue to take off,” McCarron said.
Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson is another big advocate of CBD oil. Watson was looking for a way to treat inflammation and enhance sleep.
In the past two years, CBD companies and touring pros have formed business relationships. Functional Remedies EndoSport has more than 50 players on the tours who are using their products. At first, players were hesitant, concerned with testing positive for THC, but the company overcame those concerns.
Retired NFL players Steve Smith Sr. and Jonathan Stewart also recently partnered with the firm. “After the constant contact and injuries my body endured throughout my career in the NFL, cbdMD has been able to help me live a better quality of life during retirement,” Stewart said in a press release.
“If you’re on the PGA Tour, you better do your homework and make sure there’s nothing in it that can give you a positive test,” McCarron told ESPN in July 2019.
“It’s all about safety,” Watson said in an interview with Forbes. “I’ve got to have safety; I’ve got to (take) drug tests. I’ve got to do all of these things and to protect myself and to play competitive golf.”
CBD oil is derived from marijuana plants. Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest CBD oil usage reduces anxiety, inflammation, sleeplessness and chronic pain. CBD oil chemicals interact with the receptors for both the brain and the immune system, according to Healthline.com . The cells react to chemical signals, which lead to painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects to assist with pain-management.
It’s one of the most popular trends on tour. And, some would argue, one of its riskiest.
What spurs the players’ CBD use varies. Cited benefits include anti-inflammatory properties, anxiety relief, and improved sleep. Watson, who has been the most vocal player on the topic, says the product keeps him pain-free.
According to tour players, caddies and coaches interviewed by Golf Digest, perhaps 15 to 20 players, or more, routinely use a CBD product. Bubba Watson, Charley Hoffman, Lucas Glover and Scott Piercy are among the high-profile names with CBD-related sponsorships, along with Champions player Scott McCarron.
“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 risk.”
To this point, no player has publicly failed a tour drug test because of CBD use. And, given the samples of CBD products available at a handful of PGA Tour events this season, there’s not a back-room stigma to its use. Nevertheless, Levinson says he gets more CBD-related questions than on any other supplement.
ORLANDO — If you’re looking for a way to gauge the impact of CBD on the golf industry, consider this: A year ago there were six CBD companies at the PGA Merchandise Show. This past week at the Orange County Convention Center the number was closer to 20. Although the professional tours and the FDA have yet to endorse or regulate its use, CBD has found converts in golf.
Among the CBD companies with a large presence on the PGA Show floor was Medterra. The brand, endorsed by tour pros Charley Hoffman, Lucas Glover and Morgan Hoffmann, has a range of products from tinctures and capsules (for oral ingestion) to pain and relaxing creams (for topical application). One standout at the show was the Manuka CBD Cream ($35). Manuka Honey is a natural ingredient with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. When blended with CBD, the cream soothes and nourishes the skin.
If you’re unfamiliar with CBD, it’s short for Cannabidiol, which is a property of cannabis and known for its natural healing properties. CBD is one of the several compounds that can be extracted from the cannabis or marijuana plant. THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis is a separate compound that is not an ingredient in pure CBD products. In other words, CBD does not get you “high.” For golfers it is often used for pain management, muscle recovery, easing nerves or as a sleep aid.
Colorado Hemp Honey is another unique brand that creates natural honey from the company-owned sustainable bee farms. The CBD-infused honey products (honey sticks start at $27 for a 10-pack) are easy to ingest, and the honey masks the earthy taste many hemp products have.
Among other things, Hempcy CBD offers a unique product—a sunscreen infused with CBD to soothe skin and soften wrinkles—in addition to sun protection ($10). The Orlando-based brand has found success beyond golf in sports such as tennis and bodybuilding. The company said its blueberry/lemonade-flavored tinctures ($50) and Tee Time energy shots (12-pack for $50) were the most inquired about products at the PGA Show.