CBD is raising its game, coming to the PGA Tour on the visor of a two-time Masters winner.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical found in hemp and marijuana and can relieve pain, lessen anxiety and reduce inflammation. It is sold in lotions, serums and candies, among other products, and does not produce a high because it does not contain THC. Athletes are increasingly turning to CBD and to medical marijuana rather than taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, which can cause kidney damage and other health problems with prolonged use. With golfers experiencing longer careers (Tiger Woods is 43, Phil Mickelson turns 49 in June), Watson, 40, believes CBD can extend his career and improve his quality of life.
“I see Phil Mickelson winning at 48, so I’ve got at least eight more years of having a shot of winning some tournaments,” Watson told CNN. “So for me it was about how I create longevity in the game of golf and spending time with my kids running around. CBD was easily a fit for me.”
Although the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its banned-substances list, the PGA Tour warned players last month that “there is no guarantee a supplement contains what is listed on the label, therefore there is a risk that a supplement may contain a prohibited substance.”
“I’ve had doctors involved to do my research and see what companies out there make a product that’s safe for me and safe for my family. It was a no brainer,” Watson told CNN. “There’s no bad stuff in it, there are no chemicals in there that will mess you up or make you fail a drugs test. There are certain companies we trust.”
The Tour reminded golfers in a memo that CBD is risky. “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,” the Tour’s memo states (according to Golf.com). “The FDA, DEA, and private organizations including Major League Baseball (MLB), have conducted tests on CBD and ‘THC-free’ products only to find significant levels of psychoactive (and prohibited) THC or falsely labeled amounts of CBD.
“Taking a poorly labeled supplement that is contaminated with a prohibited substance is NOT a defense to a violation of the Program. Therefore, we strongly recommend that if players choose to use supplements, they only use those that are NSF Certified for Sport.”