The Rise of Cannabidiol (CBD) in PGA Golf

In 2018, the World AntiDoping Agency (“WADA”) removed CBD from its Prohibited List, allowing its use by PGA Tour players and Olympic athletes. Since that time, CBD use has been one of the most popular trends on tour.

According to tour players, caddies and other representatives of the sport, 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.
So what is spurring this significant development at the top of one of the world’s most important sports? It is believed CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, anxiety relief, and potential to improve sleep are the primary reasons. Watson, who has been the most vocal player on the topic, says the product keeps him pain-free.

However, the tour recently sent a warning to players about CBD. “The FDA, DEA and private organisations 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.” This is a common problem amongst non-professional producers and sellers of CBD related products. In response, players have simply said they have recruited doctors and researchers to ensure the products they are consuming are free of THC and thus perfectly safe for them to use. Indeed, no tour player has of yet failed a drug test in relation to CBD products. What an exciting development for the industry.

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