CBD no longer in the prohibited list
Cannabidiol or CBD is very popular amongst PGA Tour players and some are getting worried for the potential risks they may pose. Just last year, CBD was removed from World AntiDoping Agency’s Prohibited List (WADA). It is currently the only exception among the prohibited cannabinoids in WADA’s list. Because of this, Professional Golfers’ Association or PGA Tour players and athletes are now allowed to use CBD in-competition. WADA states that CBD was included in the list because it enhances sports performance, poses a health risk to golfers, and is against the spirit of sport. However, according to golfers, they regularly use products containing CBD. Some even go as far as endorsing them. Among these players are Bubba Watson, Scott Piercy, and Lucas Glover.
Why do players use CBD?
The reason for their constant use of CBD differs for each athlete, depending on their needs. Some of the benefits they report are stress relief, pain relief, anti-inflammation, improved relaxation, and better sleep. Bubba Watson is adamant in stating that it allows him to play pain-free.
CEO of a hemp-oil company sponsoring the tour states that professional golfers undergo intense physical and mental stress through everyday training, practicing, and competing. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has released a warning regarding allegedly THC-free products. They state that most of these products claiming to be THC-free actually have traceable levels of THC. This is especially noteworthy because THC is a psychoactive substance as opposed to CBD. This means that it significantly affects one’s behavior, cognition, and mentation. Its side effects are far more intense, too. Common side effects are red eyes, tachycardia or fast heartbeat, an lung irritation. Moreover, the FDA and DEA also claim that some supposedly THC-free products even have higher than normal levels of CBD which is also not allowed.
Anti-Doping Program’s executive director is concerned
PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program’s executive director, Andy Levinson, was concerned about the poor regulation of CBD and THC-containing products. In a study conducted by the American Medical Association, it was found that over two-thirds of these products contain CBD levels different from what was declared on the label. Around 20% of these items were even found to contain THC. Tour players are not allowed to use this particular compound.
Levinson continues to emphasize that pure CBD is not prohibited but rather the current forms being used in the market. He says that it puts players at a risk. Despite this, some golf players remain to be unconcerned. Watson states that he’s had doctors conduct research to find out which companies produce the safest form. He adds that none of the chemicals in the products will cause anyone to fail a drug’s test.
As of date, no golf player who uses CBD has ever failed a drug test. Levinson is convinced that supplements like CBD aren’t something that will stick around for long.