Bubba Watson has signed an endorsement deal with cannabidiol (CBD) product maker, cbdMD, becoming the first big-name PGA Tour player to sign such a sponsor.
Watson has signed a multi-year agreement with the company to wear their logo on his hats and to appear in a number of marketing programs and pieces with the company. Kicking off the relationship at the PGA Championship in New York, Watson will be at the New York Stock Exchange as the company changes their ticker symbol.
"I've personally felt the benefits of cbdMD's products," said Watson in a release announcing the deal. "cbdMD is the safest on the market and I am proud to partner with them to help millions feel better."
Cannabidiol is a substance derived from the flowers and buds of marijuana that has become popular as marijuana has become legal for medical or recreational purposes across more of the United States. Almost every state has legalized CBD oil use in some fashion.
CBD oil proponents say using the oil helps with anxiety, pain and other health problems, all while not containing the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which triggers the high users get from smoking marijuana. There is some evidence to suggest CBD oil can help with epilepsy, but there isn't a wide breadth of scientific research for its other supposed benefits. It may help with anxiety or prove to be an anti-inflammatory aid.
CBD oil is not regulated by the federal government, which still considers marijuana a controlled and illegal substance despite states' actions. CBD oil can vary wildly from one manufacturer to the next, and it could be dangerous for the end user. Most CBD oil doesn't have as much CBD as promised on the bottle, and some contains THC anyhow. The cbdMD company makes a variety of CBD products, including tinctures, gummies, topical creams, bath bombs, oils and pet products, and the company claims its products are the safest and purest in the market.
Phil Mickelson was seen dropping a substance many speculated as CBD oil into his mouth during the Masters. A number of players, including Tiger Woods, are chewing gum on the PGA Tour as a means of relieving stress, and CBD gum may become a popular variation.
Under the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Program, CBD oil is not considered a performance-enhancing drug or substance. The World Anti-Doping Agency, upon which the Tour models its program, removed CBD oil from its banned substance list in September 2017.
In early 2019, the PGA Tour changed its sponsorship regulation policy, prohibiting sponsorship with companies that create marijuana products. However, CBD oil is not considered in the same way.