Golf can be an overwhelmingly conservative sport when viewed with a certain lens. The rulebook is filled with formalities and etiquette codes; players must wear shirts with collars and pants in competition. This doesn’t make the sport bad or wrong by any means, but it does instruct recent news that the PGA Tour is warning golfers not to take CBD.
In a PGA Tour newsletter sent to players last month, which was obtained by Marijuana Moment, the Tour told players that “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 impetus to inform players about CBD comes from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to drop the non-psychoactive cannabinoid from its list of banned substances. WADA, which governs and drug tests Olympic athletes, sets the standard for most other sports leagues around the country. The PGA Tour believes WADA’s decision “led to an increase of CBD products and marketing directed toward athletes at all levels of play.”
But the PGA believes this works against their athletes’ best interests.
“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,” reads the Greensheet newsletter.
The PGA Tour and its golfers have a strange hush-hush relationship with its drug-testing policy. As the Independent noted, only three golfers have been publicly outed for failing drug tests since 2008. Robert Garrigus was recently suspended after testing positive for marijuana, which is why golfers may want to pay attention to the PGA Tour’s CBD warning. That said, other golfers have anonymously admitted to smoking weed on the tour, some amidst tournament rounds.
“Taking a poorly labeled supplement that is contaminated with a prohibited substance is NOT a defense to a violation of the Program,” concludes the PGA newsletter. “Therefore, we strongly recommend that if players choose to use supplements, they only use those that are NSF Certified for Sport.”