While any association with weed or marijuana is riddled with negative stigma (and only legalized in some U.S. states), the rise of cannabidiol (CBD) by athletes has become impossible to ignore. So much so, that John Isner recently announced a partnership with Defy sports drink, a hemp-based company.
"There's been a lot of attention in golf, but tennis has been late to the game," says Brian J. Baum, the president and CEO of CANNOVIA. "It to us was a great sign because there's a lot of benefit this can bring to tennis players. That's a huge market opportunity."
According to the 2019 WADA Prohibited List, natural cannabinoids (e.g. cannabis, hashish and marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol THC and other cannabimimetics) are prohibited. The exception listed under that rule is cannabidiol.
Isner is the first tennis player to back the drug, that helps with pain, inflammation, sleep, recovery and anxiety, and is often ingested as an oil, pill, topical gel or drink. Both Defy and CANNOVIA offer products with zero percent TCH—which is crucial for not testing positive.
“It’s been great getting to know Defy as a company and I look forward to working with them to help people achieve improved performance through CBD," Isner said.