(Reuters) - American golfer Scott McCarron is the first PGA Tour player to sign an endorsement deal with a hemp oil manufacturer, the company sponsoring him announced on Wednesday.
Colorado-based Functional Remedies said McCarron would be the company's brand ambassador.
Hemp oil contains cannabinoids that some people believe provide health and recovery benefits. It can contain a minute amount of THC, the psychoactive compound in recreational marijuana products.
"Functional Remedies EndoSport hemp oil helps my mind stay focused and my body recover, so I can always play my best," McCarron said in a statement.
"Most people don’t realize the incredible level of mental stress and anxiety that comes with pro golf. In order to continue playing and performing at the highest level, I need to take care of the one body I have."
Functional Remedies CEO Anthony Mazzotti welcomed the company's relationship with McCarron.
"We’re proud he’s added our incredibly efficacious hemp oil into his daily routine as a recovery tool," he said.
McCarron, 53, won three times on the PGA Tour but now plays mainly on the 50-and-over Champions circuit, where he has been a dominant player, with eight victories.
While hemp and marijuana are both cannabis species, only marijuana contains large quantities of THC, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances upon which the PGA Tour bases its anti-doping policy.
"The chemical compound cannabidiol (CBD) is not prohibited," according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
"Athletes will not face an anti-doping rule violation for the use of pure CBD at any time (in or out-of-competition)," it says, while adding a warning to potential users.
"But remember, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a pure CBD extract or oil from the cannabis plant. Anyone who buys a CBD oil, extract, or other CBD product should assume that it is a mixture of CBD and other cannabinoids."
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Toby Davis)