FILE PHOTO: Scott McCarron of the U.S. tees off on third hole during the second round of the Northern Trust Open PGA golf tournament in Los AngelesFILE PHOTO: Scott McCarron of the U.S. tees off on third hole during the second round of the Northern Trust Open PGA golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, February 15, 2008. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo
(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)