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Major League Baseball is the first major US professional sports league to partner with a CBD brand. Charlotte’s Web
  • Major League Baseball has announced a partnership deal with leading CBD brand Charlotte’s Web
  • The multi-year deal will see Charlotte’s Web products promoted at Major League Baseball events.
  • Experts say this partnership is a step forward in reducing the stigma that surrounds CBD use.
  • CBD, derived from the cannabis plant, is linked with numerous health and wellbeing benefits.
  • Safe CBD use can promote better sleep, aid recovery, reduce inflammation, and ease anxiety.

You may have seen CBD products on the shelves at your local pharmacy. Now, these hemp-based products have been endorsed by Major League Baseball.

The organization recently announced that it has formed a multi-year partnership with market-leading CBD brand Charlotte’s Web.

Major League Baseball is the first major professional sports league to form a sponsorship deal with a CBD company.

In a press release, Charlotte’s Web described the partnership as filling a gap for “players and consumers demanding safe, natural options to support recovery, help keep calm under pressure, and help sleep cycles and focus.”

As part of the deal, Charlotte’s Web products, which receive the NSF Certified for Sport® designation, will be promoted across Major League Baseball’s media platforms and events, helping them to connect with the league’s 180 million-strong fan base.

In a statement, Noah Garden, Major League Baseball chief revenue officer, said the organization was “excited” about the possibilities this partnership offers as “CBD becomes a more widely adopted part of the health and wellness regimen of our players and fans.”

Eoin Keenan, the co-founder of CBD brand Goodrays, says this is a massive milestone for the CBD industry.

“Major League Baseball is the first of the four major US professional sports leagues to partner with a CBD brand, following in the wake of the World Surf League, the PGA and numerous athletes from the NFL, NBA, Premier League, and professional boxing,” he points out.

Keenan isn’t surprised that Major League Baseball has chosen to partner with a CBD brand. “CBD has become a big hit among athletes across the globe gaining endorsements (and often investments) from the likes of Kevin Garnett, Mike Tyson, Rob Gronkowski, and David Beckham,” he notes.

Likewise, Abbas Kanani, superintendent pharmacist at Chemist Click, believes pro sports is endorsing CBD because of its many health and well-being benefits.

“Major League Baseball has likely chosen to partner with a CBD brand because of CBD’s medicinal benefits, particularly those associated with injury recovery and pain management,” he says.

“There’s also been a lot of investment in CBD research and new clinical findings, which make it more appealing to be associated with a CBD brand.”

While research into the benefits of CBD continues, the stigma around its use still prevails due to its association with cannabis, which is still illegal in parts of the United States.

However, CBD doesn’t get you high.

“CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of the main active ingredients found in cannabis. It is extracted from cannabis or hemp, both of which come from the Cannabis sativa plant,” explains Kanani.

Cannabis contains a chemical called THC, which is a psychoactive compound that causes a sensation of feeling high. “CBD is extracted without THC, or with very low levels of THC, which means that users will not experience a high,” says Kanani.

Still, confusion remains, and not everyone understands how these substances differ.

Keenan believes pro sports’ endorsement of CBD is a real step forward.

He says large numbers of people still don’t know the difference between CBD and THC and believes partnerships like these may go some way to breaking the stigma.

“This endorsement is a big step toward normalizing CBD products,” he surmises. “These partnerships need to place education at the forefront of their activities to ensure consumers know what CBD is, how to use it, and what benefits they’ll get from making it a part of their wellness routine.”

While CBD is still shaking off its bad reputation to a certain extent, science has shown that it can provide many health and well-being benefits. In particular, it may be beneficial to athletes and people who are very active, as it can support post-exercise recovery.

“CBD has been shown to have specific properties that relieve chronic pain and improve mood and sleep disorders, as well as treating immunodepression and inflammation,” Kanani surmises.

“Increasing numbers of athletes are using CBD to manage pain from muscle aches, sore joints, and older injuries as well as treating other sports-related concerns.”

One of the key ways CBD can aid post-exercise recovery is through its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

“These help to support the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has a role in controlling the body’s inflammatory response,” explains Keenan. “As a result, maintaining a healthy ECS can help reduce pain and discomfort during injury, helping to aid faster recovery.”

Another one of CBD’s well-documented benefits is its ability to improve sleep quality.

Kanani says overtraining is common among pro sports players, and this can result in sleep disorders and higher instances of sleep disturbance.

He says there is some evidence that CBD consumption could stimulate the endocannabinoid system, helping to regulate sleep disorders and the sleep-wake cycle.

Keenan concurs. “CBD’s anti-anxiolytic properties have been shown to aid a healthy sleep cycle, improving sleep quality and increasing sleep duration,” he explains.

“Regular high quality sleep is critical to improving athletic performance, maintaining proper training, and supporting mental focus. Many of our body’s most vital processes, including building new tissue and repairing any damage, happen while we are asleep.”

Additionally, CBD may suppress anxiety and depression, allowing athletes to maintain their focus during a game.

Kanani says in this sense, the benefits of CBD and exercise overlap, as both can provide mental health support.

“CBD is involved in the release of glucocorticoids which control mood, and dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation,” he explains.

Kanani says research on the benefits of CBD is still ongoing, but it certainly appears to be advantageous for pro sports players and people who are very active.

CBD’s ability to aid recovery and provide pain relief, soothe anxiety and improve sleep may go some way to explaining why Major League Baseball has chosen to officially embrace its use.