One of the biggest stars in professional tennis is now one of the biggest endorsers of the cannabis compound CBD.
American tennis pro John Isner has announced a new deal with Defy, a Colorado-based company that makes cannabis-infused sports drinks. Defy's beverages are made using CBD - a non-intoxicating cannabis compound that has become popular in recent years for its health benefits.
CBD is also one of the few cannabis compounds that professional tennis players can actually use. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) follows drug regulations set out by the International Tennis Federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). While WADA continues to ban players from using THC - the compound in cannabis that gets you high - neither association forbids the use of CBD.
Isner sees CBD as a game-changer for pros like himself.
"I play a sport where taking a single point off can be the difference between winning and losing a match and Defy is a product specifically intended to put me in a position to perform on every single point," Isner said in a statement. "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."
The news comes as part of a wave of marijuana reform that is sweeping across professional sports. A few months ago, the NFL announced plans to study the use of medical marijuana as an alternative pain medication for players. More recently, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he would be open to changing the league's cannabis policies if that was something players wanted to bring to the bargaining table when the league hammers out its next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
However, Isner's new deal makes him one of only a handful of prominent athletes who have received sponsorships from the cannabis industry.
h/t: Fox Business