Marking the first sponsorship of its kind from one of the four major sports leagues in the U.S., Charlotte’s Web recently announced that it became the first official CBD sponsor of Major League Baseball (MLB).
Last June, MLB opened the CBD category for the league and its Clubs allowing sponsorships with CBD companies, but only those that received NSF Certified for Sport®—a verification that a product has no THC or other banned substances. The collaboration resulted in the NSF Certified for Sport® portfolio of CBD products with broad spectrum hemp extract.
It includes the launch of Charlotte’s Web SPORT – Daily Edge, the first broad-spectrum hemp-derived tincture to be Certified for Sport® by NSF.
“As a leader in the CBD category, with products that provide health and wellness benefits, Charlotte’s Web is a welcome addition to the MLB family, representing a landmark partnership in baseball and sports,” says MLB Chief Revenue Officer Noah Garden.
“Charlotte’s Web products which receive the NSF Certified for Sport® designation have met the highest safety standards and can be promoted across MLB events and media platforms,” adds Garden. “We are 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.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Charlotte’s Web,” says Garden. “We paid close attention to the CBD category as it has grown in popularity and adoption, and Charlotte’s Web has been a clear leader in the industry.”
Vetting the endless amount of CBD brands came down to finding a company that can withstand the rigorous certification process—and that’s especially a concern regarding athletes who are often subject to strict doping rules.
“We did extensive research in the category to understand CBD’s health and wellness benefits. Still we wanted to partner with a company that was best in class and only allow a partnership that promoted products that were NSF Certified For Sport to ensure the highest quality and safety standards. Charlotte’s Web took those guidelines seriously and obtained NSF certification, which is the gold standard in sports.”
“Our experts in the Office of the Commissioner will continue to monitor the latest developments in health and wellness, as they have for decades, to provide the utmost professional guidance to all our constituents in MLB—from teams, to players to office personnel.”
Where Charlotte’s Web Stands
Years ago the Stanley Brothers—Joel, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Jared, and Josh—crossbred industrial hemp with a strain of marijuana to create Charlotte’s Web, the strain, renamed from “Hippie’s Disappointment.” CBD-rich Charlotte’s Web and the company are named after the late Charlotte Figi—a girl with Dravet syndrome whose impact was so strong that her story helped shape medical cannabis laws in the U.S.
Chief Cultivation Officer at Charlotte’s Web Jared Stanley says it’s due time that CBD is accepted in sports.
“I think there’s been a stigma on CBD just due to its cousin of cannabis and still the regular federal regulatory environment that cannabis is in,” says Stanley. “But the reality is that there’s 45 million Americans that have taken or take CBD—on the regular. And I think what we really need to see here is that, you know, the MLB chose the NSF certification is really the gold standard.”
The significance of the NSF seal is that it lets you know that the product complies with national safety standards and regulations and has undergone extensive testing.
Stanley recognizes the MLB’s bold step, but said it’s not surprising. “You know, to us, we view them as a pioneer, and they’ll be a pioneer the same way Charlotte’s Web is and for them to come out and endorse the category and endorse it through a certification process so that they could recommend the right CBD products for their players we think is a massive milestone will change the direction of sports from naturally occurring, Earth derived products and wellness products, to what you see what you’ve seen previously.”
“It’s not just MLB. It’s sports, it’s athletes alike,” he says. “We saw Kevin Garnett come out with his statement stating that he believed that 80% of NBA players were using CBD, what you know, really important is that they simply believe, and what we know is that athletes are different than any regular CBD consumers. What MLB chose to do was say, ‘Okay, if our athletes are using this, let’s ensure that we can have a process that ensures they’re using the right quality and trusted products,’ which is why they chose the NSF certification process. And it’s really just a shift to to a natural product that these athletes have been finding benefit in.”
In order to go through the NSF certification process, Charlotte’s Web had to undergo rigorous testing to ensure a product was free from 280 banned substances. The Certified for Sport seal allows for a product that pro athletes across the board can rely on. “This product met the requirement for the banned substances text test, and it would be highly unlikely for any athlete to fail a banned substance test by taking our product to label claim,” Stanley adds.
Regarding the push for hemp-derived synthetic cannabinoids that are abundantly available in the hemp industry, Charlotte’s Web hasn’t jumped the gun, and for good reason. The reason, Stanley says, is that a better approach is to adhere to the intelligence of nature.
“Here are so many companies that have manipulated nature into synthetics, these companies are grabbing everything they can to make a buck and in some ways, you know, the industry has lost some heart and what it should be doing which is working with nature and not misleading consumers,” says Stanley. “You know, it’s Charlotte’s Web in our products, we learned very well through Charlotte [Figi] to believe and trust the intelligence that plants have. And you can either believe that they’ve evolved with us, or that they were created alongside us and for us, but we’ve chosen not to manipulate that intelligence because we saw how miraculously they work for wellness, like Charlotte and 1000s like her.”
For serious athletes who need to be free of traces of THC and other banned substances, the NSF certification is the key to benefitting from CBD.
Stanley concludes, “This is day one, and changes the paradigm of sports, you know, and what it really does give Charlotte’s Web a microphone to now educate what CBD is and what CBD is not. And so we talked about all that confusion in the category.”