Major League Baseball has become the first of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues to get into the CBD game. 

MLB announced Wednesday it has formed a sponsorship agreement with Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc., a market leader in hemp-derived CBD products. 

MLB paved the way for the agreement in June when it officially allowed clubs to score sponsorships with CBD companies certified for sport by NSF, an organization that establishes standards for products used by athletes. 

The agreement between MLB and Charlotte’s Web came after a “rigorous approval process,” the league said in a release.

“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,” said Noah Garden, MLB Chief Revenue Officer.  

Charlotte’s Web will be the official CBD sponsor of the league and will feature the MLB logo on the bottle of its newest product, Daily Edge. The tincture, released Wednesday, is the first CBD product to be certified for sport by NSF. 

When Charlotte’s Web announced the launch of its sport-focused line in August CEO Jacques Tororoli said, “Focus, recovery, and sleep are critical areas of optimization for athletes that our sports products can support. An NSF Certified for Sport® line can assure sports leagues and their players that ingredients are safe and certify that there are no banned substances.”

He continued, “We believe our products, upon meeting NSF certification, will make a positive impact on the lives of professional, amateur athletes and fans alike.”

CBD has been touted for its anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties in recent years, growing exponentially in popularity in the U.S. 

In 2021 the U.S. CBD market topped $4.7 billion in total sales, according to the joint release by the MLB and charlotte’s Web. 

Many professional athletes have sponsored or advocated for CBD during its rise to prominence, including Hall of Fame NFL running back Terrell Davis, who partnered with investors in 2018 to create a CBD-infused sports drink. However, this is the first time a major sports league has officially partnered with a hemp-derived company.

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