isner 072419 defy

John Isner during a match at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport, R.I., his cap sporting a Defy patch.

The news

John Isner, the Greensboro native and the world's No. 14-ranked men's tennis player, has signed an endorsement agreement with Defy, a sports performance drink whose ingredients include CBD, or cannabidiol.

Terms were not disclosed. Isner is wear a Defy patch on his cap and using the drink during changeovers at matches.

What CBD is

CBD, an oil derived from hemp plants, has been used to treat pain and anxiety, reduce inflammation caused by exercise, aid sleep cycles and improve skin issues. The FDA-approved Dronabinol is used for nausea related to chemotherapy. CBD can be purchased at multiple locations in Greensboro, and Walgreens and CVS plan to begin selling CBD-related products this year. Congress' farm bill in 2018 legalized the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity. 

What CBD is not

Marijuana. CBD contains less than 0.3 percent THC, or chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, which causes marijuana's "high."

Does it work?

While efforts to legalize marijuana continue, research on CBD is still fairly new related to its effectiveness and its health risks. As for Isner, just maybe: The 34-year-old won the Hall of Fame Open at Newport, R.I., on Sunday for a third time, although he lost his opening match Wednesday night to Reilly Opelka at the BB&T Atlanta Open, where he is a five-time champion.

CBD's place in sports

PGA Tour golfer Bubba Watson uses and endorses cbdMD products, which include hemp-oil extracts, gummies, topicals, oils, bath bombs and pet items. The World Anti-Doping Agency and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency have removed CBD from banned-substance lists. The NHL tests for cannabis, but does not penalize players for positive results. The NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball do not permit CBD use. NCAA athletes are not allowed to use cannabinoid.

What is Defy?

The drink, produced by a company co-founded by former NFL star Terrell Davis, is designed to aid in muscle recovery.

Defy contains 20 milligrams of hemp extract, or CBD, but is 0 percent THC, according to its website. The drink, which comes in lemonade, orange mango and mixed berry flavors, also includes coconut water, vitamins, potassium and electrolytes. It's not cheap: A six-pack of 16-ounce drinks sells for $47.94 (about $8 each), and a 12-pack costs $86.29 ($7.19 each).

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Contact Eddie Wooten at (336) 373-7093, and follow @EddieWootenNR on Twitter.

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