Athletics seem to be the next frontier for cannabidiol, a cannabis extract known by the initials CBD and commonly marketed as a nutritional supplement.
Since it first appeared on store shelves a few years ago, savvy entrepreneurs have sold CBD as vaping oil, an ingredient in beauty products, even a supplement for pet food. Now, a company based in Westerville is selling cannabidiol to athletes.
Like marijuana, the extract comes from the cannabis plant but has little to no THC, marijuana’s intoxicating ingredient.
CBD tinctures, capsules, creams and even toothpicks and mints for athletes have been available on MotiveCBD’s website since September, and the company is looking for retail partners to sell its products in stores.
Ohio recently clarified its cannabis rules, effectively legalizing CBD and leading to an influx of cannabidiol products. But MotiveCBD founder and CEO Corey Poches noticed few products for athletes.
“We saw gaps in the industry,” he said.
Poches, a Columbus native and Ohio University graduate, envisions everyone from professional athletes to people who play ultimate Frisbee with their friends on the weekends — or even older people who don’t play sports anymore — using the company’s products.
“In some way, shape, or form, we’re all athletes,” Poches said. “Our average consumer is 50 to 65 years old. They’re not the guy who’s 35 and in the best shape of his life, hitting the gym every day.”
A handful of prominent athletes, including Olympic downhill skier Bode Miller, champion gymnast Gabby Douglas and former Ohio State and New York Jets offensive lineman Nick Mangold, have partnered with Motive CBD to promote its products.
Mangold, who played 11 seasons with the Jets, told The Dispatch that he never used CBD before the company approached him, and he had some reservations. But he said Motive CBD representatives took him through their safety protocols and put his mind at ease.
Mangold now uses CBD products to manage lingering aches and pains from his playing career.
“It’s not like you take one pill and you’re magically healed,” he said. “Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, something will just hurt. And since I started taking CBD, that’s doesn’t happen as much, which obviously improves my quality of life.”
Ohio law previously put cannabidiol and marijuana in the same category because they both come from cannabis. That meant that CBD could be sold only in medical marijuana dispensaries, although many stores openly flouted state regulations. A bill signed into law earlier this year changed all that, creating a separate category for hemp, which is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. Ohio farmers eventually will be able to grow hemp, and stores now can sell CBD extracted from hemp.
The supplement already has a large following of users who say CBD alleviates everything from chronic pain to anxiety.
The extract’s effects are not well-studied, and experts advise against using cannabidiol as a substitute for traditional medicine. Poches and other CBD entrepreneurs go out of their way to say that they can’t make medical claims about the products. But a chorus of users swear by CBD.