Why Rory McIlroy says he’s ‘too paranoid’ to try CBD

October 25, 2019
Rory McIlroy signs autographs before his Japan Skins game against Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day.

The use of CBD on the PGA Tour has grown more and more prevalent. Bubba Watson, Charley Hoffman and Lucas Glover are among those with sponsorships. It’s even more popular on the PGA Tour Champions. But for World No. 2 Rory McIlroy, any potential benefits aren’t worth the risk.

In the lead-up to this week’s Zozo Championship, McIlroy was asked if he believes the use of CBD would be beneficial for golfers. His answer? He’s not sure.

“I’m very aware of the banned substance list. I’m very careful with what I put into my body, and I couldn’t tell you if CBD oil is good for golfers because I’ve never tried it,” he said. “Yeah, it’s tough because I take a very strong stance on performance enhancing drugs or banned substances. Like I even wouldn’t be comfortable taking CBD oil. Like that’s my — I would be too paranoid that there will be, you know, there would be THC in it and then that obviously could lead to a positive test.”

Matt Every is the latest golfer to run afoul of the Tour’s drug policy and is currently one week into a three-month suspension. Every released a statement to Golf Channel saying he tested positive for cannabis, “a drug I do not abuse and a drug that I have a legal prescription for in the state of Florida.” Marijuana is on the Tour’s list of banned substances.

McIlroy added that he tends to play it safe when it comes to any potentially banned substance.

“I am the most conservative on everything,” he said. “I mean, yeah, I don’t – I try not to take anything in terms of pills to help in any way. Like, I’m even scared to take painkillers sometimes, like an Advil, I would rather just not.”

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan was asked for his reaction, and seemed to side with McIlroy’s stance that players are better off staying risk-free.

“I think we’ve been very clear with our players that because CBD oil and CBD as a product is an unregulated product, it essentially is a supplement, with it comes risk. So we’ve been very clear with our players and tried to communicate that risk to our players,” he said. “But ultimately we don’t determine what is a banned substance and what’s not, we rely on WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] for doing that. So we’ll continue to stay very close not only to that substance but any potential substance that would come on or come off the list.

“But I’m not surprised to hear our athletes, because you’ve heard it from athletes in other sports, say that that’s a risk that they’re just going to prevent entirely.”

McIlroy opened with a two-over 72 at the rain-delayed Zozo Championship, where play is set to resume on Saturday.