Golf CBD Guide: My Experience With Kanibi

There has been a lot of talk about CBD use in professional golf these days, with outlets like ESPN and Golf Digest discussing the topic. Given the usage at golf’s highest levels, it’s natural that regular golfers show an increased interest in CBD and its possible benefits. Let’s take a look at CBD in general and my personal experience with CBD products from KANABI.

Disclaimer: Practical Golf does not provide medical advice. This article is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice from a professional. Please also consult your local laws or the advice of a legal counsel about CBD's legality.

What is CBD?

CBD is an acronym for “Cannabidiol,” a naturally occurring compound in the hemp plant. CBD products extract the CBD from hemp to create ingestible products such as oils, softgels, and gummies and infuse them into creams for topical use.

What does CBD do?

It is important to note that products like those from Kanibi and other online/widely available sources do not cause a “high.” The process reduces the psychoactive compound from the cannabis plant (THC) to trace amounts or removed entirely. Some CBD products contain THC; however, these are typically only available in areas with legalized THC use and through approved dispensaries.

Since CBD is non-psychoactive, what does it do? There is no simple answer to this. The FDA has not approved CBD use for particular afflictions or illnesses. Studies are ongoing to get a fuller picture of the measurable efficacy of CBD.

Still, perhaps the best simple answer I’ve seen comes from KANIBI - “CBD interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system to promote balance.” the body produces cannabinoids naturally. They do play an essential role in the regular operation of the body’s systems. While CBD product makers can’t promote any particular benefits, common anecdotal feedback includes a feeling of calmness or reduced anxiety, improved physical recovery and less soreness, and an increased general sense of wellness. However, the experience varies significantly from user to user, with others reporting no real impact from product use.

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How Can CBD Help Golfers?

WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) removed CBD from its list of banned products in 2018, allowing Olympic athletes and PGA Tour golfers to use CBD products openly. Soon after, well-known players such as Bubba Watson, Charley Hoffman, Lucas Glover, and Scott Piercy began sponsorship agreements with CBD companies along with using it themselves. Watson, in particular, has publicly stated that CBD keeps him pain-free. With well-known players giving such endorsements, it’s easy to understand why use has increased significantly over the past two years. These players anecdotally cite benefits that would also apply to the average golfer:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties (i.e., reduced soreness or swelling)
  • Reduced anxiety (a feeling of calmness on the golf course)
  • Improved sleep for better recovery

For my personal experience with CBD products, these are the three areas that I’ll review.

What Types of CBD Products are Available?

Several different product types contain CBD; for my review of CBD products from KANIBI, I’ll use four types.

  • CBD Oil: The CBD compound is combined with MCT oil and typically flavors as well. Suggested use for these oils is sublingual, meaning drop the dose under the tongue and let it sit to absorb into the body. Additionally, the oil can be added to food or drink and ingested that way.
  • CBD Softgels: The CBD compound is put into a gel capsule and taken orally, similar to other supplements like Omega 3.
  • CBD Gummies: Several companies produce CBD infused edibles. KANIBI sells fruit-flavored organic gummies, each containing 25mg of CBD oil.
  • CBD Enhanced Sports Cream: Topical cream containing CBD and menthol, and methyl salicylate (found in traditional creams like Icy Hot) rubbed on trouble spots like sore or swollen muscles.

An additional point to note is that not all CBD oil is created equal. The products I’m reviewing from KANIBI are considered “full spectrum.” This type uses leaves and flowers of the hemp plant rather than the seeds and contains all of the other cannabinoids, including trace amounts of THC. For users who cannot ingest even trace amounts of THC, KANABI also produces products in “broad spectrum” and “isolate” forms to remove THC entirely.


KANIBI is a US-based direct-to-consumer CBD brand based out of Oregon. According to their site, sources their hemp from US-based growers, and all their products are double third party tested. KANIBI markets firmly based on their high standards of quality, as their co-founder states on the site:

When I was exploring these products for myself, this assurance was essential to me. I wanted to feel confident about what I was putting in my body and that it doesn’t contain any unexpected ingredients.

My Experience with KANIBI CBD

To begin with, I’ll state that my experience with KANIBI was a positive shopping experience. Their site is modern and easy to navigate, with links to helpful educational resources about the products and CBD itself. After purchase, KANIBI sent regular order status updates and delivery confirmations. When I reached out to customer service with questions, they answered within one business day.

Products were shipped quickly and arrived without issue. The product packaging also has a clean, modern design and something I could easily imagine on retail shelves.


While there is no set standard, the common recommendation for CBD dosage is around 50mg per day. KANIBI recommends starting lower at 25mg per day and working your way up to that amount. For the products I used, here is how I got that dose:

  • Full Spectrum Oil (750mg of CBD per bottle) - 1ml dropper for 25mg of CBD
  • Full Spectrum Softgels (30 capsules per bottle) - 1 softgel for 25mg of CBD
  • Organi Gummies - 1 gummy for 25mg of CBD

Additionally, while topical application of the sports cream is different from ingesting CBD, 1.7oz of the cream contains 250mg of CBD and lasts for 30-40 pumps. So, each pump of cream has 7-8mg of CBD.

As recommended by KANIBI, I began with 25mg of CBD per day, initially using .5ml of the oil sublingually in the morning and evening and using the sports cream as needed. As I didn’t see any significant effects at this level, I increased my dosage, and this is now my most common daily use:

  • 1ml of full-spectrum oil (25mg of CBD) added to my morning coffee
  • 25mg of CBD (as either oil or one softgel) an hour before sleep
  • Additional 25mg of CBD (gummy or oil) taken as needed, for example, before golf or if I’m having a stressful day. No more than once a day.

This strategy seems to be working for me to achieve the results I will describe below. I’ll reiterate, though, that this only applies to me, so your personal experience and dosage strategy will vary.

What Using KANIBI CBD Products Did for Me

As discussed above, I’ll share my experience based on three anecdotal benefits likely of the most significance to golfers:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties (i.e., reduced soreness or swelling)
  • Reduced anxiety (a feeling of calmness on the golf course)
  • Improved sleep for better recovery

Anti-inflammatory Properties

I practice or play golf every day. It's not unusual for me to take 50-100 full swings on average, with some days being significantly more. I also will exercise with TRX bands for around 20-30 minutes three times a week, walk 12k steps or more per day, and do some light yoga most mornings.

Before using CBD, I would experience mild to moderate back or shoulder soreness frequently after golf or practice sessions and take OTC pain relievers like Tylenol to relieve it. Since beginning regular CBD use, I have noticed a significant reduction in this soreness and have not needed to take any other types of pain-relieving medications. I can’t give CBD all the credit for this as there might be other factors such as a better swing, putting less strain on my body, and better stretching before physical activity, but I also believe that CBD is playing a role. This effect has been the most significant I can correlate with using KANIBI CBD products from my personal experience.

Additionally, I have enjoyed using the sports cream. While the menthol smell might be a turn off for some, I’m sure it’ll fit right in with the locker room at your local club. Applying it seems to provide fairly immediate relief from tension and soreness, more so than traditional sports cream products I have used, such as Icy Hot and Tiger Balm.

Reduced Anxiety

While this stated benefit might be the most useful to many golfers, I am admittedly not the best person to speak to it. I am generally very calm and even-keeled out on the golf course, to begin with, generally not letting anxiousness or frustration get to me. I practice mindfulness meditation regularly, including out on the golf course. That said, taking CBD has seemed to give me a general sense of “wellness” that I take golfing. This feeling isn’t definable into a specific benefit, but perhaps I’m finding focus just a little bit easier based on how I feel.

I’ll reiterate that there is no easy answer to how CBD will make you feel. Being non-psychoactive means, it won’t chemically induce euphoria or any other specific mental state. From my experience, could CBD oil help a golfer create a mental state where they feel less anxiety? Yes, but what that looks like and how effective it will be likely will vary greatly on the individual and the situation.

Improved Sleep

Sleep benefits was an area of particular interest to me. I have had minor struggles with sleep for most of my adult life. While not a clinical disorder, I regularly sleep six to seven hours a night max, sometimes less, and occasionally wake up much earlier than I need to and cannot get back to sleep. I have taken OTC sleep aids in the past; however, I found that while they increased the length of my sleep, they left me feeling groggy the next morning, so I stopped using them.

To measure my sleep quality, I have used a FitBit for a few years now, and it assigns a sleep grade when worn to bed.

So has CBD improved my sleep? Maybe. I am still sleeping 6-7 hours typically, not hitting the recommended 8, so no change there. But with Fitbit data, I have seen a possible effect.

Before CBD use, my FitBit “sleep score” would typically be in the mid-70’s for a “fair” ranking. These days, I am noticing more scores of 80-85 for a “good” score. From what I can tell, this is a result of more of my sleep now being classified as “deep sleep” and “REM sleep” as opposed to “light sleep.” While not a massive change, it is noticeable and possibly related to CBD. While I’m not ready to unequivocally declare that CBD use improves my sleep, it’s certainly something I’m going to be keeping my eye on.

My Final Verdict on CBD

I’m going to continue regular CBD use for the foreseeable future. While nothing life-changing has happened, either with my golf game or just in general, I have experienced enough subtle benefits to justify continuing to use it.

Most significant among these is the reduced soreness and body pains I’ve been experiencing even as I’ve increased the number of swings I’ve been putting my body through. Additionally, while there are a growing number of CBD producers out there, I will be sticking with KANIBI as I’ve found their products and service to be of high quality. There are some cheaper brands out there, but they certainly aren’t the most expensive, and I’m okay paying a little more if it’s quality I can trust.

If it hasn’t already been made clear, I can't directly recommend CBD use for any of you. At this point, with the research and data available, all I can say is that I believe I experience positive benefits from CBD use, but that might not be the same for you. That said, if the anecdotal benefits I’ve discussed in this review are of interest to you as well, then doing your research and trying it for yourself might be worth it. If you decide to take this route, my recommendation is to set reasonable expectations, start with a low dosage strategy, and then see what works best. After that, we would love to hear about your experience with CBD products in the Practical Golf Forums.

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