PORTLAND, Oregon — The CBD business is a multi-billion dollar business. According to New York based research firm Cowen & Co., researchers expect the CBD business to reach $16 billion by 2025.
Rachael Rapinoe and her new company, The Mendi Company, hope to break off a piece of that chunk for themselves.
She says the goal is "to create and make healthier more sustainable products, a recovery tool for athletes to build a brighter future for sports."
Mendi started in mid-August. It offers three products for sale online: edibles, gel capsules and a salve.
"We all have injuries, we all deal with the pains and struggles and anxieties of staying at the top performance. Why take something that's not natural and not good for you when you have this natural, sustainable product that actually benefits the health and well-being of your body." Rapinoe said.
CBD is extracted from hemp, but does not get you high.
Rapinoe played soccer at the University of Portland alongside her sister Megan. Both went on to play professionally, but after suffering her fifth major injury, Rachael hung up her cleats. She's the CEO behind Mendi; her sister is a board advisor and athlete ambassador.
In 2018 the World Anti-Doping Agency declassified CBD as a banned substance, but despite the acceptance it still holds a stigma.
The four major sports leagues ban the substance.
"Studies show a majority of those players are already using cannabis products anyway. It's definitely stigmatized in sports, so they're not out to the world shouting for the mountains," Rapinoe said. "I would say it's harder to get to people, everyday people like my parents or your parents, people who might have this perception of cannabis. Especially CBD."