On Tuesday, the military branch published a notice emphasizing that all service members are prohibited from using CBD in any form. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid, along with hemp and other hemp-derived products, has been federally legal since the 2018 Farm Bill came into effect early this year. But over the course of this year, many federal agencies, including the US Navy, Marines, and NASA, have released statements clarifying their bans on CBD products.
Last year, the Air Force released a similar warning regarding medical marijuana products: “Your friend’s grandma’s miracle sticky buns might look mighty tasty and get rave reviews at the big shindig, but if you’re in the military or work for the federal government you might want to think twice and make sure they weren’t made to treat her bad hip first before you jeopardize your career.”
This statement makes at least a modicum of sense, as all forms of cannabis remain entirely prohibited under federal law. The prohibition against CBD makes less sense, given the legality of hemp, but the Air Force statement explains that the ban was enacted due to concerns over how much THC might exist within these unregulated products.
“It’s important for both uniformed and civilian Airmen to understand the risk these products pose to their careers,” said Maj. Jason Gammons, Air Force Office of The Judge Advocate General spokesperson, according to Marijuana Moment. “Products containing unregulated levels of THC can cause positive drug tests, resulting in the same disciplinary actions as if members had consumed marijuana.”
A recent study has found that consuming pure CBD will not make you fail a drug test for marijuana. However, other studies have found that many CBD products currently available on the market contain more than the 0.3 percent THC level allowed by federal law. One CBD product in North Carolina was even found to have 30.5 milligrams of THC in it, a concentration that could indeed cause a user to fail a urine test for weed.
“Products containing THC, even pet products, may qualify as possession of a controlled substance,” the recent Air Force notice warns. “Possession of a controlled substance is regulated under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, federal law and state laws.”
The US Food and Drug Administration is currently drafting regulations that will cover the sale of CBD products, including infused foods and beverages. The Air Force, and other federal agencies that have banned CBD, have not made it clear whether they will lift these bans once federal regulations are put in place, however.