03 Jan 2022 Active Military CBD Policy
Despite its widespread popularity and several studies claiming its potential benefits, CBD oil is a prohibited substance within the Department of Defence workforce. It is illegal at the federal level for active military members to consume CBD.
Though consuming a CBD product with less than 0.3% THC is legal in all 50 states, article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice clearly states that using, possessing, and distributing any product derived from the cannabis plant is prohibited for military members at all times and all places.
Explore more about the 2022 CBD policies of different military branches in the following sections.
Related Article: What Is CBD Oil? A Guide for Veterans
What Is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant. From coffee additives to candies, oils, tinctures, vapes, and even chocolates and bath bombs, cannabidiol is widely popular throughout the country.
While CBD is derived from the infamous marijuana plant, several studies have shown that it is not intoxicating, unlike marijuana.
This means that you cannot get high with CBD, even if consumed in vast quantities. Despite this proven fact, CBD is still prohibited for consumption and possession because it comes from the marijuana plant.
As well as being non-intoxicating, CBD has anti-pain, anti-acne, anti-redness, anti-inflammation, and anti-cancer properties. Additionally, the compound can also be used to treat anxiety, depression, autism, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and even some psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia.
Related Article: Top 10 CBD Oil Companies for Veterans
CBD Military: Army CBD Policy 2022
According to Katina Oates, the US Army Substance Abuse Program Manager, “CBD is a federally legal substance, and its consumption, possession, and distribution is prohibited for the DOD workforce.”
Section 2P of the AR 600-85 regulation (The Army Substance Abuse Program), dated July 23, 2020, prohibits army soldiers from consuming hemp or oils containing hemp, regardless of the THC content. Also, controlled substances like synthetic cannabis, THC cannabis, or any other substance that mimics similar effects on the human body are prohibited within the workforce.
All DOD civilian employees are also prohibited from consuming any of the above-stated substances in accordance with the Army CBD Policy 2022.
Oates also said that the widespread availability of CBD is not to be confused with its legality status because the industry is highly unregulated and many products contain THC as well. The FDA also has limited oversight on this substance’s production, exposing troops to pesticides, mold, and heavy metals.
CBD Military: Navy CBD Policy 2022
In 2018, the President passed the Law of Agriculture Improvement Act, removing all hemp-based products from the list of controlled substances. This led to the overall popularity and availability of CBD-infused products throughout the country.
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate this industry, so some sellers might sell products containing more than 0.3% THC, illegal in the United States. If consumed in vast quantities, this can come out positive in a drug test.
Some products are packaged and mislabeled, so marines and sailors should not rely on this information; they may return positive on a drug test. In addition, the Department of Navy (DON) prohibits its workforce from consuming CBD in any form, including inhaling, ingesting, or absorbing CBD topicals.
This law applies regardless of the THC content in that specific product or other federal laws announcing CBD as legal for consumption. Violation of this law would be subject to disciplinary actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Under US Code 7, 1639o, ingest, inhale, inject, or introduction of the substance to the human body would have disciplinary consequences regardless of being legal throughout the country or the potency of the product. Consumption can also mean allowing CBD to penetrate through your skin through the use of salves, lip balms, soaps, lotions, creams, bath bombs, conditioners, or shampoos.
This prohibition, however, does not apply to the usage of this substance by law enforcement activities or authorized medical professionals. In addition, if the product is consumed unknowingly or without the intention of consumption, and you have a reasonable reason for being unaware, the prohibition will not apply.
In addition to this, navy personnel can consume CBD in the form of drugs approved by the FDA, like Epidiolex, Marinol, and Syndros, given that they have a viable prescription from an authorized medical professional.
CBD Military: Air Force CBD Policy 2022
As per the Air Force CBD Policy 2022, CBD and all other hemp-derived products remain illegal for consumption within the US Air Force workforce, military personnel, or civilians.
The reason is similar to those stated above. The CBD industry is highly unregulated, and military members might consume something with a THC content of more than 0.3%. This can lead to impaired daily activities, affect the safety of others, and exposure of sensitive information.
The use, including inhaling, ingesting, injecting, and other ways to introduce CBD into your body, is restricted for Airforce members, and its violation could lead to termination or discharge due to drug use.
Despite being non-intoxicating, CBD is still a derivative of marijuana.
CBD Military: Marines CBD Policy 2022
Marines CBD policy 2022 runs the same as Navy CBD Policy 2022. Because of being a highly unregulated industry and no one to oversee the labeling and packaging, CBD is considered illegal for consumption for marine members without a prescription from an authorized medical professional.
Epidiolex is the only CBD-containing drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), even with a doctor’s prescription.
CBD Military: Coast Guard CBD Policy 2022
According to 46 CFR 16.201(c), a service member who tests positive on a drug test for dangerous drugs will be removed from their duties as they might put others in danger or make classified information vulnerable.
This makes CBD prohibited for consumption because some products might contain more than 0.3% THC despite being labeled appropriately and can come positive on a drug test.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD is known worldwide for its potential benefits and can help you manage the following conditions:
- Bipolar disorder
- Cancer symptoms
- Muscle and joint pain
- Nerve pain
CBD can be found in a wide range of products. The market comprises of products ranging from oils, tinctures, vape oils, cigarettes, lotions, soaps, gummies, chocolates, powders, isolate, dabs, salves, lip balms, face masks, and even bath bombs.
Why Is CBD Considered Illicit by the DOD?
Federally, CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal for consumption. However, as stated above, the CBD industry is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. This makes it highly impossible to oversee the packaging and labeling of the product.
As a result, some of the products might contain high levels of THC, consumption of which can result in a positive drug test. And, because the 46 CFR 16.201(c) clearly states that receiving positive results on a drug test would mean dismissal, termination, or suspension from the services, CBD and other hemp-derived products are considered illicit for the DOD workforce.
What About Prescriptions With CBD?
Military members are allowed to consume CBD in the form of Epidiolex, as it is the only drug approved by the FDA. However, you must have a valid medical prescription from an authorized medical professional to consume Epidiolex.
Keep Up to Date With CBD Military Policy Changes
While the CBD policy for 2022 is not subject to change anytime soon, make sure to stay up to date on any amendments made to the policies. The consumption of CBD might be illegal for active service members; however, with efforts like regulation of the industry, there are hopes that the DOD might validate the potential benefits of CBD and bring certain changes to the policies.