Furthermore, with no Federal Drug Administration oversight of the production of CBD products, “there is an increased risk of potential injury related to ingesting potential molds, pesticides and heavy metals,” the Army News article advised.
FORT LEE, Va. – “Regardless of its widespread availability, it’s a federally prohibited substance and, therefore, illegal within the DOD workforce,” stated Katina Oates, the Army Substance Abuse Program manager here.
“CBD is everywhere,” a recently released Army News article pointed out. “You would be hard-pressed to enter any pharmacy, mega-mart or health food store and not find it on the shelves. CBD can even be purchased online from the comfort of your couch.”
The other uniformed services have similar regulations prohibiting CBD’s use. There are federal workforce restrictions that apply to government civilians as well – further details are available on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website, samhsa.gov.
Due to CBD being both unregulated and often containing small amounts of THC, the DOD still considers it to be an “illicit drug,” and its use as unauthorized by service members and government civilians, the Army News article warned.
Hemp oil and cannabidiol are one in the same. The array of delivery methods include, but are not limited to, gummy chews, cigarettes and vape pens, oils and skin creams, and sleep medications. CBD is frequently used in personal care treatments at nail salons and by some massage therapists.
“Summing up this discussion, I think it’s all about informing our military community about these products and asking them to be mindful of their potential impact on someone’s career,” Oates said.
For those of you following the movement of United States v. Maj Pugh, the C.A.A.F. opinion upheld the trial judge’s findings that there is no legitimate basis to ban consumption of a product solely because it contains hemp and / or hemp seed oil. Not surprisingly, the C.A.A.F. did not determine that the Air Force Instruction at issue needed to be struck down in its entirety, and its holding was crafted fairly narrowly: “we hold that although AFI 90-507 may have a valid military purpose, it is overly, and inappropriately, broad as it pertains to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved food products.” Though seeming to narrow the issue, the C.A.A.F. does use language that gives anyone already discharged for violating the same AFI for CBD oil fertile ground to correct his / her military record. Specifically, the C.A.A.F. states in its Pugh decision, “… a blanket ban on all legally available commercial food products sold and regulated in the United States does not advance this [government stated] military purpose.”
For anyone that does not know, CBD oil, or cannabidiol, is a derivative of industrial hemp and contains little to no THC. CBD oil is most often vaped, but can be ingested through edibles and by other means. The advertised wellness properties include relief of chronic pain, reduced or diminished seizures, relief from anxiety, among others. None of these wellness claims have been recognized by the FDA, mostly because the DEA will not permit research to demonstrate those principles.
Moreover, the C.A.A.F. goes onto explain their rationale as to why the AFI is overly broad: Airmen ingesting Strong & KIND bards do not represent a threat to the integrity and accuracy of the Air Force Drug Testing Program because commercially available United States food products containing hemp seeds do not contain enough THC detectable at the levels proscribed by the department. True, the Air Force has a legitimate concern in prohibiting hemp food products that contain enough THC to trigger a positive drug test. However, banning legal, properly labeled food products well regulated by the United States government under the guise of protecting airman from unlabeled, unregulated, illegal food products is well beyond the Government’s stated purpose for the ban.”
CBD Oil – The Military’s Latest Target
CBD oil is arguably not a food product. Advocates in the filed articulate that it is fairly classified as a supplement. It is not so far highly regulated by the USFDA. But, certain legislation governs its mobility between the states and carves out an exception to the stated DEA schedule that purports to make CBD oil a schedule I controlled substance. CBD oil can be purchased in commercial stores, and online, including at Wal-Mart.com under “Greens and Super foods”.
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There have been smatterings of cases in which the Air Force in particular has sought to prosecute and / or take administrative measures against airmen for their use of CBD Oil.
The definition of marihuana from the Controlled Substances Act includes resin from any part of the plant, which includes CBD oil. There is an issue, however, because of the Agricultural Act of 2014, which allows for State Agriculture and colleges / universities to obtain permits to extract industrial hemp, and an additional piece of legislation directs that no efforts be made or resources be used to stop the flow of CBD oil or industrial hemp across state lines. Accordingly, mainstream companies are selling CBD oil and making claims that their product is not made in contradiction of the Controlled Substances Act. Arguably, if the CBD oil were extracted from permitted industrial hemp, then the CBD oil would not be an illicit substance.