Department of Defense Clarifies Military CBD Ban

Asia Mayfield
Written by Asia Mayfield

Hemp may be legal, but nothing’s changed for active-duty military members. The Department of Defense (DoD) released an internal memo banning servicemen and women from consuming cannabidiol (CBD) regardless of the compound’s legal status. For the military, hemp-derived CBD presents as much of a problem as regular CBD.

The concerns have less to do with CBD itself than the potential for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contamination.

“These legal changes and the resulting introduction of hemp products containing up to 0.3 percent THC in the marketplace create a serious risk to the viability of the military drug testing program,” Under Secretary of Defense Matthew Donovan wrote.

“Service members cannot rely on the packaging and labeling of hemp products regarding whether the amount of THC contained in the product could cause a positive urinalysis result.”

A service member who fails a drug test because they thought they were only ingesting CBD will not receive leniency. Because of this, the military has banned all CBD products regardless of what they are meant for. There are so many new products on the market that it would be impractical to issue a ruling on every single one. However, the memo specifically states that soldiers won’t be punished if they consume a hemp-derived product “without knowledge that the product was made or derived from hemp, including CBD, where that lack of knowledge is reasonable.”

This isn’t the first time that the military has singled out CBD. Last year, the Navy released a memo prohibiting sailors from using CBD. The memo states: “Sailors and Marines are prohibited from knowingly using products made or derived from hemp… including cannabidiol (CBD), regardless of the products THC concentration, claimed or actual…”

The stated reasoning mirrors the explanation given in the DoD memo. It’s too difficult to determine the actual THC content.

Image source: California Weed Blog

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Asia Mayfield

Asia Mayfield

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