The Air Force has reminded airmen and women that products containing CBD oil are still off-limits for them, despite recent legalization.
The service issued the reminder last week, adding that the use of such products may lead to positive drug tests for marijuana use. While CBD oil does not have the same psychoactive effects as cannabis on the body, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering chemical, can still show up on drug tests.
CBD products can contain up to 0.3% THC legally, although many are believed to be labeled wrongly and contain much more.
Though 11 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws to approve the recreational use of marijuana, service members are barred under Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
As CBD products remain largely unregulated and only one CBD drug has been approved by the FDA, the Air Force has come to the conclusion that some oils, edibles, and creams may contain undisclosed levels of THC.
While CBD oil and hemp have their differences, both have been definitively banned for use by airmen no matter the circumstance.
Maj. Jason Gammons, Air Force Office of The Judge Advocate General spokesperson, said in an Air Force news release, “It’s important for both uniformed and civilian Airmen to understand the risk these products pose to their careers.”
“Products containing unregulated levels of THC can cause positive drug tests, resulting in the same disciplinary actions as if members had consumed marijuana.”
The Air Force also cited a 2017 report from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, which determined less than a third of 84 CBD products tested contained the amount of CBD the label claimed.
THC was found in 21% of products that claimed not to contain any at all.
Gammons added, “The important point for Airmen to consider is the level of uncertainty for these products.”
“We want to ensure we arm them with the facts so they can make informed decisions and not inadvertently jeopardize their military careers.”
In recent months, CBD tinctures have become very popular among consumers for their high potency levels, but it remains unclear just how many products are actually legal and contain the levels of CBD they claim.
Currently, airmen who test positive for marijuana during urinalysis usually receive a discharge and an Article 15, known as the military’s highest form of nonjudicial punishment.
The Air Force isn’t the first to issue warnings, either – the US Navy issued a directive back in August that banned sailors and Marines from using products linked to marijuana.
Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said that the lack of FDA regulation meant that sailors cannot rely on the packaging of hemp and CBD products to be genuine. He added that THC concentrations could cause a positive urinalysis result.
Recently, a North Carolina woman was fired from her workplace for testing positive for THC during a drug test, despite claiming she was only using CBD oil for medical reasons.