- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 22, 2019

Cannabidiol, the commercially red-hot hemp derivative known as CBD, remains a no-no for America’s soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guard.

While hemp was removed from the U.S. government’s list of controlled substances last year, that did not automatically legalize all the myriad consumer products now containing CDB, including lotions, pain-relieving oils, sleeping pills, coffee additives and candy.

The largely unregulated nature of the CBD market means many of the products are untested, according to Patricia Deuster, director of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. Service members using the new CBD-infused products could test positive for marijuana use, she said.

“It’s a real conundrum,” Ms. Deuster told a military health symposium earlier this week, according to a report on the military news website Task and Purpose, “and it’s going to be a major issue for the military because it is available [everywhere].”

“You go into any store, and you can find gummy bears with a supplement fact panel on it,” she added.

In recent months, a number of individual services — including the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard — have issued directives prohibiting service members from using all but a tiny fraction of CDB products.

“Sailors and Marines cannot rely on the packaging and labeling of hemp products in determining whether the product contact THC concentrations that could cause a positive urinalysis result,” Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer wrote in a memo last week.

THC is psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

“In order to ensure military readiness and the reliability and integrity of the Drug Testing Program, the knowing ingestion (orally, intravenously, through smoking vaporization or through other means) or products containing, or products derived from, hemp is prohibited,” the secretary added.

The directives make an exception for Epidiolex, a CBD-based product which the Food and Drug Administration has approved as a medication to treat epileptic seizures.

Service members who test positive for THC resulting from CDB products could face a less-than-honorable discharge and a loss of post-service benefits, Task and Purpose reported. 

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